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  • matt7346

Jeddah - First Impressions

Anyone who came to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for the America's Cup's 2nd Preliminary event thinking that conditions would be much like the light breezes and flat seas in the Mediterranean got a wake up call on the first practice day. The breeze might have only been in the mid teens, but the short choppy sea state caught pretty much everyone out, some more than others.

On the second day (Tuesday) the breeze was forecast to be a bit stronger, over 20knots and while this in itself isn't an issue for most, the sea state was even tougher. And that was enough to have several teams deciding to stay ashore rather than risk breaking their boats or crew ahead of the three day event.

In the end only two teams went out for a practice spin, Emirates Team New Zealand and INEOS Britannia, but a technical problem once they were out there meant that the Brits couldn't sail. This left the Kiwis scorching around on their own, something they seemed to handle pretty well.

As is so often the case the weather forecast suggests that the breeze will be a little shy come the first day of racing on Thursday. But given how many surprises there have been here so far and how little is really known about this coastline from a racing point of view, we're all hoping for the best.

The infrastructure that's been built is very impressive with one of the best thought out out media centres I've seen with great facilities and a superb view over the entire race course - Fingers crossed we get to see it at its best later in the week.

But we're here until the end to tell the story, whatever happens.

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