SAN FRANCISCO — The attempt to modernize the stodgy old America’s Cup is slowing the regatta’s momentum and keeping a boatload of Kiwis holding on match point.
Sailing this America’s Cup in space-age, 72-foot catamarans that can hit 50 mph has been spectacular.
However, trying to fit racing into a nice, neat two-hour TV window doesn’t quite work in a sport that relies on wind and tides that keep their own schedule and don’t always cooperate.
Race 14 was postponed Saturday because the wind hadn’t settled in from the usual direction by the 2:40 p.m. cutoff time. That forced Emirates Team New Zealand, leading 8-3, and defending champion Oracle Team USA back to shore to await expected better conditions on Sunday.
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Regatta director Iain Murray said organizers hadn’t seen wind from that direction all summer and didn’t want to send the high-performance, 72-foot catamarans into skewed conditions with so much at stake.
“It wasn’t the right day today,” Murray said. “There’s an awful lot at stake here for these teams, and I understand that they don’t want to have anything less than a quality race. The America’s Cup deserves quality races.”