Light Winds Forecast for America’s Cup World Series Oman

Published on February 24th, 2016

Muscat, Oman (February 24, 2016) – It has been since October in Bermuda that teams have faced each other in the America’s Cup World Series, but this weekend provides another test for the six teams seeking to hold the Auld Mug in 2017.

The America’s Cup teams spent Wednesday making final adjustments to their AC45F foiling catamarans ahead of launch day Thursday and practice racing on Friday. The first point scoring races of 2016 take place on Saturday and Sunday, February 27-28.

The forecast for racing this weekend is for light to moderate winds, in the 6 to 10 knot range.

SoftBank Team Japan wing trimmer Chris Draper says the lighter conditions could favor series leader Emirates Team New Zealand, but notes that with all the teams training since the last event in Bermuda in October, it’s hard to handicap who will come out on the weekend with speed.

“We saw in the light conditions last year in Gothenburg that the Kiwis were quite strong in that stuff, although you could argue they’ve just been strong across the board,” he said. “It might be the most open in the light to be honest.

“I think last year you could say that the top four on the leaderboard were really close, with ourselves and Groupama Team France sort of nuzzling up behind the others.

“But we both did quite a bit of training following that last event so hopefully the six teams will be quite tight it will be good close racing.”

Draper and his SoftBank Team Japan team have been sailing in Bermuda on a new AC45 test platform over the winter, but he says the goal now is to shift back into race mode and pick up a good result.

“We’d like to be on the podium and a really good result of course would be a win. The people on this team have all won Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events in the past and we want to do more of that. We want to win. We’re not here to make up the numbers,” he says.

“But we also have to take a long view. We started last year in Portsmouth from nothing and now we have a test boat on the water at our new base in Bermuda and we’re really improving. We’ve gong from a team of 7 or 8 people to about 35 people now. So in the big picture, the key is to keep progressing.

“It feels good to be getting back out on the race course. We love to race. We love to compete. We want to get a good result.”

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Source: ACEA

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