With a terrible weather forecast for the Hauraki Gulf yesterday the start of the CORM Race Committee Trials was postponed for 24 hours.
That didn't stop several of the challenger syndicates from making their own arrangements and setting up racing themselves. Team Prada spent all day practising starting manoeuvres, Victory Challenge raced its two black boats against each other and OneWorld Challenge and GBR Challenge set up a race course together and sailed two races in 12-15 knots of breeze from the North West.
Making their sailing debut on the Hauraki Gulf today was the second Italian challenger syndicate Mascalzone Latino. Having bought USA-55 (ex-Stars & Stripes '99) from the OneWorld syndicate last week, the Italians wasted little time in changing the sail numbers on an original 1999 Stars & Stripes mainsail to ITA-55, and pushing off from the dock early to taste the America's Cup course for the first time.
Most of the Mascalzone crew had flown into Auckland over the last few days and its base, sandwiched between Oracle Racing and OneWorld Challenge, has been a hive of activity all week. Although a container park today, building work on a shed and offices starts on Monday, and sailing manager Tom Weaver will have a busy time co-ordinating sailing everyday as well as construction work ashore.
Next door to the newcomer Italians' base another new boat has been peeking its bow out of the OneWorld syndicate's shed. The first of the two new boats that have been built for the OneWorld Challenge, USA-65, will take to the water on Monday after a small naming ceremony. The new boat is dark blue with an exciting pattern on the topsides. More pictures on Monday.