The America's Cup returned to New York City yesterday for the first time in nearly a century and, unfortunately, there wasn't enough wind out on the Harbor to conduct a proper race. It seems the hydrofoil catamarans fielded by all six teams need breezes of at least five knots before an official start can be granted, which failed to happen. Sunday's race is expected to occur with winds in the 15-20 knot range.
Following Saturday's delay, the race did go on, but was designated a “substitute race," according to organizers. "These results will only be scored if the race is used as a substitute for regular racing on Sunday at the START of Sunday's race period. It will not be substituted after regular racing has been scored."
SoftBank Team Japan was the winner on Saturday (with the U.S. coming in 4th), and even if it's not counted on the leaderboard, their skipper Dean Barker said, "It’s a remarkable experience to sail on the Hudson River with so many people watching us. We’d love for the win to count, but on the other hand, if we come out [Sunday] and have three good races, that would be just as valuable for us as a team.”
Still, more than 75,000 spectators lined the Battery Park City promenades and packed into the luxury-goods-sponsored booths of the Event Village—most seemed satisfied by the whole spectacle of the thing, and occasionally the boats would get towed from one end of the course to the other, giving everyone a brief taste of what these high-tech vessels can do.
There were also a couple of historic J-Class boats that sailed in and out of the marina—these crafts once dominated the sport. There was also a replica of America, the first winner of the America's Cup in 1851, which was then named the Royal Yacht Squadron One Hundred Sovereign Cup. The sight of these crafts brought cries of delight to the hardcore yachting fans in attendance.
Prior to the non-races, the exceptionally charming skippers and crews from Teams USA (the Cup's defender), New Zealand, France, Japan, the UK, and Sweden were introduced to the crowd. And they'll be back at it today!
The Event Village opens at 11 a.m., and is located in the plaza around the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. The "Dock-Out Show" (which yesterday featured to introduction of the crews) starts at 12:30, and the races, if the wind cooperates, begin at 2 p.m.