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1 March 2003, 06:46 am
Race 5 Postponed
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Waiting For Wind © Franck Socha

America's Cup
Hauraki Gulf, Auckland

Russell Coutts didn't get his birthday present on Saturday. The Alinghi skipper had the opportunity to celebrate his 41st birthday by holding the America's Cup aloft for his Swiss Alinghi Team with a victory in Race Five.

But the weather didn't cooperate, and very light winds on the Hauraki Gulf forced Principal Race Officer Harold Bennett to postpone racing for the day at 15:15. It was the 26th of 72 race days in this America's Cup season to be lost to weather.

Team New Zealand trails Alinghi in the best of nine America's Cup series 4 - 0 and must win the next five races to prevent the Swiss from taking the America's Cup to Europe for the first time in 152 years. The Kiwis spent most of Friday night working on NZL-82 to get it ready for racing after dismasting in Race Four on Friday.

Team New Zealand afterguard member Tom Dodson said the team was keen to sail despite the lopsided scoreline. All of Team New Zealand is eager to gain some pride, he said, after what can only be described as a very disappointing two weeks for Team New Zealand.

At 15:10 Bennett called both teams to see whether they wanted to wait out on the Gulf to see if the wind would build, and each came back saying their weather teams felt they weren't likely to see racing conditions today.

Tomorrow, Sunday, is a scheduled reserve day, and the forecast is for good sailing conditions with 15-knot Northeasterlies due on the Hauraki Gulf. Race Five is scheduled to start at 13:15 on Sunday afternoon
America's Cup Media/ISAF News Editor
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