Rumblings around Port America's Cup and tricky weather conditions make today a race to watch. Matthew Sheahan reports

 They’ve had four years to work up to this week, but that doesn’t mean that every base has been covered, every option considered and every move planned. Far from it. One of the teams is still asking fundamental questions about what constitutes change.

This morning the latest Public Interpretation number 47, (an official question(s) to the measurement committee), asks how the Measurement Committee constitutes a major change. Clearly somebody wants to change something. But who?

While the question is public, who it came from is not, so Interpretation No.47 has sparked a new round of speculation this morning.

On the face of it, you might think that the Kiwis are the ones looking to turbo charge their upwind performance to increases the chances of that all important first cross. But the Kiwis have played a simple straight game so far, knee jerk reactions are not part of their game plan.

Alinghi isn’t prone to wild changes in direction either, but you could certainly make a case for a change to their configuration. With light weather and a big seaway forecast, aggravated by spectator wash appearing to cause the Swiss problems through tacks and tight corners, perhaps they are looking at a modification to their boat.

Or perhaps it’s the measurement committee itself, anticipating a round of discussion and pre-empting the issue by appearing to ask a question of itself.

Aside from this, it’s the weather that’s causing concern this morning.

The breeze is forecast to sit at around 8-10 knots from the east. Perfect crossover conditions between the two teams. If the clouds break up, the sea breeze could build a little more, raising the breeze to say 12 knots. But the real issue is that what breeze we have is shifty and the sea state is around 1m swell.

It all adds up to a very tricky day indeed.

Upwind Alinghi is prone to slamming in a seaway and can, as we’ve seen, be difficult to keep on the boil through tacks. The Kiwi boat fares better in these conditions.

Downwind Alinghi’s boat surfs like a dinghy as each wave comes through, NZL92 does not, her finer bow slicing through the waves rather than surfing over them.

At 1:1 and with the tricky conditions, this is a match to watch, listen and follow.

Warning signal 1450 Local (1250 GMT)

ACM Radio Online Here starts at 1445 Local (1245 GMT)


Alinghi – 1

Emirates Team New Zealand – 1

Related/previous features:

Even or Over? 

Great Expectations at the America’s Cup 

Temperature Rising at America’s Cup 


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