Friday possible

No America's Cup racing again today in Auckland but the outlook is better for the next few days

Thursday February 27th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Australasia
Principal Race Officer Harold Bennett cancelled racing yet again today in the face of a poor weather forecast. It has been overcast and blowing old boots all day here.

Bennett's decision today was endorsed by the Auckland Harbourmaster James McPetrie who was concerned about the safety of the spectator fleet in the heavy seas that have built up following prolonged norteasterly gales.

The 31st America's Cup Match is now scheduled to continue on Friday, 28th
February with both teams agreeing to try and race on the previously scheduled
layday.

Fortunately, after nine days of unsuitable weather for racing, the forecast
is much better for Friday with moderate conditions due on the Hauraki Gulf.
Northeast winds of 13 to 18 knots are expected under overcast skies, with the winds backing slightly to northeast through the day.

Louis Vuitton forecaster Mike Broughton gives the forecast: a low pressure system 1008mb positionoed over North Cape will slowly move SSE and fill and allow the winds tomoderate over the Hauraki Gulf. THe ridge of high pressure over south island will continue to weaken and move away to the east. Rough seas are expected to moderate during the day.

Bennett has said Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are now scheduled as 'race'
days. If Team New Zealand start pulling some points in then the racing will continue into next week but at present it is not clear what the schedule will be if this takes place.

Meanwhile - the America's Cup event has been under terrorist threat since letters from a group calling itself September 11 were sent to the US embassy and the British and Australian high commissions claiming to be in possession of 25kg of 'weapons grade cyanide'. The letter to the British ambassador contained cyanide.

Following the news being made public a national security alert was issued here on Wedneday.

With nine days of no racing in the America's Cup and Team New Zealand 0-3 down, there is a growing sense of aparthy about the event. If the boats do venture out into the Hauraki Gulf on Friday it will be interesting to see the size of spectator craft.

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