Following a four year programme of racing across Europe, on Monday the first day of racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup was scheduled. For the first time, the challengers were sailing for their lives, with elimination looming after two Round Robins.
But the weather didn’t fully cooperate. For the more than 50 thousand spectators in the AC Park on a holiday Monday, it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day; the first for weeks. But on the water, the wind needed for fair racing never materialised with a very light and unstable sea breeze teasing race officials and sailors alike. Racing was postponed with the teams remaining on the water all afternoon. Race Officers Peter Reggio and Harold Bennett held station until 16:50 when racing was called off for the day.
The postponed matches will be pushed to the first available racing slot, which is the Reserve Day on Friday. On Tuesday, racing is scheduled to continue with Flights Three and Four, as previously scheduled.
It wasn’t only the sailors and spectators who were disappointed. There were some international VIPs on board many of the race boats in the ‘18th man’ position. On Emirates Team New Zealand, Prime Minister Helen Clark occupied that role. On Luna Rossa, American television and movie actor Ashton Kutcher was on board, whilst BMW ORACLE Racing hosted German fashion model Tatjana Patitz.