Right at the edge of control, strong winds caused the cancellation of AC racing today but not before we'd caught a glimpse of the action

 Stunning while it lasted, the sight of Cup boats thundering around the pre-start area in 26-30 knots of breeze was a fantastic spectacle. Like frigates with their throttles stuck open, these 25 tonne machines ploughed and submarined their way back and forth around the start area, clearly right on the very limit of control. If ever there was an example of why many would like to see these boats perform in stronger breezes, this was it and talk of the day today among journalists and spectators was of whether AC boats could be designed and built to cover a wider range of wind conditions.

Unfortunately, despite a valiant attempt by senior race officer Peter Reggio to get racing away and within around four minutes of the start racing was postponed and then cancelled for the day. A great shame but understandable.

Not only are these boats not designed to cope with wind speeds of this order, but many of the boats and their equipment are getting tired, increasing the chances of serious damage – carnage even.

“It was marginal at the start time, and the forecast is for the wind to keep building through the afternoon,” Reggio said. “We saw the wind jump by nearly 10-knots in the hour before the scheduled start to the high 20’s, and with the forecast we had, this was a pretty easy decision actually.”

So that was it, back to base.

Tomorrow’s racing marks the end of Act 3 and the end of the 2004 America’s Cup season. The organisers hope to get two races off tomorrow but light winds and an airspace restriction thanks to a local air show mean that the normal course can’t be used until later in the afternoon.

Yet whatever the issues at stake, the competition will remain tight right to the end with Alinghi trying to hold on to their slim one point lead over Emirates Team New Zealand and a struggle between a pair on equal points, BMW Oracle and Luna Rossa for third and fourth positions.

Don’t miss it.


Team Name: (Points) Race 1 2

Team Alinghi (27) 4 1 3 1

Emirates Team New Zealand (26) 1 2 1 6

Luna Rossa (20) 3 4 7 2

BMW ORACLE Racing (20) 5 6 2 3

K-Challenge (17) 8 3 4 4

LE DEFI (14) 2 7 8 5

Team Shosholoza (12) 7 5 5 7

39 (7) 6 8 6 DNF

****** LIVE AUDIO ******

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