Dana Johannsen

Dana Johannsen is a NZ Herald’s chief sports reporter

America's Cup: Weather conspires to cancel racing

Team New Zealand and Oracle may not even take to the racecourse today. Photo / Getty
Team New Zealand and Oracle may not even take to the racecourse today. Photo / Getty

Racing in the 34th America's Cup has been postponed today after the combination of strong winds and outgoing tide exceeded the set limits.

Despite conditions looking marginal for racing in San Francisco, both Team New Zealand and Oracle elected to head out to the racecourse - but the racing was called off at about 8.30am NZT.

There will now be two races scheduled for tomorrow - and the wind and tide forecast is better.

The wind was fluctuating from just below the wind limit of 20.1 knots to just above early on this morning, but wind gusts of more than 25 knots did not help and neither did an outgoing tide which gathered in pace and reduced the overall wind limits further, leading to the postponement call.

The Cup match is now four races behind schedule, meaning they will have to utilise all of the reserve days later this week.

Regatta Director Iain Murray also suggested it was unlikely the wind limits will be raised to allow organisers to push the racing through. Oracle, who are performing better in heavier air, have made moves to have the wind limit increased to 24 knots.

But under the rules of the protocol, any changes to the racing conditions must be agreed upon by both teams. Team New Zealand have rejected Oracle's bid to raise the limit.

Even if the two teams did agree, Murray would still have to get the permission of the US Coastguard as it would alter the conditions of the marine event permit.

"I would have to have a pretty compelling story to convince them to raise the limits," said Murray.

He also pointed out that when he set the new wind limits following his comprehensive safety review after Artemis Racing's tragic training accident in May, several teams - one of which is believed to be Oracle - complained they were still too high.

The long-range forecast shows the wind strength dropping off later in the week.

- NZ Herald

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