No wind, no play


Alinghi 5 and BMW Oracle Racing's USA await the wind
Alinghi 5 and BMW Oracle Racing's USA await the wind
Alinghi meteoroligist Jack Katzfey discusses the weather after windless opening day of AC33
No racing today on day one of the 33rd America’s Cup - as you may have gathered - and since the boats return to port it has started raining coinciding with Alinghi holding their post-race mix zone with the likes of Rolf Vrolijk, Ernesto Bertarelli, Dirk Kramers, etc outside... This is of course the America’s Cup and thus a regatta traditionally prone to postponement, delay and much frustration. But this being a Deed of Gift match with courses significantly longer than we are used to, along with some unique wind constraints due to the boats being used, could well present some problems in the days to come. While the 15 knot maximum wind strength has been written out of the Sis, it seems unlikely that unless it is very flat water (rare over a course this size) that racing will take place in more than 15 knots. For normal monohulls this might constitute a problem, however as previously reported, these mega multihulls are capable of sailing when there appears to be almost no wind. The issue is very very light winds, the cause of no racing place today, is not that the boats can’t sail in this, but that when it is very light the wind doesn’t stabilise enough to set a course. On a 20 mile race track we understand that this involves reading the wind direction at the start and then setting the weather mark to that - regardless of the wind direction 20 miles up the course. According to Alinghi meteorologist Jack Katzfey, PRO Harold Bennett was right not to attempt to get a race underway today. "At one point, right around 10am, the wind was pretty good, but not quite. The start boat never had any wind, so there was never a chance to pull off a good

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