At the third attempt to kick off race 1, Matthew Sheahan looks at what the weather has in store. Regular updates to follow
1425 CET – Into start sequence – here we go
1415 CET Current conditions – 155degrees 5.5kts at top of course, 160degrees 4.5kts in the middle and 155degrees 3kts at the start.
Looks like the influence of the land and a developing sea breeze has started to mess with the gradient. Bennett intends lowering AP at 1424
1405 CET Looking at BMWOR the first indications that she’s more potent in the light than the recent speculation has suggested is now apparent as the giant tri flies both hulls in 3 knots of breeze with her huge code zero set.
1400 CET Breeze dropping, AP hasn’t come down. Looking a bit dodgy at the moment, worries that postponement will continue. Wind down to 2-3 knots. Media centre going nuts, but can you really start a race in such light conditions?
1339 CET Sounds like race is due to start 1410 according to principle race officer Harold Bennett
1335 CET Reports that breeze shifty up the course with some holes.
1320 CET Alinghi now with full sail, flying a hull and speed in the teens. Are they trying to taunt their opponents who’ve yet to unfurl a headsail?
1317 CET With 185-195 5 knots of breeze we’re expecting a race time of around 2hrs 30mins although the weather might have something to say about that. Boats now within a few boat lengths of each other
1310 CET Straw poll in media centre reveals 18/19 split in favour of Alinghi. Feels just like 2003 when a similar even range of opinions prevailed. Then, 22 minutes into the race, we had a much better picture of how one sided the event would be.
1255 CET Wind 5-7 knots, start area being moved slightly. This shouldn’t take long as the boats/buoys hold station. Too deep to anchor
1247 CET TV’s up and running, the course is set………..and we wait. Speculation on whether Alinghi will have the upper hand in the light conditions continues. Dare we hope that we’ll know shortly?
12:25 CET…..and now WW1 wind reported at 135degrees 3 knots and at committee boat 185degrees 5 knots…reports suggest the TV planes have been scrambled
1200 CET – Breeze at committee boat 190 degrees 6 knots, at weather mark 200 degrees 6 knots. It’s shaping up!
1125 CET – Breeze looks like it’s on it’s slow march around towards the west, currently 10 knots NNW. Hopefully this is the start of the long trek around to the south. Bright sunshine here might cause the heating of the land to mess with the gradient through the middle of the day. Sea state is 1.2m 25 miles offshore, 0.7m inshore – all looking good on that front.
0900 CET It’s Friday, treat yourself to an early finish at lunchtime and plug into the America’s Cup because the weather looks promising for the long awaited first race.
While conditions kicked off this morning with a brisk and bitterly cold northerly breeze, current forecasts show this decreasing mid morning before switching to the south for early afternoon and around 7-9 knots.
More encouraging is that the northerly swell that built up over the last few days is not as bad as had been feared. At 9am CET the wave height 25 miles offshore was just 1.3m while inshore the wave height was around 0.8m. With the anticipated course running parallel with the coastline there isn’t the need to head too far offshore either.
Perhaps as an indication as to what’s on race officer Harold Bennett’s mind, the race committee have set out to the north of Valencia, presumably in anticipation of setting a course to the south when the wind switches.
Naturally such meteorological optimism comes with a health warning. The switch from northerly to southerly breeze will be a tricky transition that will doubtless work to it’s own timetable and where any heating on land could cause a few unpredictable fluctuations. But broadly speaking it looks pretty good for today.
So what of Sunday? If today becomes a race day, the focus will quickly shift to the next available race day. At present the forecasts are suggesting 4-6 knots starting in the SW then backing to SE.
Could the Cup be over by Sunday?
Maybe, but as the weather has reminded us all week, two days is a long time in the America’s Cup world
Alinghi’s dock out this morning.
Racing is due to start 1200CET Friday 12 Feb
LIVE ONLINE COVERAGE
OFFICIAL AMERICA’S CUP ONLINE COVERAGE
PJ Montgomery, Andy Green and Cam Lewis will provide live commentary on the racing which will include Virtual Eye live animations.
LIVE RACE COVERAGE
Will be streaming live coverage with expert commentators Martin Tasker and Peter Lester, starting with the preparations for docking out. The coverage will then switch to the official feed for the racing. After racing BMW Oracle will switch to their live coverage back to the dock.
ESPN360 Free online coverage
LINKS & INFORMATION
YW PREVIEW SPECIAL
Check out our previews to the Cup as published in the January and February 2010 issues of Yachting World now available in pdf format and available free online.
CLICK HERE -AC33 PREVIEW – THE BOATS
CLICK HERE – AC33 PREVIEW PART 2 – TEAM TALK
CLICK HERE – AC33 PREVIEW PART 3 – COURSES AND CONDITIONS
YW VIDEO CLIPS
Official 33rd America’s Cup Site
AERIAL VIEW OF THE HARBOUR
Aerial view of Darsena and commercial harbours
FOLLOWING THE CUP – TV & ONLINE
More news on this as it comes to us but at present:
ESPN 360 has acquired the internet rights for the free live online coverage.
ESPN360 Free online coverage
WEATHER – FORECASTS
Wind and Waves Valencia – Puertos del Estado
XC Weather Spain – Current National conditions
HOW TO GET TO AMERICA’S CUP VENUE
To Valencia by Air:
The easiest way is to fly to Valencia and then take a taxi. Approx cost of taxi to harbour, €20
See www.valenciaport.com for more information
Unfortunately, at this time of year there are fewer direct flights to Valencia than during the summer season. Therefore an alternative route is to fly to Alicante and either take the train or hire a car. Driving takes approx 2 hours and car rental is cheap.
To harbour from Valencia train station:
A taxi from the train station is about a 20-minute ride.
Heading to Valencia on the A7 toll motorway, connect to the V-15 or V-30 to the port, which is signposted.