Light conditions continue over the waters off Valencia and on Monday, racing was postponed in Flights 4 and 5 of the Louis Vuitton Cup.
It was a clear, bright and sunny day, but the sunshine generated a weak sea breeze that battled the Northeasterly gradient wind to a stalemate. At altitude, the gradient wind was blowing onshore at up to 15 knots, but this only suppressed the circulation so vital to developing a strong sea breeze.
On the day, winds never exceeded the seven knot threshold that would allow fair racing on either race course and at 16:10 the Race Committee postponed racing for the day. Under the revised schedule for the Louis Vuitton Cup, the postponed flights of racing are rescheduled to Tuesday.
Marta Weores, weather team, Team Shosholoza, on the weather situation: “Unfortunately tomorrow doesn’t look good either but we are hoping for some better conditions on Wednesday. We still expect the pattern to change - its not the typical sea breeze day. It’s just as frustrating for us studying the weather as for the sailors. We all want racing and I am on the water every day and am keeping my fingers crossed that the sea breeze will fight its way through. Some days it just gets there, but it’s not enough, not as stable.”
Andrew Taylor, grinder, Luna Rossa, on the number of days without racing: “We’ve been here since 2004 and up until the start of the Cup I can’t remember having so many days off sailing, so it has been a bit unfortunate. But the wind is on its way so as a sailor we have to be prepared for that because we are going to be banging off races pretty quick.”
Santiago Lange, traveller, Victory Challenge, on the waiting game: “Sailors are used to situations like this. Waiting isn’t the problem for us. But we have to learn to switch off when there is no activity and then back on when need be.”
Hartwell Jordan, mainsail trimmer, Desafío Español, about the Race Committee: “The Race Committee has done the best job of any regatta I’ve done in the last 25 years. The temptation of starting the race after so many days is very high and they keep waiting to run the best races. That’s what we as challengers want: good racing to select the best challenger to beat the defender.”
Ray Davies, strategist, Emirates Team New Zealand, on keeping upbeat: “Six days down, it’s groundhog day once again. But we go out there looking to sail and keep positive. Such conditions probably play into the hands of the teams that are a little bit more prepared.”
Ross Halcrow, trimmer, BMW ORACLE Racing, on the weather: “In the light stuff a knot more pressure has a huge effect. Pressure is king out there and can easily make you look good or bad. The differences in boats start to come in at around 9-10 knots of wind.”
Stephane Kandler, syndicate head, Areva Challenge, on staying motivated: “Whether there is a race or not, we set ourselves a programme each day. We have less miles under our keel than the others so we continue to sail, to practice and make adjustments. These days don’t affect our motivation, even if it is difficult to get into a routine.”
Jue Wang, grinder, China Team, on the weather situation: “We try to optimise the time that we spend on the water and like the other days, today we worked. We tested new sails, in particular a genoa. For us there is no question of wasting this invaluable time.”
Jesper Bank, skipper, United Internet Team Germany, on the wind limits the competitors have set for racing: “I think we have to do something about the lower wind limits…(We could be racing in) six knots when you can get the boats moving. You have wind shear when sometimes the wind mixes down very well and sometimes it doesn’t. Today you had a pretty good mix nearly all the way down and even with 6.4 knots the boats were loading up nicely. I think you’ll have to play it by ear and I know it will be a huge topic for discussion with some saying ‘no we don’t’ and some saying ‘yes we do’ .”