The Silver Plated Lining

By Kimball Livingston, in Valencia

Three days in a row—calmed out—set a record for the Louis Vuitton Cup, but China Team found a way to be upbeat. It’s all timing, baby. The Answering Pennant (signalling postponement) is becoming the official flag of the Louis Vuitton Cup. It’s frustrating to go out for a sail without a sailing breeze, but there’s no place in the world that doesn’t have its calm spells, and at the moment you can count the Mediterranean coast of Spain in that category. But China Team has found the silver plated lining. They need the time. Their presence here is sort of a pre-event for the next America’s Cup, but they want to look good out there if they can. Trimmer and electronics wrangler Guillaume Florent said after the race committee finally gave up on Day 3 of Louis Vuitton Cup nonracing, “For us the time is never wasted. We are using the extra time to prepare. Our weather specialist, Olivier Herledant, is on the water all the time, training on the boat.”

Yes, those are some pretty Frenchified Chinese, but remember, this is Le Dfi reincarnated, and they need all the time they can get. The team has a good spirit, and I don’t think it would be smart to count them out, one or two cycles down the road (rising giant and all of that). In 2007 they are so far out of contention as to have nothing to hide. Literally. China Team has a transparent front wall. These race fans have walked up three flights of stairs, with views into the compound all the way. The view’s a bit fuzzy, but it is transparent.

Up the street, United Internet Team Germany had Guillermo Altadill on the weather case. His picture of the Big Picture: ” Although the forecast indicated it, we always hoped that there would be a couple of knots more breeze to be able to hold at least one race. We are between a low pressure system over Africa and a high over England which has prolonged the situation over the last three days.”

Our April 17 blog related how Oracle sent scouts to Valencia in April 2004 and found some pretty funky conditions. The situation is not without precedent. But, this is not a view that anyone wanted to see.


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