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America's Cup Rialto: August 23 - American Magic enjoy a Gulf of their own for the weekend

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/NZ 22 Aug 2020 20:05 PDT 23 August 2020
A backlit Defiant (American Magic) foiling on the Hauraki Gulf - Waitemata Harbour - August 23, - 36th America's Cup © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

With Auckland in a COVID-19 Level 3 lockdown, a ban on all recreational boating meant the Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf were devoid of small craft - with only some commercial shipping, and the pilot and police boats allowed on the water.

Emirates Team New Zealand made the point during the last Level 3 lockdown, that as a professional sailing team, they were exempt from a ban on recreational boating, in the same way that commercial fishing is not affected by a ban on recreational fishing.

Despite Emirates Team New Zealand elected not to sail on either Saturday or Sunday, despite not sailing since last Monday, due to strong winds from the east and then from the west in the latter part of the week.

The forecast was mainly for light weather on Saturday, with slightly stronger winds on Sunday. As it turned out Saturday was the better of the two days, but with winds still very close to the minimum strength. What the wind lacked the sunshine replaced, and ashore Kiwis enjoyed what was almost a summer's day.

That was not the case on Sunday, with clear skies, accompanied by a peculiar haze and a light breeze, gave way to overcast skies and then cold, miserable rain, which got heavier as the day progressed.

America's Magic towed out and back on both days, electing to sail well out in the Hauraki Gulf presumably to get some long runs in a constant breeze to get some speed work done. They returned back to base around 3.30pm in heavy rain.

The forecast for the upcoming week is not good - with fresh winds expected. Wednesday along with Friday are the most suitable - being the only two days in the next seven when the wind is predicted to gust less than 25kts.

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