by Paul Cayard
I have just arrived in Valencia where I will be part of the television coverage team from EuroSport for the upcoming America's Cup.
It seems that the 33rd America's Cup is actually going to take place. After years of legal wrangling, the two giant multihulls are scheduled to face off at 10:00 Monday morning on the waters to the east of Valencia. As the course for race one is a 20 nautical mile beat to windward and return, a westerly breeze will put the starting line some 20+ miles offshore. May be close to come from Ibiza to watch.
Strong westerly winds are not uncommon in Valencia in the winter. The Sailing instructions state that a maximum wind speed of 15 knots measured at 60 meters shall not be exceeded at start time. Not sure who is measuring at 60 meters other than the two competitors. Could it be that this is the one issue they will collaborate on? Surely not.
I am here a few days early to try to get a better technical understanding of this match up so I can report to you and on EuroSport from a more educated position. I have been rereading all the legal haggling from the last two years on the airplane. It is amazing what these two teams have been through. The biggest cloud hanging over the race with be the contention by BMW Oracle that Alinghi's sails are not built in Switzerland and therefore don't comply with the "constructed in county" clause of the Deed of Gift. The sails are North 3 DL and they are laminated in Minden Nevada. Some amount of work is done on them in Switzerland after the lamination process. The court has now set a hearing date for this case of February 25, 2010. Only a USA victory on the racecourse would eliminate that issue.