Matthew Sheahan reports from day 1 of the 33rd Americas Cup. This story will be updated as the day progresses
1348 – RACING HAS BEEN CANCELLED FOR TODAY. The big build up has been blown out. The next scheduled day of racing is on Wednesday 10 Feb.
1250 – Race 1 course area has been moved north and slightly east, where there is the promise of more breeze. Around 10 knots of breeze in this area. Lat-long of the new top mark position is to be about 32 miles offshore and the mark has moved north and slightly east.
1140 – Little change to weather, still very light. The sun has poked through a few times which may cause a little heating on the land. In the summer this would be a good sign, but right now sunshine is more likely to mess with what little gradient breeze there is.
1030 – If you’re having trouble watching on official site, (which appears to keep crashing) try going to BMW Oracle’s stream of the same thing. CLICK HERE for LIVE VIDEO
1015 – Seeing the first shots on TV of both boats together as they wait for the breeze. Marked difference between USA-17s slender tipped wing mast and the rectangular mainsail aboard Alinghi V.
0950 – Wind 190-230 degrees 2 knots at present on the race course with 5 mins to go to the warning signal. Start is postponed. At top mark wind 215 degrees 7 knots.
9.30 – Each team has declared its crew lists. Alinghi are sailing with 14, BMW Oracle are sailing with 10. At 90kg per crew member that’s an extra 360kg that the Defender is carrying.
Breeze currently around 5 knots from the south, variable in direction at Valencia airport.
6.00 – For once, Valencia was all but silent. At 4.45am the streets were clear, the shops and bars all shuttered down with barely a soul on the streets as I cycled down to the Darsena. The only other cyclists that were out bore team clothing, either that of Alinghi or BMW Oracle as they headed to their respective bases for the big off. Day 1 of the 33rd America’s Cup. A Cup that has been like no other in its acrimonious two year build up and continued to buck the trend this morning feeling more like a Volvo Ocean Race arrival than the start of a match race.
At 6.15am the scene was completely different, at least it was in BMW Oracle’s base on the southern side of Valencia where several hundred spectators and supporters blew foghorns in support of the team and in competition with the PA system that boomed out Lady Gaga’s Poker Face into the dark. Deep in Valencia’s commercial docks where the American team has based itself since arriving in Valencia, their 230ft wing mast extended into the dark as USA-17 sat calmly at her mooring. The picture was nothing short of surreal.
At 6.30am commentator Peter Lester introduced the crew, one by one. With BMW Oracle in the South corner, Alinghi to the north, the race pre-amble felt more like that of a boxing match.
BY 7am USA-17 had slipped her mooring and was towed out into the dark to another foghorn fanfare. Not even the most experienced Cup aficionados could remember anything like it.
Meanwhile in the Alinghi base, cow bells and Swiss flags cheered the team on as the Defenders prepared to leave the dock.
So what’s in store today?
The current weather forecast has changed slightly from last night is now showing a westerly breeze starting at around 8 knots at 10am and possibly building slightly towards noon. But as the day develops, so too does the potential for gusts into the teens as showers find their way onto the course. Naturally, if this happens there’s a good chance that the breeze will be shifty too.
At present the race area looks like being on the south course.
Keep watching/refreshing this story through the day as we’ll be adding more information, photos and video as the day progresses.
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.
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
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.