America’s Cup 2017

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Light winds in Bermuda have forced America’s Cup organisers to postpone racing for a day.

Organisers announced no competition would be possible at 7am (NZ time) on day five of the challenger qualifying series after the wind failed to reach the allowable level.

Requiring an average wind speed of six knots to race on the Great Sound, conditions hovered between about two and four knots.

It is the second time racing has been postponed at the regatta, with strong winds postponing the scheduled opening day last week.

The four races scheduled for Thursday (NZT) will be pushed back to Friday.

Team New Zealand are scheduled for one race, against Britain’s BAR syndicate.

The BAR in Land Rover BAR stands for Ben Ainslie Racing and is testament to the single-handed determination sailing’s most successful Olympian has shown in his quest to bring the oldest trophy in international sport “home” to Britain.

For Ainslie, 40, who says he dreamt of winning the America’s Cup when he was learning to sail as a child, lifting the “Auld Mug” in San Francisco in 2013 as a key member of the Oracle Team USA crew was not enough.

So, under the banner “Bring The Cup Home”, Ainslie set about mounting his own challenge and just three years ago launched BAR with the aim of doing something British teams have tried and failed to do on some 20 occasions.

But to get an America’s Cup boat on the water, let alone compete with the likes of Oracle Team USA and Artemis Racing, costs tens of millions of dollars.

Oracle Team USA and Artemis Racing are respectively backed by billionaires Larry Ellison and Sweden’s Torbjorn Tornqvist and have been in the game for years.

Not only has Ainslie managed to raise 90 million pounds to fund his campaign, he has also built a massive team headquarters in Portsmouth on the south coast of England, looking out over the Solent where in 1851 the schooner “America” beat the British to win the cup which is named after it.

The Kiwis are second in the qualifying series behind holders Team USA, with boat syndicates boasting a 5-1 win-loss record.

What is it?

It’s the sixth day of the America’s Cup Qualifiers in Bermuda. The whole shabang is fully explained below.

When is it?

Racing starts at 6pm UK time, although light winds might play havoc with the schedule again today. Racing was called off yesterday due to light winds. Officials waited for two hours before postponing the day’s races, but winds failed to rise above the six-knot minimum requirement.

There are 12 races in the current round-robin series that still have to be sailed before the semi-finals begin early next week.

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