Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Weather makes the most headlines at the America's Cup, again

Weather makes the most headlines at the America's Cup, again

Consistent weather was the reason organizers chose Valencia for the 32nd America's Cup.
They just didn't expect it to make the most headlines _ for the wrong reasons _ this early on.
Light winds canceled sailing in the Louis Vuitton Cup for the third straight day on Wednesday and team meteorologists said the outlook wouldn't improve before Saturday, meaning another two full days of racing were likely to be lost.
If that's the case, teams will have to make up eight races _ on top of losing Friday's reserve day _ before the end of the second stage of round-robins on May 6.
Still, sailing crews didn't seem to mind or, at least, appear not to.
"We don't really feel disappointed, because we really don't want to race in these extremely light conditions," BMW Oracle Racing tactician Gavin Brady said. "After three years of development, we don't want to let it all come down to a lottery. We are here to race, but we want to race in good conditions."
A cold weather front that swept across Spain's Mediterranean coast last month has stuck around thanks to high pressure systems over northern Europe that have brought summer-like temperatures to cities such as London and Budapest. Meanwhile, Valencia soaked up its wettest spring in 50 years with average temperatures hovering around 10 degrees (50 F).
In New Zealand four years ago, the start of the round-robin, quarterfinal and semifinal stages of the Louis Vuitton Cup were canceled due to excessive winds. Forty percent of scheduled race days were not sailed due to excess or lack of wind in Auckland, with eight straight days being the most in one stretch.
Louis Vuitton Act 13 fleet racing finished this month with disruptions to the schedule, and despite the halts to the challengers' series, most of the teams accept its part of the game.
"There's no point putting a gloss on it, they're all pro sailors and they've all been here before and if there's no wind, there's no wind," Emirates Team New Zealand meteorologist Tom Addis said.
Addis added the meteorologists aren't quite so happy about getting their forecasts right this week.
"We don't make the weather, it's our job to predict it and, especially in yacht racing, you're predicting tiny little subtleties in the flows," Addis said. "If you can call correctly and people go out with the right mind set of racing being marginal today, then you've done your job. (But) it's much more interesting for us to be in racing conditions."
Weather patterns in Valencia over the past nine years marked the average wind speed at 7 nautical miles, the minimum needed to sail a race, while wind gusts were erratic over the same period. Could miring the teams in these conditions have given defending champion Alinghi, which will sail in stable, predictable conditions from June 23-July 4, an advantage?
Addis doubts it.
"The good teams will generally come to the top, but I think there is going to be plenty of racing in similar conditions to late June or July when the Cup is held," the Australian said. "It's nothing you can do anything about anyway, they set the rules and here we are, so let's race."