The America’s Cup Yacht races are off to a delayed beginning from Valencia, Spain, due to rough seas and poor weather conditions. This competition is part of a best-of-three series with competitors on Swiss and American yachts.
Weather postponements have been made twice, and Alinghi 5, the defending champion, will be challenged by USA-17 starting on Friday, weather permitting.
On Wednesday, the waves were higher than three feet, high enough for the director of the race to call for a postponement. Regardless of the rough waters and weather, crew members were eager to begin the race, and spectators were momentarily excited a few hours after the scheduled start time when the Alinghi5 moved from its dock… however, to the crowd’s disappointment, the vessel was simply turning around.
These vessels have faced far rougher seas elsewhere, and were built to tough such high waves out, but race officials called to hold off beginning the races until conditions improved.
The Alinghi’s meteorologist, Jack Katzfey, was not shocked at the start’s delay, as he had predicted Tuesday that consistent windforces from the northwest would build waves up to be a few feet high, creating rough seas for a few days.
Working for Alinghi’s team since 2003, Katzfey provides short-term weather forecasts to the crewmembers, allowing them to direct their racing strategies accordingly. Katzfey travels with nine weather boats, and during the race they are scattered along the course. Each of the nine vessels has a 20-foot mast, and atop the masts are a number of instruments to measure wind direction and speed.
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