And it could go on even longer! Today’s prospects
Today breaks all records in the 162 year old America’s Cup as the longest Cup match in history. Today is the 17th day, the previous longest was in Auckland in 2003 when the Cup, which was then a best of nine series, ran for 16 days.
Interestingly, this series has only lost two full days of racing so far (compared to 10 in one stretch in 2003) and when you look at the top 10 closest finishes in the history of the Cup, this event has no less than four, a further emphasis of just how extraordinary and tight this match has become.
But as a friend who has seen plenty of Cup action mentioned to me on the way in this morning, for all the new gloss of the new Cup world, it is still underpinned by the old Cup world.
In the new world of strict formats and tight deadlines for TV and audiences, the last available day of the regatta would be the end, whatever the score. But the ways of the world still reign thank heavens and the match will only be concluded when the appropriate number of races have been won. In this case nine.
So what are the chances of racing today?
The forecast breeze is worryingly light and at the moment, blowing from the wrong direction, the east. According to Iain Murray there are conflicting forecasts but his best guess was 9 to 10 knots to start with building to 14knots and possibly 18 knots by the end of the 2nd race if there is one.
But with the breeze this morning blowing from the wrong direction any sea breeze will have to overcome the weak gradient which could delay things. To add to the race committee’s concerns, the length of the course in the light breeze is proving very difficult for the boats to get complete the course inside the time limit. The new daggerboards with their foils produce more drag than the simple daggerboards that were envisaged when the wind and time limits were agreed back in 2012.
As a result, the committee is looking at holding racing until there is around 10knots of breeze in order to ensure that the time limit doesn’t expire on a race.
And just before you ask, no the course cannot be shortened.
The bottom line is that the weather could still force this event to continue well into the week but for the time being, it’s back to the prospect of another potential Cup winning day.
Get ready and puff up the edge of your sofa – you’re going to be on it for a while.
More news later.
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