33rd America's Cup - Just one day to go
Greetings from Valencia less than 24 hours before the start of the 1st race of the 33rd America's Cup. It personally seems incredible that after 950 days of litigations, court hearings, affidavits and dozens of letters between the commodores of the two yacht clubs, a day would come that we would see the world's most extreme multihulls racing on the waters of Valencia.
Both BMW Oracle's USA and Alinghi 5 are currently training, probably making the last checks and test in view of tomorrow's race. According to the latest information (2pm Valencia time) USA is sailing some 15-20 miles south of Valencia while Alinghi 5 is almost at the opposite side of the immense race area, 15 miles to the north east of the 33rd America's Cup venue.
Wind conditions have been very light throughout the day, not more than 5-6 knots. It also seems that tomorrow's conditions as well will be quite similar, favoring Alinghi according to conventional wisdom. The forecast calls for a southwestern breeze, between 6 and 10 knots. Still, this is extremely vague, given the immense dimensions of the race course. I'll try to have something more precise later on.
The draw for the entry side was favorable to BMW Oracle. The Americans will enter from the starboard side and Alinghi from port.
There was a sight that caught my attention and took the picture. A couple of workers were rebranding the former +39 Challenge base to Green Comm Challenge. According to the rumor mill, the italian team lead by Francesco de Leo might become the Challenger of Record if Alinghi wins these races, so it makes sense to have the base rebranded quickly, in case it's over on Wednesday.
The +39 Challenge base being rebranded to Green Comm Challenge. Valencia, 7 February 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing