Today's America's Cup action was called off after another curve ball dished up by the weather.
Having races postponed by high winds is one thing, having races timed-out because of low winds, its another; now an unfavourable change in direction of the wind had regatta organisers stumped.
A southerly has blown up overnight off the low pressure off the coast and associated cold front.
It has brought rain with it for the first time.
The problem is, the direction of the wind means the usual course can't be set.
Racing couldn't start before the cut-off time of 9.40am (NZT) and the day's racing was called off.
Regatta organisers, aware of this possibility, met with the teams last night to discuss the possibility of using an alternative course that can be squeezed into the massive bay.
But neither Team New Zealand nor Oracle were keen on that, preferring to wait for the winds to turn and use the existing course.
Regatta director Iain Murray explained their logic, saying neither team had practiced on the alternate course, or had done any homework on it.
Given what was at stake now with the final sitting on match-point, they wanted to continue racing on a course they knew.
That brought a sigh of relief from the local coast guard who was also involved in discussions.
They had pointed out that all shipping would need to be brought to a halt on the bay to accommodate and alternate course.
Murray believed while the first race may be delayed, there was a good chance of squeezing it in later in the day if the predicted wind change to the normal south-west flow happened. That was meant to bring winds of around 15 knots.
Team New Zealand are stuck on match point, still looking for the one win to claim the America's Cup.
Defenders Oracle, who have won the last two races, need to win the next six to hold on to the trophy.
The final could break the record of 16 days to be completed which happened in Auckland in 2003 when light winds stalled racing for 10 days before Alinghi went on to lift the Cup from Team New Zealand.
This final is entering it's 15th day today.
Murray said tomorrow's forecast is for "a return to normal" - whatever that is!
Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton won't be on board for the opening race tomorrow with Winston Macfarlane listed in that grinder's role.
Emirates Team New Zealand Crew List
Skipper/helmsman: Dean Barker (14), Tactician: Ray Davies (10), Wing Trimmer: Glenn Ashby (3), Trimmer: James Dagg (9), Bow: Adam Beashel (2), Pit: Jeremy Lomas (8), Pedestal 1: Chris Ward (7), Pedestal 2: Rob Waddell (11), Pedestal 3: Winston MacFarlane (4), Pedestal 4: Chris McAsey (5), Float/Grinder: Derek Saward (12)
Oracle Team USA Crew List
Skipper: Jimmy Spithill (9), Tactician: Ben Ainslie (12), Strategist: Tom Slingsby (10), Wing trimmer: Kyle Langford (8), Jib trimmer: Joe Newton (5), Off-side trimmer: Rome Kirby (4), Grinders: Shannon Falcone (1), Joe Spooner (2), Jono MacBeth (3), Gillo Nobili (6), Simeon Tienpont (7)
Today in America's Cup history
September 21 is noteworthy on three instances, including a clinching win in 1964:
1964, Race 4, Sovereign vs. Constellation - Constellation wins by 15:40 and defends the America's Cup for the New York Yacht Club, its 19th consecutive defense of the Cup. Sovereign marked the last British appearance in an America's Cup match after 16 challenges since 1870.
1980, Race 3, Australia vs. Freedom - Freedom wins by 53 seconds. Raced in winds of 12-16 knots, Freedom was lucky to win after selecting a light mainsail, not executing its start efficiently, tearing a headsail and spinnaker, messing up a spinnaker hoist and dropping a jib, and losing spinnaker pole overboard. If it were not for a building breeze Freedom would have been trailing the series.
1983, Race 5, Australia II vs. Liberty - Australia II wins a must-win race by 1:47. In a southerly wind at 18 knots before the start, Liberty suffered a rigging failure. Despite not having its mainsail up at the 10-minute pre-start, Liberty forced Australia II over the line early and took a 37-second advantage at the start.
The repair to Liberty's rigging gave way and Australia II tacked out to the left and Liberty gambled on a right-hand shift that never came. Australia II led at the top mark and crossed the finish line 1 minute, 47 seconds in the lead, and closed the score to 3-2 in favor of Liberty.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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