As of 9:21am CET, Valencia, Spain local time, conditions look good for America's Cup 2010 Race 1 between Alinghi (Swiss - The Defenders, current Cup holders) and USA BMW Oracle (USA - The Contenders of Record - San Francisco Yacht Club). The Race committee is looking to make the most of this 'window of opportunity' and are researching optimum conditions in which to set up the Race Course. Both Alinghi and USA BMW Oracle have docked out and are headed to the race area so keep your fingers crossed, get out the toothpicks for your eyelids, and prepare for one of the most exciting Races ever to be directly carried LIVE over the internet for FREE! You can dowload a special viewer and watch the races live on http://www.americascup.com and the races will also be carried via ESPN360. Proposed start time at the earliest is 12:00 local time, 6am EST, 3am PST, 2am AKST.
Both teams are chomping at the bits to get these huge speedsters on the course and see how they compete. Both are hoping for a chance to race today. Besides the obvious difference between these multihulls, one has 2 hulls and soft sails, the other has 3 hulls and a rigid wing - Alinghi appears light, svelte with elegant lines, USA is dark with lines that ring of muscles and power. They have been referred as the swan vs. the hawk. Strong and beautiful, birds of a feather they definitely are not.
The first race was/is scheduled to consist of 2 legs, a 20 mile Upwind leg and a 20 mile Downwind leg for a total of 40 miles. As of 10:50am local time, there appears to be a wind shift occuring and they appear to be setting up for the predicted shift. The wind is still around 10 knots ( 1 Knot = 1.1 5mph) , so 10 Knots is approx 11.5 MPH. Wave swells appear to be within acceptable parameters.
The Crew lists were published this morning and the line up is as follows:
ALINGHI 5 CREW LIST:
Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen (NED), Bow 1
Curtis Blewett (CAN), Bow 2
Jan Dekker (RSA/FRA), Bow 3
Rodney Ardern (NZL),Pitman
Simon Daubney (NZL), Trimmer upwind
Nils Frei (SUI), Trimmer downwind
Warwick Fleury (NZL), Mainsail trimmer
Pierre-Yves Jorand (SUI), Traveller
Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI), Helmsman
Brad Butterworth (NZL), Tactician
Murray Jones (NZL), Strategist
Juan Vila (ESP), Navigator
Loïck Peyron (FRA), Floater
Peter Evans (NZL), Pre-start
USA BMW ORACLE RACING TEAM CREW LIST:
Brad Webb (NZL), Bowman
Simone de Mari (ITA), Pitman
Ross Halcrow (NZL), Jib Trimmer
Dirk de Ridder (NED), Wing Sail Trimmer
Joey Newton (AUS), Wing Sail Caddy
John Kostecki (USA), Tactician
James Spithill (AUS), Skipper/Helmsman
Matteo Plazzi (ITA), Navigator
Thierry Fouchier (FRA), Aft Pit
Matthew Mason (NZL), Mast
Alinghi will be sailing with 13 or 14 and ORACLE Racing with a crew of 10. Alinghi will have Peter Evans aboard, who is named in the lineup, but works pre-start helping with the formulation and communication of the start plan and final weather strategy. He may get off the boat before the 5 minutes preparatory signal.
As of 11:07am local time: The latest is wave swell appears not to be a problem, they will be waiting to see if heating on the land will mess up the new breeze or whether it will hold and the race can proceed.