America's Cup: Why abandoned race day won't worry Team NZ

Team New Zealand wont be too disappointed at losing a race day due to light wind conditions.
Sundays two races were called off as the wind failed to get above the consistent 6.5 knots required to start. Multiple postponements ended in the day eventually being abandoned at 5.45pm.

It was a painful couple of hours getting to that inevitable conclusion, but it mightnt have been all bad for the defenders.

ACE | Studio Borlenghi
Team New Zealand ace Blair Tuke takes it easy alongside Peter Burling during the fruitless wait for racing wind.

The weather gods have smiled on Luna Rossa throughout the business end of this regatta.


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They got the light winds they wanted for the Prada Cup final to beat Sir Ben Ainslies Team UK boat which had been geared for the upper limits of the wind range that stretches to 21 knots.

And the Italians have had light to moderate winds to capitalise on their favoured performance zone of their boat in the Americas Cup match, startling all pundits to be tied at 3-3.

Team New Zealand have been more than competitive in this lower range too, as they showed with their blistering performance in race six that swung a bit of momentum back their way in this see-sawing battle.


But you get a feeling they are itching for some decent breeze to really show the true force of Te Rehutai.

Whether that happens depends on the weather, of course, and an improving forecast raises hopes.

So a day lost is a day gained in many ways for the defenders.

Dont forget, there is no time limit on this regatta in terms of days, it will go until someone snares the seven wins to lift the Americas Cup.

They would have loved to have put on a show for the huge Sunday spectator fleet gathered on the race course boundary and the thousands of fans in the Cup village as well as those in front of the TVs.

But, as Team New Zealand skipper Peter Burling said: Thats yacht racing for you. You cant choose the weather, can you.

If Luna Rossa could choose the weather they would have opted to continue in what has kept them so competitive.

ACE | Studio Borlenghi
Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena keeps a hopeful eye out for wind on the America's Cup course on Sunday.

This is a contest on a knife edge, but you wouldnt know it looking at the sailors as they lounged about, Burling with his shoes kicked off, having a chat in the sun to his good mate Blair Tuke.

A closer look revealed it wasnt all on hold. Team New Zealand technicians were using the unexpected downtime to keep looking at ways to squeeze more out of their boat.

There was a bit of attention going on around the clew of the mainsail, the bottom back corner that connects it close to the deck in this boomless setup.

Its an area where the Luna Rossa setup looks particularly clean and the Kiwis will do anything they can to eek more out of their system.

Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa will both continue to tweak things where they can under the strict measurement rules.

We feel like we have improved over these opening days, but theres still plenty to come, its an even scoreline. Every little detail makes a big difference, Burling said.

Back at Team New Zealand headquarters the analysts will have deepened their research on the comparative data off the two boats and emphasis will have increased over last Wednesdays Cup opener that was held in the better winds that Monday could reproduce.


Ironically, there had been talk of a lay day looming if this contest got tighter, just to give the boats some deeper maintenance.

Apparently that never looked a reality as it required agreement between the two teams, something that hasnt been happening throughout this summer. Besides, why would one team want to hand another an advantage if they felt they were better served by racing?

But now there has been a bit of a breather, a break in the Groundhog Days that have consumed everyone with their constant 1-1 scorelines. Whoever uses this small bonus best could be hugely influential in a contest this tight.

It was an off day, but The Match remains very much on.

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