Harold Bennett (NZL) Principal Race Officer explained: "We have issued an amendment that there will be no signal before midday tomorrow (Wednesday)."
"We will make a further assessment at 0830hrs in the morning. So we will have a look at what it is like early in the morning. We will take a check then."
"There are a lot of strong winds forecast overnight and offshore and that is going to throw up a swell. So it is more the sea-state that is going to be of concern. Until we see what the sea state is we are not going to guess."
"I don't want to put the boats out there if they are not going to sail. I do not want to put them all the way out there and bring them back without a race."
"Talking with the weather guys from both teams they agree that this is what we are going to get, so it is a fairly easy decision to make."
Full Action Duel Anticipated
With winds of over 25 knots offshore on Tuesday neither the Challenger BMW ORACLE Racing nor the Defender Alinghi chose to practice, electing not to risk crew and their cutting edge craft on the eve of the first of the best-of-three race series.
As prescribed by the 1887 Deed of Gift which principally governs this regatta, the course remains the same, of 40 miles total distance comprising one upwind leg and one downwind leg. The deed also rules that there should be one day off in between racing days, hence the reason racing was not scheduled for today Tuesday.
Reports suggested that the two teams were configuring their craft for the stronger northerly airs which are being drawn down to Valencia by a low pressure system towards the east.
Cutting edge technology is immediately apparent on both Alinghi 5 and BMW ORACLE 5 and at a media briefing today their racing skipper-helmsman James Spithill (AUS) described the 'sunglasses' as developed by the defence industry which allow him a permanent view of the many different instrumentation displays. A verbal request to his navigator scrolls to the output he wishes, including the many load sensors, the rudder angle and target speeds and performance analysis.
Similarly, the crewman who controls the power of the 223 foot (68m) solid wing sail, relies on information fed from wind sensors on the sail output to a small PDA on his wrist.
For all that, Spithill warned that basic seamanship was still a primary concern, pressing home a reminder that he would not push the giant trimaran too close to the limit. And while the teams may have spent considerably on technology, both have also spent many hours racing and training on a range of smaller performance catamarans as well as offshore multihulls in order to better learn the limits and to fine tune the different sensibilities required for racing these high speed craft.
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