A Stormy Start: Weather Forces Postponement on Day One of America's Cup Preliminary Regatta

September 15, 2023. Preliminary regatta of the 37 America's Cup in Vilanova i la Geltrú from 14th to 17th September.
© Alex Carabi / America's Cup

The Rain in Spain…

Mother Nature flexed her muscles today, disrupting the highly anticipated launch of the 37th America's Cup Preliminary Regatta in Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain. As thunderstorms and relentless rain pounded the Spanish coast, Race Director Iain Murray was compelled to make the tough call: postponing the day's racing.

Initially, the teams had been hopeful. Dock-out had been delayed until 3:30 p.m., with the weather pattern appearing to move away from the racecourse. However, nature had different plans. As the six America's Cup teams set sail from the Pendennis Marina, the heavens unleashed their fury upon both sailors and intrepid spectators who had braved the conditions to witness the action up close.

© Ricardo Pinto / America's Cup

A Sudden Change of Plans

Race Director Iain Murray's primary concern was the safety of the sailors. With lightning streaking across the darkened skies and thunderclaps rattling the waters, attempting to race was out of the question. It was a tough call, but it was the right one.

Paul Goodison, helmsman for NYYC American Magic, commented on the challenging conditions: "It is what it is; in this weather, it would have been very difficult to sail with lightning and thunder all around. It didn't feel very nice to be on a boat when all of this was happening around you."

Goodison also pondered the potential adjustments to the schedule: "It will be interesting to see if they try to squeeze in a couple more races. As sailors, we're here to race, and we'd welcome the opportunity. But whatever the Race Committee decides, we will go with it."

A Revised Schedule and Hope on the Horizon

Shortly after the postponement, Race Director Iain Murray revealed a new plan for the weekend's racing. To compensate for the lost time, an extra fleet race is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. This adjustment means fans will now be treated to a total of four races each day.

Racing is set to resume tomorrow (Saturday) at 9:05 AM EST in the United States and will continue on Sunday. The first fleet race will start at 15:05, followed by Fleet Race 2 at 15:43, Fleet Race 3 at 16:23, and Fleet Race 4 at 17:00. With this revised schedule, the teams have ample opportunity to showcase their skills and strategies on the water.

© Ian Roman / America's Cup

Don't Miss a Moment

Even though NYYC American Magic has had to wait for the weather to cooperate, the team is now more determined than ever to start racing and perform at their best.

For those who can't be on-site, don't worry. The America's Cup races will be live-streamed on the official America's Cup website, www.americascup.com, and available on YouTube. It's time to brace ourselves for a thrilling weekend of racing as we eagerly await the battles on the waves.


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