Sunday, June 24, 2007

America's Cup Match - Day 2: Preview

Good morning from sunny and warm Valencia. The city is slowly waking up after a night of bonfires and wild parties on the beaches welcoming the summer. The Port America's Cup is also awaking with Alinghi victorious in the first race of the 32nd America's Cup Match.

The Swiss-based team clearly showed their superiority in yesterday's race (read our full report by scrolling down) even if their brand new boat (SUI-100) did not prove to be the "rocketship" everybody was expecting. According to Paul Cayard's comments, "Alinghi was a bit faster upwind, but not by much. By contrast, they were very fast downwind." The always insightful BMW Oracle Blog puts the blame on the "Buzzy Bee" bulb that Emirates Team NZ switched from NZL-84 to NZL-92.

Another telling difference between the two crews was evident on the TV screens. While Dean Barker, Terry Hutchinson and the rest of the crew on NZL-92 looked tense, Brad Butterworth on SUI-100 was relaxed, smiling and about to light up the cigar and sit down to enjoy it with some martini. Of course one race doesn't make the America's Cup but a good start is extremely important.

Today, the weather forecasts seem to coincide in calling for very light winds, probably not more than 10 knots.

ClearPoint weather overview
The ClearPoint weather software gave a very accurate wind prediction at the starting line at 3pm,

ClearPoint satellite overview of the Iberian peninsula at 9am Valencia Time.

ClearPoint wind forecast for 3pm in Valencia at 1km resolution at 9am Valencia Time. The model is currently predicting around 8 knots, direction 120 degrees. It is apparently going to be a light day

Weather forecast by America's Cup organizers
A weak low pressure over central Spain produces light westerly gradient. According to the event organizers, we will have a lighter sea breeze day. Winds will begin east northeast 8-10 knots and veer towards south east decreasing 6-8 knots. It is again going to be a warm day with clear skies and temperature reaching 29 degrees.

Alinghi's weather forecast
The public weather forecast from the Defender is quite similar to the one by the organizers. Alinghi expect light sea breeze. East north east 8-10 knots turning south east and decreasing 6-8 knots in the afternoon, 28°.

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