No wind, no racing in America’s Cup qualifiers


HAMILTON: Light winds postponed Wednesday’s four scheduled races in the second round-robin phase of America’s Cup qualifying on Bermuda’s Great Sound.

After waiting in vain for two hours for winds to pick up, organizers said the day’s program would be pushed to Thursday, which was originally scheduled as a day off.

Winds between six and 24 knots are required to race, under the rules of the 35th America’s Cup.

“America’s Cup Race Management have now confirmed that unfortunately wind is too light to allow for racing today,” the event posted on its website.

“Good news is that we have a spare race day on the schedule tomorrow for exactly this reason, and Races 4-7 will now shift to Thurs 1st June.”

First up on Thursday will be Groupama Team France against SoftBank Team Japan.

There are also key duels between Britain’s Land Rover BAR and Emirates Team New Zealand, and Britain v France.

Ben Ainslie’s BAR lost to both New Zealand and France in the first round-robin as they dropped four in a row before a victory over Sweden’s Artemis Racing on Tuesday.

Thursday will also see Oracle Team USA, the two-time defending champions, taking on Japan.

In the first America’s Cup qualifying competition to see the holders take part, Team USA top the standings with six points.

If they finish the round-robin in front, they will take a bonus point into the championship match.

One of the five prospective challengers will be eliminated at the end of the round robin, with the other four advancing to semi-finals and a final for the right to take on the United States for the coveted Cup.

Team New Zealand are in second place in the standings with five points. BAR — boosted by the two bonus points they brought in from the America’s Cup World Series — are in third place on four points, while Sweden, Japan and France are all tied on two points.

Wednesday’s postponement was the second of the event. The scheduled opening day was postponed 24 hours because of near gale-force winds that precluded racing.