Good morning from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on this the final day of the America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta Jeddah, presented by NEOM.
After yesterday’s spectacle where the professional racing sailors of the America’s Cup put on a show of unparalleled excellence in 16 knots of breeze where they unleashed the awesome potential of the AC40, today we are promised more of the same.
For the first time in the regatta, there are puffy clouds in the sky and the morning Academy regatta has seen some great racing just metres off the Jeddah foreshore in Laser dinghies and FarEast 28R sportsboats. The young academicians in the RS Zests looked to be having the time of their lives with a short start line and super-close action in around 7-9 knots of breeze.
Overnight the north-northwest sea-breeze has remained constant over the Red Sea delivering a soothing, gusty breeze down the Jeddah Corniche and the Race Village throughout the evening. This has remained and is expected to build into the afternoon with models predicting a solid 13-15 knots at 2pm. Often here, the breeze is 1-2 knots higher than predicted as it comes ashore and the swells are predicted to be a factor with 0.4-0.5 metre waves on the racecourse.
Emirates Team New Zealand are secure in the Grand Final but there will be no let up over the first two races from the Kiwis. The loss by one point in Vilanova to NYYC American Magic still hurts and as ultra-competitors they want to slam this regatta shut. For Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli it’s all about consistency. Two decent results and they are in the final but they have to keep an eye on Alinghi Red Bull Racing and INEOS Britannia who mathematically at least, could secure that final spot.
The Race Management Team are indicating a course set at an axis of 300 degrees and the most likely course will be three laps with approximately 1.3 nautical mile legs.
It’s going to be fast. It’s going to be furious. And it’s all to play for.
LIVE UPDATES AHEAD OF RACING WILL APPEAR BELOW:
10.05am: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, Alinghi Red Bull Racing and INEOS Britannia all safely launched. Orient Express Racing’s build team are just finishing off work on the starboard foil arm (the one that was causing problems yesterday) and the NYYC American Magic Team are getting ready to roll down to the crane. Emirates Team New Zealand going through final checks.
10.55am: Regatta briefing with Iain Murray and Richard Slater. Interestingly, when INEOS Britannia were called over the line in Race 5 yesterday, the distance over was just 8cm!!
11am: Start times today are as follows: Fly-by of the Fan Zone for all the fleet at 13.15, Fisrt start for Race 7 at 13.40 and Race 8 at 14.22. The Match Race Final is scheduled for 14.59 (all times local Jeddah, Saudi Arabia).
11.40am: The early morning puffy high cloud has now drifted inland to leave blue, hazy skies and an air temperature of 32 degrees. The racecourse is looking perfect once again and every half an hour the anemometer is reading up. 10 knots at the moment and building.
12.45pm: All boats on the course. J3 jibs up and absolutely ripping around. All set for the Final Day showdown here in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Stay Tuned.