5:50pm Alinghi 5 crosses the finish line of the first official training race of the 33rd America’s Cup in Valencia. With 7 knots of windspeed at the committee boat the Swiss boat is flying at 21 knots. It took them exactly 2:30 hours for a complete Deed-of-Gift upwind/return race. Harold Bennett, Principal Race Officer, the race committee and the race operations team had a very successful test despite the quite difficult conditions.
5:40pm Alinghi 5 is flying towards the Race Committee boat with the gennaker. It won’t take long before we have the first “official” finish of the 33rd America’s Cup in Valencia.
5:15pm Alinghi 5 has rounded the top mark and is now vaguely visible, coming downwind towards the finish line. It might take another 30 minutes before they cross the finish line.
4:45pm Alinghi 5 is now 2 miles from the weather mark. They are currently training on a full 20-mile-leg upwind/return race. Start was at 3:20pm and conditions are very shifty and unstable throughout the race course. We have around 4.5 knots at the committee boat.
3:20pm Second start for Alinghi with only 4 knots of breeze.
2:55pm The starting gun has been fired and Alinghi 5 crosses the start line with just 3.5 knots of breeze. There is, of course, one only boat in this prestart procedure but still it’s an impressive sight.
2:25pm It’s still VERY light, just 1.5 knots at the committee boat. Still, Alinghi will now practice prestarts. Even with such low breeze, these yachts sail… Ernesto Bertarelli is at the helm.
1:20pm Alinghi 5 came to the Committee boat on tow and hoisted their mainsail and headsail. There is hardly any wind and throughout what could be the race area, there is between 0 and 2 knots of breeze.
12:30pm We are just drifting with 1.5 knots of wind. BMW Oracle’s USA was sailing at a distance and got up to approximately 500 meters from the committee boat. Apparently they were shooting some promotional video or photos with a helicopter flying a few dozens meters above the yacht.
11:00am Greetings from sunny Valencia. For once, my live attempts seem to work. This is also a test for the actual 33rd America’s Cup match that starts on Monday. Valencia Sailing will be reporting on today’s training but I don’t know the frequency of updates.
We are currently south of Valencia, approximately 7-8 miles from the port, with nice sunshine, flat seas and 6 knots of breeze.