The American team wins race 2 Matthew Sheahan reports on the action
2:06 – BMW ORACLE WINS THE 33RD AMERICA’S CUP
(Protest has been dropped)
Start – 24 seconds
Windward mark – 28 seconds
Gybe mark – 2min 44secs
Finish – 5min 26 secs
2:04 BMWOR sail into a hole within 0.9km of the finish line and have headed up to keep up the pace. But the main hull’s now in the water and the crew are forced to gybe. Alinghi have seen the light patch and have sailed deep in advance in the hope of being able to avoid having to gybe themselves.
1:57 BMWOR advantage 2330m ahead of Swiss
1:54 Light starting to fade and with it the breeze but USA-17 is within striking distance of the finishing line.
1:44 BMWOR advantage over Alinghi 2150m plus the Swiss still have to unload their penalty
1:40 Typical speeds down this leg 22-25 knots for both boats. Looking back at the protest flag on Alinghi and given the little boat to boat jostling that took place, speculation is that protest could be against the race committee.
1:34 BMWOR now 1 nautical mile ahead. Speeds more even on a leg that is broader than the first reaching leg. Having said that USA-17 hasn’t yet unfurled her bigger headsail.
1:33 Alinghi rounds 2min 44sec behind
1:28 BMWOR rounds gybe mark
1:23 Top speed clocked on BMWOR so far 33knots.
1:16 Advantage now 1,500m ahead and still growing. At this distance and with a penalty to clear, it looks like Alinghi’s only chance is through gear failure aboard USA-17 or a hole in the wind before the finish. The latter doesn’t look that likely but at 1742CET with the sun dipping towards the horizon there’s still time for some fun and games with the weather.
1:10 BMWOR pulls out to 1,000m lead and is now sailing 5 knots faster than Alinghi consistently.
1:06 BMWOR seems to have an edge on speed most of the time and once again looks more steady. A quick burst of 33knots and USA-17 is smoking down this reach.
0:59 BMWOR rounds weather mark and smokes off at 29 knots. Alinghi rounds 27 seconds later. Both boat speeds settle to 27 knots
0:57 Advantage 220m to BMWOR but Alinghi closing fast as both boats close in on the weather mark
0:55 Alinghi cross BMWOR then tack. If BMWOR can lay the mark they will have taken the lead. Alinghi’s tack is slow
0:51 BMWOR tack onto port, layline looks tight. BMWOR tacks into a good shift and eats into Alinghi’s lead which rapidly comes down bow to bow as they approach on opposite tacks. BMWOR start to slow rather than duck.
0:46 Protest flag goes up on Alinghi. No idea what it’s for.
News from further up the race course is that breeze has gone to the right. That will make the next leg tight and exciting.
0:37 So what’s different about Alinghi V? Her mainsail looks fuller and they’re flying a smaller jib. Also, with Loic Peyron on the helm the boat looks more settled.
The advantage goes to and fro. Currently back up to 600m as the pair approach the top 25 percent of the course.
0:28 Advantage now 450m.
Wind reports, 7 knots at weather mark, 8 knots at the gybe mark. Starboard roundings suggest that there could be more breeze on the right hand side, just where Alinghi is.
0:20 Alinghi advantage increases to 100m and then a few minutes later they take another chunk and extend ton 200m. The Swiss boat does look like she’s pitching a lot more than BMWOR.
As the pair track up on starboard the breeze seems to bend around towards the right.
0:13 Alinghi tacks onto starboard, hook into a right hand shift. Loic Peyron takes the helm. BMWOR’s advantage disappears until they take a slim lead of 50m. BMWOR tacks onto starboard as well.
Alinghi pitching but boat looks much more stable, flying a hull consistently.
0:07 It’s a 3km separation between the boats even though they’re on the same tack. Advantage 540m to BMWOR and growing
0:03 BMWOR once again looks more powerful but Alinghi on a lift on right hand side of the course.
START – Split tack start, BMWOR on starboard tack, Alinghi 30 seconds late on line having tacked onto port to avoid BMOR getting the hook.
After a slow start though, Alinghi pick up speed, look better but the numbers tell a different story – BMWOR 17 knots, Al 13 knots
TIMINGS NOW COUNT UP FROM START
Unbelievable! Alinghi given penalty for being in pre-start area when 5 min gun went. When they did get across the line, 1 min 5 secs late!
No look dead in the water.
1614 CET AP down, off we go….But will the breeze hold out, will the boats be finishing in the dark and will the 33rd America’s Cup be decided today?
1545 CET Wind speed up to 9 knots from the East, unstable but the committee is attempting to set up course
1444 CET Fingernails are getting shorter by the hour here in Valencia as the long and nervous wait continues. The weak sea breeze seems to have taken a hold of the light conditions and pulled the breeze around to the east, currently around 5 knots. We’ve just heard the the race committee are prepared to go the full distance to 1630 (as detailed in the sailing instructions and notice of race) in order to try to get this crucial race off. Don’t stray too far.
In the meantime, here’s something else to take a look at as Oracle’s bowman Brad Webb wears a head cam during training. Fancy a slice of this?
1200 CET – Sunny, warmer (at last) and the breeze is gradually cranking around to the west and around 5 knots offshore. The postponed start has been out back further. Best guess at present, (from us not an official call), is for the weather to settle down between 1400-1500, but the sunshine and suggestion of a sea breeze throws an added dimension into the mix. At this time of year, with weak sea breezes it’s more difficult to predict precisely what will happen. So for the time being, it’s hurry up and wait.
While we’re waiting for racing to start, check out this video, aptly called ‘Astronauts’. If ever there was a display of how far out in new territory this campaign is, this is it.
0930 – USA-17 Docks out
0815 – BMW Oracle base. A fleet of BMW cars is parked in a line along the dock edge having brought more than the usual list of VIPs. Today there a few in particular who are causing plenty of dockside chatter. When Mascalzone Latino’s Vincento Onorato and Alessandra Pandarese turn up wearing BMW Oracle Racing wearing team gear on a day that could prove to be the decider for the 33rd America’s Cup, tongues will wag. CLICK HERE to check out my blog if you’re still not sure what this means. But in short, it looks very likely that Mascalzone Latino and Club Nautico Roma will be the next Challenger of Record should BMW Oracle pull it off.
WEATHER OR NOT?
The weather forecast for today is surprisingly similar to that for the first race on Friday, albeit with the prospect of a later start.
Wind starts off in the north in the morning at around 5 knots before it starts its swing to the south, backing as it does so. At around 1400 the breeze is in the south 5-8 knots and then goes further to the S-SE 6-9 knots by 1500-1600.
The tricky issue is whether the wind stabilises enough before the 1630 cut off. This is the latest that the race can start.
The potential spanner in the works may well be the development of a weak sea breeze that could skew the transition to the south. With clear skies and a cold northerly breeze, thermals on land look likely.
Racing is due to start 1200CET Sunday 14 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.
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.