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America's Cup, here we go

9 Mar, 2021

Why the opening seconds of any first Cup race are crucial

It is impossible to overstate the importance of the opening seconds of the first race of any America’s Cup. It doesn’t matter how long the build up has been, how much reconnaissance has taken place and how much analysis has run off the back of it. When it comes to the challenger meeting the defender there will always be a real sense of anticipation between the teams let alone the spectators. As we’ve seen plenty of times before, for all the training that may have proceeded the opening race, when the racing is for real strange things happen. Just think back to 2003 when the Kiwis’ boat was being bailed with a bucket up the first beat, or the stall by the Cup holders Alinghi in the pre-start of the first race of the Deed of Gift Match in 2010. So, it is of little surprise that nerves are jangling today as the clock counts down. I don’t mind admitting that last night it got to me too and I barely slept – apologies if you were one of those I was emailing and texting at 3am. So here we go, the 36th America’s Cup starts here. The forecast looks set to spice things up too. The racing will take place in course area E, to the east of the city where the breeze is expected to be 10-13knots at 1600 from the N or NW. But then come some potentially big variations. An hour later the breeze could have increased to 16 knots before then dropping back slightly to 11-12knots Given the range of wind speeds and the variation in what different weather models say, today will be as stressful as it comes, whether you’re afloat or ashore. Here’s a quick video preview of what’s in store. Enjoy!

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