Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Fremantle of the Med? Yeah, right!

Valencia has been described as the 'Fremantle of the Mediterranean', famed for its reliable sea breezes. Yes, well, enough of that.

Three days of no racing is not the ideal start to the competition, except perhaps for +39 Challenge, who have had three more days to sellotape their Version 5 rig back together.
Kind though it was for Alinghi to lend its Version 4 rig, the very mast that won the 2003 Cup in Auckland 5-Nil, apparently in anything more than 10 or 12 knots of breeze and the extra loads caused by these new-generation square-headed mainsails makes the stick look distinctly wobbly. Talk is that Iain Percy's shore crew could have the Version 5 rig back together by tomorrow (Thursday).

So at least some good has come of this no-wind situation.
It has also meant that Port America's Cup has precious little to talk about, so the chat at the Estrella Damm bar has been about those dirty, rotten scoundrels at Alinghi who have supposedly developed their non-canting keel. Yacht design makes my head spin, so if you want to try and understand more about this, I suggest you head over to Matt Sheahan's explanation at

Chief measurer Ken McAlpine is meant to be doing some talking tomorrow, so perhaps he'll shed some light on the subject. Meanwhile Alinghi will be having a right good laugh. No wind on the race course, and a lot of wind about their 'canting' keel. Classic smoke & mirrors stuff.

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