Emirates Team NZ weather team awaits some wind, as the race scheduling options become tighter and more complex.
The racing schedule and what happens when days are lost due are prescribed in the Notice of Race which governs the conduct of the Louis Vuitton Cup.
We reproduce the extract from the Notice of Race, which sets out the progressive ladder which organisers must follow if the racing schedule becomes compressed for reasons such as we are seeing now off Valencia.
In this document, AC Management is the overall authority for running the event (being the event management arm of the Defender, Alinghi and their respective yacht club). The Challenger Commission is the representative group of the Challengers for the 2007 America's Cup (excludes Alinghi, the Defender).
The Race Committee is appointed by ACM and must act in accordance with the Notice of Race, the Sailing Instructions (which are relatively short for this event) and the ISAF Rules of Sailing. On the water the operations arm of the race Committee are the two Principal Race Officers, Harold Bennett (NZL) and Peter Reggio (USA) who run a course each - Romeo and Juliet.
There is not a lot of point explaining what might happen if the current weather pattern continues, as the situation changes daily, with each day lost and will become even more complex if racing is possible on one course but not the other. However we are now in the situation where Round Robin 1 will be overlapped with Round Robin 2, and that days where only one race was intended will now have two.
Round Robin 1 was technically scheduled to finish on Sunday 22 April, with a Reserve day on the Monday 23rd April. Tuesday 24th April is a mandatory day off and cannot be used.
Racing in Round Robin 2 starts on Wednesday 25th April - with one race per day on the schedule, with a Day Off scheduled for 30 April and a Reserve day on 7th May.
Then there is a week long gap before the start of the Semi-Finals.
5. SCHEDULE & FORMAT
5.1 The schedule is shown in Attachment 2 (the 'Schedule'). Except as provided in NOR 5.2, this Schedule may be revised or modified by AC Management in consultation with the Challenger Commission.
5.2 The following starting dates for each stage of the CSS have been established by AC Management:
• Round Robin One – 16 April 2007
• Round Robin Two – 25 April 2007
• Semi-finals – 14 May 2007
• Finals – 1 June 2007
and shall not be changed without the consent of the Challenger Commission.
5.3 Rounds Robin
(a) The Race Committee shall not schedule more than two races per day without the agreement of the Race Committee Representative of each yacht in a match requested to race.
(b) During Round Robin One:
(i) if the Race Committee cannot complete either a flight or match on the scheduled day, that flight or match shall be re-scheduled to the next available 'racing slot' on the Schedule, i.e., as another flight or match on a one-flight day, or as the first or second flight or match on the next Reserve Day; and
(ii) it is the intention of the Race Committee that any re-scheduled flights will be sailed in their original order and before any re-scheduled matches.
(c) If, at the end of the scheduled racing and reserve days of Round Robin One, there are one or more races (flights or matches) remaining to be sailed to complete Round Robin One, the Race Committee shall schedule these during Round Robin Two as the second race until Round Robin One is completed.
(d) During Round Robin Two:
(i) if the Race Committee cannot complete either a flight or match on the scheduled day, that flight or match shall be re-scheduled to the next available 'racing slot' on the Schedule, i.e., as the second flight or match on a one-flight day, or as the first or second flight or match on the next Reserve Day;
(ii) it is the intention of the Race Committee that any re-scheduled flights will be sailed in their original order and before any re-scheduled matches; and
(iii) at any time all re-scheduled races have been completed, the schedule shall return to the one-flight per day schedule.
(e) Round Robin Two shall be completed before the start of the Semi-finals. However, if at the end of the scheduled racing and reserve days of Round Robin Two, any remaining matches do not affect the standing(s) of the Challengers who will advance to the Semi¬finals, nor will determine the elimination of one or more Challengers from CSS, Round Robin Two shall be deemed complete and the remaining matches not sailed.
5.4 Semi-finals and Finals
(a) Further to Paragraph 8 of the Valencia Plan, on the day following the last race of Round Robin Two, the four (4) Challengers that will race in the Semi-finals shall participate in a Press Conference at which the Challenger with the most points will announce the selection of its opponent for the Semi-finals.
(b) Further to Paragraph 10 of the Valencia Plan, on the day before the first scheduled races of the Semi-finals and the Finals, the participating Challengers shall attend a Press Conference to determine the pre-start entry for their first race.
(c) When the Race Committee cannot complete either a flight or match on the scheduled day, that flight or match shall be re-scheduled to the next racing (or reserve) day.
(d) The Race Committee shall not schedule more than one race per day without the agreement of the Race Committee Representative of each yacht in a match requested to race. However, when the maximum possible number of races remaining (nine minus the number of points scored by both yachts) is greater than the number of remaining scheduled race and reserve days, the Race Committee shall schedule two races per day.