You could not paint a prettier picture for the grand opening of racing in yachting's America's Cup on Saturday.
You could not paint a prettier picture for the grand opening of racing in yachting’s America’s Cup on Saturday.
The forecast is for 15-knot southerly winds — perfect Cup sailing weather. Team New Zealand skipper Russell Coutts predicted those conditions exactly a week ago, and they will probably make the Kiwis on the black boat smile.
Experts reckon that Prada’s Luna Rossa will have the edge in light breezes, 12 knots and under. NZL60, Team New Zealand’s chosen boat, is a little longer and probably a little heavier, so it will relish medium-to-fresh breezes of 15 knots and over.
The black boat and its funny bow is also expected to ride the white horses — little waves on the gulf whipped up by fresh winds — better than Luna Rossa. Sunday is not looking so promising. The breeze is expected to die away, and probably won’t be back until the next scheduled race day on Tuesday, returning in the form of a south-easterly sea breeze. If the race is postponed on Sunday, it won’t be held on Monday. The race days are firmly etched into the calendar — Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends — set by international television schedules.
No wind limits have been set for the Cup match, unlike the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series where races would not start in anything greater than 18 knots. There was an unspoken rule between the challengers that they would not fire a startgun until the winds were consistently over 7.5 knots.
Since day one, Team New Zealand have made it clear they do not want to put an upper limit on the winds they will race in — the reason they have been out training in 30-knot gusts when the challengers were back on land. But there is one condition they have fought for — the race committee are adamant they will not start in unstable or shifty breezes.