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22 October 2002, 11:32 am
Louis Vuitton Cup Round Robin One - Will It Ever End?
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Prada in Strong Wind©Bob Grieser/Louis Vuitton

America's Cup
Auckland

Round Robin One of the Louis Vuitton Cup refuses to end. One match, between the Prada Challenge (ITA) and Mascalzone Latino (ITA) remains to be sailed after strong winds forced the Race Committee to postpone racing for the day today.
Both boats sat on the race course for over three hours, waiting for the blustery conditions to ease. But the wind never abated, and this holdover match from Round Robin One has been delayed for another day.

One may find it a little odd that competitors in what is often described as the pinnacle of our sport will not compete in what are really only moderate conditions, the wind yesterday was only just over the 19 knot limit. However, the reasons behind this wind limit is less to do with boats and crews not being able to stand up to the conditions, and more to do with selecting the best challenger for the America's Cup match.

Conditions in the Hauraki Gulf vary tremendously between the timing of the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup Match itself. The wind tends to be lighter and more thermal driven during the summer months that the America's Cup Match is held, as opposed to a stronger gradient that is being experienced by the challengers at the moment.

It is difficult to design and build boats that will perform well enough in both sets of conditions to either beat the other challengers and be a contender in the America's Cup Match, therefore, the challengers limit themselves the conditions they will race in. This has the effect of the best challenger being the one who is the best in the conditions expected when they race the defender of the Cup, Team New Zealand in March 2003.

The schedule for Wednesday has Prada and Mascalzone Latino trying again no earlier than 10:30 am, on the shorter Course B (12.5 miles).

In the afternoon, following the conclusion of the first race, the Race Committee will start Flight One of Round Robin Two. It is intended to sail the Round Robin Two matches on the full 18.5 mile Course A, if conditions permit.

The forecast for Wednesday is for light Southwest gradient wind, increasing 12 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Auckland should enjoy fine weather conditions with a small chance of an isolated shower. Calm seas with temperatures of 18 - 21 C.
Cup Media Centre/ISAF News Editor
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