I got lucky, I decided to check out the official AC web site before going to bed last night. The postponement flags were already flying for todays race. The Race committee saying that rather than a 10:00am local time start the race would not occur until noon at the earliest. There was no indication on why this delay was being imposed, one can only assume that they had consulted the local Tarot card reader who had predicted that a delay would be a good thing. Well, if not a wind problem maybe there was a big party planned last night and everyone needed some time to shake their hangovers off. Actually that is not so far fetched as it might sound. When I was involved with the AC in San Diego that was a real issue. The guys really knew how to tie one one.

04:40 Central – OK dragged my butt out of bed and logged into the live video feed – which incidentally is not live at the moment. The news feed though is saying that everyone (hangovers included) are on the water. The course has been set, and the wind is a screaming 6 knots. There is a 15 degree wind shift between the committee boat (start line) and the windward mark. While this is well within the race guidelines it is yet to be determined if the RC will get this show on the road.

05:00 Central – We continue to watch the wind, now the fear is that as the land heats up it is going to interfere with the wind direction off shore.

05:04 Central – apparently they are moving the windward mark. My question is, where the hell is the live video feed? it really would be nice to see what the boats are doing.

05:25 Central – Mark has been moved. If anything the wind is dropping, now at 5 knots at the Start Line, 6 knots at the windward mark. We are now up to a 30 degree shift between marks, there is no way Harold Bennett will start the race with this disparity.

05:28 Central – Things just went in the toilet, we now have a 50 degree problem and 3 knots at the windward mark. This is not good news. However, it is also being reported that the TV choppers are getting ready to get on site, which they would not do unless something is going to happen soon. Conflicting signals here. Oh, more news, live video feed in 12 minutes. About damn time!

05:45 Central – WE have the live feed kicking on. Looks like glass out there. I just can not see this being a happening event.

05:50 Central Live feed has now disintegrated into playing stuff about the local food places! We are still waiting for the go sign. The wind has settled in at 170 degrees at 5-7 knots. Harold Bennett has moved the start line to the west, but it looks like we might be having a race pretty soon.

05:57 Central – I have to admit that I am looking forward to the pre start. How these two monster cats are going to handle life in the box is going to be interesting.

06:05 Central RC seems to have settled in. Hopefully we are going to get some racing going soon. Alinghi seems to favour lighter air so this might be a very interesting race.

06:10 Central What is amazing is that even though the wind is 50-7 these monsters can still get up to about 20 knots of speed. The major issue is going to be to keep up with these beasts!

06:15 Central Larry Elison’s Rising Sun super yacht is acting as the support boat! My goodness. Rising Sun is a monster!

06:18 Jibs are up

06:20 Wind is solid at 5knots, and there is only a 5 degree shift. Alinghi are showing off, they are flying their hull! It sure is fun to watch.

06:24 I have to say that the spectator fleet looks a little sparse.

06:28 RC saying that there is a wind hole in the middle of the course, but they need to get this started.

06:34 It is interesting, BMW are not powering up, they are just floating around. Maybe they don’t like these conditions.

06:40 looks like we might be starting at 07:00. Hot rumour is the postponement flag will come down in 9 mins.

06:43 OK start is now set for 07:10. Larry Elison just got off BMW, looks like he is going to sit this one out.

06:44 Harold Bennett has confirmed that the Postponement flag will come down at 06:59, and race to start 07:10

06:50 Interesting commentary on the feed. Looks like they are not expecting the usual match race dial up in the pre start. BMW has powered up.

06:52 BMW is running with a HUD (Heads Up Display) for the boat info!

06:59 AP not down! So we are back to a hurry up and wait. Wind is down to 2-3 knots.

07:07 RC still concerned about wind hole in the middle of the course.

07:17 RC saying AP down at 07:24

07:20 Wind looks like they have settled in to 5-6 knots at the windward mark. Looks like the port side is favoured. BMW have powered up again.

07:24 AP is down! Woo Hoo, we are into the start sequence.

07:25 10 mins to the start, prestart in 5 mins

07:27 BMW have brought down the Geniker and put up the headsail. Teams are getting set to enter the box. Coms are off the boats.

07:30 F flag up, prestart is a go. Alinghi coming in from port. Alinghi is powered up and barreling.

First contact, protest flag up on bmw. This is a first! Oh my, Penalty to Alinghi! They will have to do a 270 at some point.

Looks like BMW owns the favoured left side.

Alinghi take the line, BMW screwed up, they stalled.

Over a minute late BMW finally cross the line.

Alinghi with a huge lead and hull flying.

07:39 BMW are in overdrive, looks like BMW are catching up.

Looks like BMW is pointing higher and ripping along.

Alinghi changing headsails.

7:46 BMW has more power, they are edging up, they are about 300 yards back, at the start it was 600 yards. I might not agree with the way this AC is being done, but I have to admit that these boats are awesome.

07:51 BMW now in the lead and are pointing higher.

Getting close to the layline, someone is going to have to tack, yup BMW are. Nope, they have just dropped the jib, pointing even better, and ripping along.

This is amazing!

The jib was creating too much wind resistance!

8:03 Alinghi seems to be clawing their way back, now within 150 yards

This is a straight line drag drag race as I predicted.

Here we are 30 minutes in and there has yet to be a tack!

8:15 BMW now 500 yards ahead. They are half way up the windward leg.

8:22 My god, they must be getting really close to the lay line. Someone is going to have to make a move. OK, Alinghi went, for it.

8:24 Looks like BMW is getting ready to cover.

8:26 BMW responds, they have tacked onto starboard.

8:32 BMW now 900 yards in the lead. It is clear that up wind they have the power and the pointing ability. Of course we have yet to see what happens down wind.

8:40 BMW now over 1200 yards in the lead. And Alinghi still has the 270 penalty.

8:47 they are now getting toward the port lay line.

8:52 BMW has put up the upwind jib. It is possible that the wind is dropping a little.

BMW is going to have to tack in the next couple of mins.

8:57 BMW tack and are set for the top mark.

still waiting for Alinghi, chances are they will not tack until they hit the lay line.

Alinghi tack over, 1200 yards separate them.

9:03 approaching the top mark

9:05 BMW rounds, up goes the geniker!

Alinghi finaly rounds! Man there is a big deficit, over 3mins.

Who can point lower and go faster down wind?

Essentially BMW has a one mile lead right now.

This is amazing, they are going downwind and still able to fly the hulls!

BMW are stretching out. Alinghi just don’t seem to have the downwind speed. Everyone assumed they would.

BMW looks like they are going to gybe. OH, Alinghi beat them to the dance.

9:28 this race is over. 1.5 miles separate the boats.

9:32 BMW is ripping this up

9:41 The wing sail on BMW is just amazing.

9:52 The drag race continues. I’ll make a prediction, well actually it is what I have said all along. This series is all about drag racing. There is no way you are going to see any tacking duels.

These are awesome  boats, but do they meet the meaning of the Deed Of Gift?

10:04 This is all but over.

10:07 BMW wins!

The delta looks brutal

Alinghi still needs to do a 270.

Alinghi does the 270.

Delta could be measured by a calandar.

Oops no they did not. They have taken the penalty after crossing the line. Delta was almost 10 mins.

Press Conf in two hours.

Next race on Sunday.

Simon Barrett

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