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23 February 2003, 01:47 pm
Race Four Postponed Until Monday
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America's Cup

Lighter winds plagued the Hauraki Gulf again today, and although both teams went to the race area, Race Four was eventually postponed for the third consecutive time.
The wind was fairly soft and shifty at the scheduled start time of 13:15, but as the afternoon wore on, a light Northeasterly began to build. At 14:00, Alinghi started sailing, and Team New Zealand began it's preparations about 30-minutes later.

The Race Committee however, couldn't set a race course. With the 15:30 time limit for a warning signal approaching, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's Principal Race Officer Harold Bennett was forced to consult with both teams to see whether they'd agree to wait longer to see if a race could start. America's Cup Condition 13.1 states that, "No warning signal shall be made after 15:30, unless otherwise agreed by both Race Committee Boat Representatives." The Swiss Alinghi Team, leading the best of nine series 3 - 0, immediately told Bennett they would be happy to start. Team New Zealand consulted for several minutes with its weather team before navigator Mike Drummond responded, "We don't think it's suitable to race." A few moments later he told the Race Committee that Team New Zealand would be willing to wait until 16:00 to see whether conditions improved. But under Condition 13.1, starting the race was no longer at the discretion of the Race Committee, but at the discretion of the teams.

Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts was clearly eager to race, and at 15:45, SUI-64, the race boat, and SUI-75, the tune-up boat, staged a mock start, complete with Code 0 masthead headsails and a dial-up. Neither Bennett, nor Team New Zealand were persuaded however, and at 16:00, the Race Committee called it off for the day. Race Four will now be attempted on Monday (previously scheduled as an off day), with the start at 13:15. The forecast for the Hauraki Gulf at 13:00 Monday calls for Easterly winds backing Northeasterly, 5 - 13 knots.
America's Cup Media/ISAF News Editor
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