by Bob Fisher
Three complete days were lost during the first round robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup in Auckland in 2003 for a variety of reasons, but they were not, like the situation in 2007, successive, and certainly not all for a complete lack of wind.
As we hardened observers of sailing know to our cost, the most frequently heard phrase at a regatta is: 'It’s not normally like this here,' often followed by: 'you should have been here last week.'
While we are hearing the first of those remarks, we are not offered the panacea of the second, because it would not be any compensation – it rained.
We have been offered the reason for the lack of wind – the land is too cold and because of the clear skies at night, the temperatures are dropping to single figures and there is not enough time for the land to heat up to stimulate the thermal circulation for race time. Hence the glassy sea that has become the hallmark of this regatta.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, according to a man who should know – Joan Aymani, one of the Desafio Espanol meteorologists. He was prepared to put his entire pension fund on there being one race tomorrow.
The race schedule is now well off the pace and it will certainly mean that Round Robin 1 will be completed after the inviolate rest day next Tuesday, the day on which mode alterations can be made to any boat, or other boats substituted. So, some of Round Robin 1 races (and there is the threat of an increasing number) may take place with quite different boats to the earlier part of the round.
Then, the completion of Round Robin Two may necessitate more than one race being held each day, and if the round is not completed by May 7th, only those races that can affect the outcome of which four go into the semi-finals will be held. I can almost guarantee that one or other of the lawyers of a team that loses a race because of this crying 'Foul.'
Tomorrow morning that we should learn more about Public Interpretation number 22, the one concerning the possibility of canting keels. Ken McAlpine, the Technical Director of the America’s Cup Class, who issued the interpretation last June, has agreed to meet the press. We live in hope that he will explain the interpretation fully, but understand that he cannot reveal the name of the team posing the questions.