Lack of wind marks the preliminary regatta of the America's Cup

The regatta that opens a competition always has a special interest.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
16 September 2023 Saturday 04:51
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Lack of wind marks the preliminary regatta of the America's Cup

The regatta that opens a competition always has a special interest. The expectation is maximum. Who gives first, gives twice. Vilanova and the world were waiting for the Copa del América to start. Well, it was not the best if we look at it from the point of view of the show. Although it seemed like it would be a good day in terms of weather, nothing could be further from the truth.

The only ones that made the most of the day were, first the Orient Express Racing Team and then the Emirates Team New Zealand, who won one race each. The rest ended up being mere spectator participants in the two tests that were held. In this way, those from Burling and Delapierre share the leadership of the preliminary regatta in Vilanova i la Geltrú.

If on Friday the rain and a storm marked the future of the day, in the second the wind also wanted to be the protagonist, since it made a feint of appearing, giving the start to two tests, but soon its intentions would be seen falling until it ended in failure. disappear.

The organization decided to advance the start to three in the afternoon instead of twenty to four, to try to compete in four races, but it stayed at that, an intention. The first test had a forecast of six sections, it was reduced to four and ended in only two, saving itself at the bell: more than an hour later the second was started, but with the same success.

At the start of the first task the wind was light, barely reaching eight knots, but enough to get going. Thus, the six boats sailed in the first section with NYYC American Magic, Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand fighting for the lead in the first meters, but the Orient Express Racing Team appeared, a boat that would end up being the main protagonist.

Meanwhile, INEOS Britannia stopped flying as soon as they crossed the exit, which was an omen of what would end up happening later, not only for them, but for the rest.

The first ones arrived relatively easily at the first buoy with the New Zealanders in the lead, something that was not strange. The surprising thing was that those who were second were the French, until now the big ones, since from then on they began to dominate the situation after seeing how the Kiwis stayed flat, without flying. Luna Rossa sailed throughout the entire race with no options, as they were disqualified for being out of line at the start.

Of those that little was known was Alinghi Red Bull Racing and INEOS Britannia, who in the end were joined by Emirates Team New Zealand, so three of the theoretical favorites floated instead of flying, and were not even able to cross the finish line within the time limit.

The second test was another mess. At first only the Alinghi managed to fly, the rest never took off. The Swiss team dominated with authority for a section and a half, at which point they lost flight and Emirates Team New Zealand was the one that began to fly. This only encouraged the Kiwis and made the Swiss desperate after seeing how Peter Burling's team continued flying and Arnaud Psarofaghis' team failed to start.

Seeing that the wind was going down again and anticipating that no boat would cross the finish line within the time limit, the Race Committee decided again to shorten the course from four to three legs, which allowed Team New Zealand to cross in time and save the test. Alinghi Red Bull was second and the rest were counted through the last gate, with Orient Express Racing Team in third position, which allowed it to co-lead the classification with Team New Zealand.

Today the tests will begin at three in the afternoon. Three plus the final between the two best classifieds are scheduled.