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Posted by on Feb 8, 2010 in Sailboat Racing, UK, US |

First America’s Cup Race: BMW Oracle Trimaran vs. Alinghi Catamaran (Postponed)

The boats were ready to race but a lack of wind delayed the start off Spain's Mediterranean coast until Wednesday.

13:50 CET: That was an anti-climax. Racing abandoned for the day. The boats are headed to the harbor and will try again in two days, Wednesday, February 9.

13:37 CET: Three hours to go. According to @AC33, the official Twitter America’s Cup Twitter feed, the wind direction is, as yet, too divergent at the starting area and the windward mark, 20 nautical miles away. Velocity remains light, but that’s not the real issue. If the wind doesn’t settle down before 1630, the first race won’t be sailed today.

12:33 CET: Still not enough: Reports from the racecourse indicate 3-4 knots of wind from the northwest, but breeze that’s a bit south of west at the windward mark. You wouldn’t think that such a light wind would be enough in which to hold an America’s Cup race, but these boats can sail much faster than the wind, so they don’t need much to get around the course. Alinghi is sailing in the vicinity of the racecourse, but the unsteadiness of the wind has thus far prevented a start. (Some reports coming in of higher windstrengths in different parts of the course.) I’m now watching some recent videos on the BMW Oracle Livestream site, which will also carry the racing action..whenever that starts up.

11:50 CET: Good background reading while the wait for wind continues. The live coverage has only shown a quiet harbor at Valencia for the last hour (and you can just barely hear the annoying, faint soundtrack from the exciting 32nd America’s Cup playing), so I’ve been reading  a few blogs in the meantime from Kimball Livingston (Sail magazine), Matthew Sheahan (Yachting World), Corey Friedman (Scuttlebutt’s legal eagle), and Stuart Streuli (Sailing World).

10:57 CET: Recent BMW Oracle VideoStill waiting for wind. Here’s a better way to see some of the players up close on the U.S. team and, even better, some good action footage of the trimaran flying two hulls.

The flying bows of the trimaran challenger for the America's Cup.

The flying bows of the trimaran challenger for the America's Cup.

10:45 CET: Meet the BMW Oracle Crew: Here’s a video as the USA crew took to the “field” before sunrise. Air horns sound track ranks right up there with the Who during the Superbowl halftime show last night…

10:15 CET – Postponed Start: From across the Atlantic on the U.S. East Coast, we’re up early to watch the first race of the America’s Cup “Dog” (Deed of Gift) Match, set to take place in the Mediterranean off Valencia, Spain, between BMW Oracle, the challenger, and Alinghi 5, the defender. The match is a best-two-of-three-race series between two very dissimilar sailing craft. Although each is 90 feet long on the waterline—and quite a bit longer overall—the catamaran is held together structurally by a web of carbon between the hulls and beneath the mast while the three-hulled trimaran carries a towering wing sail on its central hull. Live coverage is beaming from the racecourse to the America’s Cup website, but for the first half hour of scheduled racing, the images and commentary has been of two boats in “wait mode.”

Waiting for the wind before the first scheduled America's Cup race.

Waiting for the wind before the first scheduled America's Cup race.