Racing was canned at the America's Cup World Series Naples today with heavy seas pounding the breakwaters and a forecast for winds exceeding 30 knots. This is the first time racing has been suspended at the America’s Cup World Series since the circuit began last summer.
“Racing has been suspended today because of the wind as well as the big seas coming in from very strong winds in the Mediterranean,” said Regatta Director Iain Murray. “The expectation is for the breeze to build up near 30 knots and the waves will go up as well… The potential for damage to people and boats is too high today… My heart says we should be out sailing, but my head says that we need to wait until tomorrow.”
The match race semi finals and finals will now be sailed on Sunday. Fleet races seven and eight have been abandoned and won’t be sailed, shortening the Fleet Racing Championship to seven races.
The sailors, while disappointed to lose a day of racing, agreed.
“They made the right decision,” said Paul Campbell-James, the helmsman of Luna Rossa Swordfish. “Really strong wind and massive waves, which could have damaged the boats. So it was the right decision but it’s a massive disappointment.”
Given the poor weather, many of the sailors settled for some virtual racing in the AC45 Club, where Team Korea trimmer Mark Bulkeley posted the best time down the track in the America’s Cup Speed Trials game, earning a bottle of Moët et Chandon champagne.
The racing program for Sunday becomes busier now, with the Match Racing Semi-Finals scheduled to start at 1250 CEST. The AC500 Speed Trial will begin at 1350 and the final fleet race, where the winner earns a whopping 50 points (all the finishing positions are heavily weighted compared with previous races) has a start time of 1455.