Sunday, February 7, 2010

BMW Oracle Racing enter on starboard

Gilles Martin-Raget
The coin-toss to decide which side of the start box the challenger and defender will enter the start area for Race 1 of the 33rd America’s Cup was the central moment of the exciting opening festival in Valencia’s Port America’s Cup Sunday afternoon.

Tens of thousands of visitors swarmed the signature Veles e Ventes building and the surrounding area of the America’s Cup Park to enjoy the festivities on an otherwise tranquil Sunday afternoon of mild temperatures.

Race director Harold Bennett (NZL) set the coin spinning in the air, watched by Pierre-Yves Firmench (SUI), commodore of the Société Nautique de Genève, the yacht club of the Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup and Marcus Young (USA), commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco.

The American team will therefore take what is commonly held to be the initial advantage, entering with right of way, on starboard tack.

On the water there was scarcely enough wind to create ripples, but in the distance the lack of breeze was scarcely a worry for one of the giant multihulls, which with its towering rig still paced the horizon, making best use of the final hours of practice and tuning before racing is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning around 1000hrs

The opening festival was brought to a noisy crescendo with a barrage of mascleta, firecrackers which increased in size peaking with a deafening giant, reported to contain 700 kilos of gunpowder. -