Shirley Robertson said it best, on her FB page: “Long day in the studio, three hours of live (broadcast) with no racing. Feel for all out in Bermuda waiting for the wind.” Yes, it’s hard work talking about nothing, keeping the happy banter going with occasional gobbets of information thrown in.
As sailors, we’ve all been here. Mother Nature fails to ante up with some precious wind, and sooner of later one of the locals will say, “You should have been here last week,” or “It isn’t usually like this.” All day the Race Officer and his cohorts recorded nothing above a whisper when they were listening for a shout – an average of 6kts for a minute, I believe. On these occasions the RO puts up an AP, and maybe sends everyone ashore for some refreshment at the beach bar under the palm trees. But when you are the America’s Cup World Series and (hopefully) you have an enormous tv audience to entertain, it’s more difficult.
So the racing crews went afloat, the media and camera boats departed, the course was laid out in the Great Sound, and we waited. No stress on board Press Boat 5: we chilled, we jilled around, we went on a sightseeing tour of beautiful Bermudian harbourfront properties, we watched the Red Bull Skydive Show splash down in front of the spectators on Front Street, and then we returned to base. An attempt was made to run a race in Hamilton Harbour, but once again the wind speed never reached the minimum prescribed. It was, however, an impressive sight when all the spectator boats relocated from the Great Sound to the Harbour. “I’ve never seen so many boats in the Harbour,” said the driver of PB5.
An ‘exhibition’ or ‘practice’ race – call it what you will – took place at the end of the afternoon, and then it was all over, Rover.
20kts is forecast for Sunday (depending on which forecast you read), and a third race has been added to the schedule. Double points for all races. What Bermuda and the America’s Cup World Series need right now is 15kts of steady southwest breeze and a generous dollop of sunshine – in fact, just what happens here day in day out when nobody’s looking. It isn’t usually like this in Bermuda…