Tuesday, June 26, 2007

America's Cup Match - Day 3: Preview

Good morning from cloudy and rainy Valencia. The last 24 hours have been particularly volatile. Monday was extremely hot with maximum temperatures reaching 35 degrees, probably the hottest day so far in 2007, accompanied by a very strong southwesterly wind from inland blowing throughout the day with peaks over 20 knots in the afternoon. Then overnight it rained in most of the Valencia region, temperatures dropped significantly and the sky is currently (11am) covered with clouds.

In addition, sea is very very rough. It will be a rough ride off Valencia's coast for the two racing yachts and all the spectator boats. Guests will have to take their sea sickness pills.

As far as the two teams were concerned, there was no sailing activity on Monday and according to statements from Alinghi's Brad Butterworth as well as Emirates Team NZ's Dean Barker, the day was used for relax and, most importantly, to go over and study footage of the first two races. Both teams certainly have committed errors and will have to identify their weak points.

Since we are at a draw, in theory the series starts with a clean sheet although we don't entirely agree with that assertion. It is not a best-of-seven series, Emirates Team NZ has received an undeniable psychological and morale boost. Alinghi, on the other hand showed they make mistakes, even a handful of them in one single race. Brad Butterworth insists the faster boat will win the America's Cup but the second race was the proof the crew on the fastest boat is not necessarily faultless.

If you are a believer in historical facts and numbers, today's post on the always insightful and extremely knowledgeable BMW Oracle Blog is of interest. According to it, 3 is the magic number. With just one exception in the long history of the event, the yacht that won the third race of the America's Cup, always went on to take the trophy as well.

ClearPoint weather overview
The ClearPoint weather forecast this morning predicts around 11.5-12 knots from the south east, direction 130 degrees. This is always the forecast for the winds at 3pm in the approximate area of the starting line.

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

ClearPoint wind forecast for 3pm in Valencia at 1km resolution, calculated at 9am Valencia Time. The model is currently predicting around 11.5 knots, direction 130 degrees

Weather forecast by the America's Cup organizers
Weak low pressure in Southern Spain produces light northeasterly gradient breeze early in the day. As the land heats up, easterly sea breeze develops 6-8 knots and builds 8-10 knots later in the afternoon as the wind veers towards the southeast. Some cloud inland and cooler - Temperature 24 degrees.

Alinghi's weather forecast
Easterly sea breeze from 6-10 knots, possibly developing to 12 knots in the late afternoon. Clouds. Temperature 25 degrees.

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