The weather adds to the pressure. Matthew Sheahan reports
An approaching cold front, weak though it was, provided enough high cloud cover to prevent the sea breeze developing sufficiently. At just past 4pm the race committee pulled the pin and postponed racing for the day.
The decision was surely a relief to the crews who had been watching the wind speed and direction fluctuate wildly since arriving on the race course. As blue patches of sky opened up the land would heat and draw in air off the sea, the beginning of a sea breeze. But the blue sky never opened up enough to build a decent stable sea breeze. The last thing either team needed was a lottery on what could have been the last day of the America’s Cup.
Had the weather played ball, today could have been the biggest and most dramatic day of the 32nd America’s Cup, there was certainly plenty of tension and excitement around the harbour as thousands of people lined the canal out to the race course area to see whether Alinghi could nail just one more win, or whether the Kiwis could get their Cup hopes back on track by outsmarting their opponents.
“We went out expecting to race and looking forward to racing but we were happy with the decision because we didn’t want to race in very variable conditions and now we are just going to get ready for Tuesday,” said Grant Simmer, Design Team coordinator of Alinghi, who had had to sit out some quiet weather aboard Australia II in 1983.
“In ’83 we had to wait quite a lot in quite light conditions and we had to win 3 straight as well which was a difficult position for us. But its not a big deal to wait a couple of days – we have been getting ready for this for three or four days for this so we can wait a day.”
Emirates Team New Zealand tactician Ray Davies felt similar.
“I think the race committee made the right decision today. It looked pretty good when we first went out there but the breeze really fell apart as we led up to the start,” he said.
So tight has the racing been so far, that either scenario was possible in what is surely the most exciting America’s Cup since 1983.
Yesterday, Saturday, a record 82,282 people visited Port America’s Cup, today was expected to reach 100,000.
Tomorrow is an off day with racing due to resume on Tuesday which, at present looks to be a good solid sea breeze day with 14-16 knots on the forecasts.
Mow the lawn, butter up the boss and plan for a big afternoon on Tuesday.
RESULTS AFTER DAY 6
Alinghi – 4
Emirates Team New Zealand – 2
Full report and analysis to follow shortly
HOW TO WATCH, LISTEN AND FOLLOW THE ACTION
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