Another frustrating postponement to racing as storms sweep over the course. Matthew Sheahan reports
Thunder, lightening and giant CuNim clouds that brought temporary nightfall to the areas in it’s path cause chaos on the race course today. A light gradient breeze was set up to the south and when this prevailed conditions looked spot on for Cup racing with flat seas and 10-12 knots of breeze. But each time one of the huge storm cells developed over the land, the breeze was sucked in underneath skewing the strength and direction over several miles out from the centre of the storm.
There was little the race officers could do with such wildly fluctuating conditions and racing was postponed for the day.
On the plus side for spectators, if you were planning to take the day off to watch the racing, you should have twice as much to enjoy as Flights 5 & 6 will both take place tomorrow (Friday) – subject to the weather.
Meanwhile the action between Mascalzone Latino and Desafio Espanol continues with news that the Spanish are considering a protest against the Italians for illegal use of their backstays. With topmast backstays, runners and checkstays all going to the back of the boat, it’s common practice to detach the topmast stays from the tackle at the bottom end in light conditions and take the stays forward to the mast in order to reduce windage. Nothing wrong with this, but once you’ve moved them forward, they have to stay there for the duration of the race.
The Spanish believe that there is video footage showing the Italians bringing the topmast backstays back before the end of a race. A protest hearing is due to take place this evening.
Meanwhile, if nothing else, the delay in racing has given us time to ponder the results table as it stands at present.
Here the most interesting points seem to be that, a) Despite early concerns about whether Luna Rossa was really on the pace, the premier Italian team is just that, sharing equal first with BMW Oracle, b) that the Spanish currently hold a decent three point lead over the fifth placed boat which, c) is Victory Challenge. Despite some erratic performances and talk of disquiet within the team, the Swedes are within striking distance of a semi finals slot.
If only the breeze would play ball.
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