11 févr. 2010

33AC Valencia...how to learn to be patient...

Feb 2010... Valencia - Spain.

Here we are , after few years of legal actions in the New York court.
Sport is taking back place in spotlight but , there is a but, weather conditions are not really what Alinghi Catamaran and BOR (BMW Oracle Racing) Trimaran are made for.
This America's Cup is a very different one , if compared to what did happen in Auckland (NZ ) in 2000 and 2003, and Valencia in 2007. Boats were monohulls and race course around 3NM from start to top mark.
This time boats are much faster and race course much longer. Distance from start line to top mark is around 20NM.
Racings have been scheduled by NY court for 8,10 and 12 feb 2010.
On 8 and 10 feb, weather situation was not correct and racing has been abandoned. First race could be on Friday 12th feb ( tomorrow).
On 8th Feb I was ready with Carlo Borlenghi (Alinghi's Team photographer) and Pedro from AFP , for the Big day. We did take off a bit late as heli was not ready on time. Starting line was 27 NM from heli pad ( which is next to AC Village). Air temperature was 8°C.
With no doors (on left) it took us 17mn to arrive to starting line. 17mn is very long when you are flying at 80knots . It was freezing cold. and when we arrived, no wind...
So we did try to do some images with the 2 boats together . Race was postponed. but we had to stay on place and turn, waiting in case race committee started the race.
After 20mn we got a radio message from one of the 4 other helicopters working on the race , that we better to go back to land.

Gilles Martin-Raget (FRA) BOR's photographer and Carlo Borlenghi (ITA) Alinghi's photographer

Not easy decision, as you need around 20mn one way , so if you got information of starting on the way, you do not have time to come back on time. That monday we had to wait all afternoon at helipad and the race 1 has been abandoned. On Wednesday , we did waited in the Media center. At midday race has been abandoned , again.
It's winter in Spain, and a specially cold winter in Europe this year. To wait it's part of our job, and in sailing race, it's often that's a race cannot start on time due to weather confditions. In France we had Vendee Globe, Transat Jacques Vabre, Mini Transat , etc... portsponed for bad weather conditions on day of start. So it's not rare in sailing to wait.

In Valencia we are learning the meaning of the word PATIENCE !

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