America's Cup Match - Day 4: Preview
Good morning from cloudy and rainy Valencia. The city woke up for the second consecutive day soaked from the overnight rain, with dense clouds and significantly lower temperature. These are obviously conditions that do not fit into the usual summer pattern of the region and as a result it might once again prove to be a tricky day for the racing crews.
Whatever we might write about the importance of today's race will sound as cliché.. Alinghi must win and tie the series if they don't want to fall behind while Emirates Team NZ will get a tremendous psychological boost and obvious point advantage if they cross the finish line ahead of their rivals.
The most important task in our view is to decipher Alinghi's performance and try to understand what drove them to commit the same mistakes in two consecutive races, in particular, the great separation that took place in the downwind legs, despite the fact they were leading the race.
Ernesto Bertarelli, head of Alinghi, stated that Tuesday's conditions were similar to a casino in Las Vegas. The luckiest team won the races according to Bertarelli just like the luckiest person wins the jackpot in Las Vegas. If that were true, then Terry Hutchinson, tactician on Emirates Team NZ, and the whole weather team of the New Zealand challenger should immediately abandon all races and book the first flight from Valencia to Las Vegas. If they are able to correctly spot all the wind shifts in Valencia with such precision then they wouldn't have any problems gambling their way to fortune in Vegas!!
Brad Butterworth, Alinghi's tactician, is one of the world's smartest and most successful sailors. He won three America's Cups and had (until two days ago) the longest winning streak of America's Cup races, 16 in total. What makes this sailor commit tactical errors that for some commentators were against the basic rules of match racing? We don't know and probably few people know outside of the Defender.
ClearPoint weather overview
The ClearPoint weather forecast this morning predicts around 6 knots from the south east, direction 100 degrees. This is always the forecast for the winds at 3pm in the approximate area of the starting line. One has to read it with further scrutiny today, given the very volatile conditions.
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 6 knots, direction 100 degrees
Weather forecast by the America's Cup organizers
Low pressure over southern Spain, light northeasterly gradient breeze. Winds start in morning at northeast 10-12 knots but decrease as skies begin to clear. By mid afternoon wind decreases to 8-10 knots and veers east southeast. Cloudy skies – Temperature 22 degrees
Alinghi's weather forecast
East to south easterly 7-9 knots. Partly cloudy. Temperature 24°