Among the last remaining issues, wind limits were a hot topic. With five days to go, Matthew Sheahan reports
The America’s Cup Jury has now ruled on a number of the five outstanding issues that were taken to the room. Among them the most significant is likely to be the decision to allow race officer Harold Bennett to decide on whether conditions are appropriate for racing.
BMW Oracle/GGYC had expressed concerns over a lower wind limit, believing that it would benefit Alinghi’s catamaran. From Alinghi and the SNG’s point of view, it was the upper limit of 15 knots measured at 60m above the water’s surface that appeared to cause them most concern and formed part of the Notice of Race. This upper limit has also been removed and while we are none the wiser as to what wind limits and seas state will be deemed to be appropriate for racing, it would appear that the weather conditions have no hard limits.
In many ways this is good for the event and spectators who may have to spend less time waiting for suitable conditions. Yet the prospect for the teams could well see them sailing in less benevolent conditions. Whether the teams are concerned as to the potential risks of sailing in heavier weather than was anticipated or not, both teams are understood to have regularly faced long job lists after training sessions on the water which suggests that neither is necessarily robust enough to take heavier conditions on the chin.
All of which increases the pressure and raises the stakes for what promises to be an exceptional display for Cup followers.
Among the other issues that were presented to the jury:
1 – BMW Oracle is allowed to use its laser wind detection system that, according to the manufacturers can see shifts and gusts up to 1km ahead.
2 – The will start will be 1006 CET, subject to weather conditions.
3 – Friction reducing techniques have also been allowed although the jury has made it clear that all applicable laws must apply to any discharge while racing.
4 – Both teams will be able to use water ballast, provided
that the amount used to benefit performance is also in position when the boat is measured.
5 – There is no word yet on the issue of whether the Notice of Race to overrule the Racing Rules of Sailing
Racing is due to start 8 Feb 2010 with following races 10th & 12 Feb
Best of three series
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.
YW VIDEO CLIPS
See BMW Oracle hit 25 knots in 6-8 knots of wind
Official 33rd America’s Cup Site
AERIAL VIEW OF THE HARBOUR
Aerial view of Darsena and commercial harbours
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.