An excited roar ripples through Shed 10 like a stiff breeze sweeping across San Francisco Bay. The impossible has happened. The wind has dropped and race two - against all expectations - is actually going to happen.
The start clock has tripped past the two-minute mark, and the American and Kiwi AC72s have powered into the start box, making an incredible 40 knots. The tension in the renovated former storage shed for imported cars is palpable. Excitement builds. It lasts exactly 50 seconds, before race control kill the buzz by calling off the race.
The wind worm - which resembles one of those mood measurers from a televised political debate - has nosed fatally upwards. Tide and time wait for no man. Man, on the other hand, will wait for just about anything if the reward is great enough. So we wait. But tide and wind don't appear inclined to do us any favours.
One moment we're going racing, the next we're heading for the doors.
With people sprawled listlessly across the floor, Shed 10 has resembled a fog-bound airport for the last hour. The cancellation has put us out of our misery, so it's probably a good thing, particularly for the bloke on the bean bag three rows from the front who was showing no signs of waking up, not to mention the city's understaffed businesses.
It's a little weird, this gathering in a shed to watch yachting. Outside it's pouring with rain, but the vision from San Fran suggests September 19 (20 in New Zealand) will go down as one of the most perfect days in history for yachting. It's brilliantly sunny, with a full but by no means extreme breeze blowing. It's amazing sailing weather, but the most advanced yachts and best sailors in the world can't handle it. Go figure. "That was a shame," sighs Karen Walters from hosts the NZ Maritime Museum. Quite.
Earlier Walters had led a crowd deflated from the race one defeat in a morale-boosting world record leaning attempt. The crowd buy into it, tipping sideways on command and holding their shape. It's an interesting study of human kind's susceptibility to being convinced to do silly things by people holding microphones.
It's harmless fun, but not as much fun as a world-record twerking attempt may have been.
Earlier, from the back of the room, there's a real Truman Show thing going on. As we thousand punters gaze up at Oracle rounding mark three a handful of annoyingly crucial seconds ahead, nine television cameras and a host of still photographers gaze back at us. They're here to capture our jubilation, but they're out of luck today.
Oracle scream away downwind and Martin Tasker calls it early. This race is over. Bugger.
The crowd absorbs the doomsday utterings of Tasker and co-commentator Peter Lester as they would a thoughtful eulogy.
Nearby, a young lady looks distraught. Perhaps she's closely related to the deceased? Oracle crosses the line and something remarkable happens. Polite applause. What would Quade Cooper make of that?
Then the waiting begins. Lester's banging on about the importance of port entry but it's the building breeze and running tide we should be worrying about. The worm's appearance on the screen is the kiss of death. The most knowledgeable among us know there's no coming back from a worm sighting, and make for the exit.
But most of us hang around, resembling a crowd at a cricket match on a gloriously sunny day waiting in vain for a small puddle near the bowlers' run-ups to dry out.
There's a moment of concern when former world champion discus thrower Beatrice Faumuina is tasked with distributing the goods in a lolly scramble, but no one sustains any serious injuries. Then it's on. Then it's off. The waiting is over. We stream from the Shed. A new round of waiting begins.
Have patience, says confident Faumuina, victory's just a matter of time
The nation's nerves may be jangling after yesterday's failure to close out the America's Cup but one of our champion athletes doesn't have the slightest doubt victory will be ours.
Beatrice Faumuina, who won world championship gold in the discus in Athens in 1997, has been tending the red socks stand for the Sir Peter Blake Trust at Shed 10.
While few are prepared to say out loud that the Cup is as good as won, Faumuina isn't superstitious.
"No - I know that team is ready to win," she said when asked if she had any doubts about the eventual outcome after yesterday's loss in race 12. "They wouldn't be out there if they weren't."
For the past two years Faumuina has been a part of the Blake Trust's Dream Team - a collection of high-powered individuals who deliver leadership programmes to schools.
This year the trust recognised her work with a Blake Leadership Award.
"I always supported charities right throughout my whole athletic career," she said. "You can support something that you absolutely love and you can give back."
Sock sales had been red hot, Faumuina said. "We can't keep up. It is really neat to know that people as far south as Invercargill all the way up to Cape Reinga are wanting socks. Everyone wants to get behind the campaign."