All racing was abandoned on day one of the first Preliminary Regatta of the 37th America’s Cup. After the storm that was forecast to pass through intensified moments after the teams docked out for racing in Vilanova i La Geltrú.
A delayed start was initially imposed in the hopes of the weather improving, but after the conditions worsened, with visibility down to almost nothing and thunder starting to be heard, Race Director Iain Murray made the decision to call off racing for the safety of competitors and spectators.
Three fleet races were due to take place with a further three on Saturday followed by two on Sunday before the winner-takes-all two-boat Match Race final. The British team will now res-set for Race 1 tomorrow, with the weather forecast showing for much more favourable conditions.
Speaking on the live TV broadcast after the announcement that racing had been cancelled, INEOS Britannia Team Principal and Skipper Sir Ben Ainslie said: “I really feel for the event organisers but when you’re at the mercy of the elements these things can happen and the safety of the teams on the water and the fans on shore should come first. It’s all on again tomorrow and we will re-set and come race ready again”
INEOS Britannia Helm, Giles Scott added: “It was miserable out there with plenty of rain, lighting, thunder and zero visibility, the right call was made to abandon racing.
“Unfortunately, days like today are part and parcel of the sport, sometimes the weather doesn’t play ball, but we are looking forward to fairer weather tomorrow and getting in some good racing.”