America’s Cup: Racing action could go beyond TV broadcast schedule

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Team New Zealand's Te Rehutai swoops into a turn.

COR 36 | Studio Borlenghi

Team New Zealand’s Te Rehutai swoops into a turn.

America’s Cup regatta director Iain Murray has confirmed he has the ability to hold racing outside the television broadcast window if necessary.

The action starts on Thursday with the opening races of the world series and Christmas Cup regatta that runs through till Sunday.

Four races are scheduled for each day with a three-hour window from 3-6pm.


Team NZ skipper Peter Burling talks about the loss to American Magic.

A good wind forecast should make that comfortable with races expected to last around 20-25 minutes. But light winds, which look a real prospect for the weekend’s action when the last of the round-robin and the semifinals and final will be sailed, would complicate things.

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“We will try to comply with the broadcast but if we can’t comply we have the ability to hold a race after the broadcast window,” Murray confirmed.

“We have an exclusive time zone out there and that is a limit on what we have.

“Our race window is inside that. Our race window is really two hours which is tied in with the broadcast .

“We will try to keep the schedule that way.”

America's Cup regatta director Iain Murray.

Phil Walter/Getty Images

America’s Cup regatta director Iain Murray.

The TV broadcast in New Zealand is free-to-air on TV1, butting up against their nightly national news at 6pm.

The racing will also be streamed live on Youtube, Facebook and which would cover off any action running past the TV broadcast window in New Zealand.

This week’s warm-up regatta will put the most pressure on Murray with four races on his plate daily.

Once the Prada Cup challenger series starts in February, the limited fleet of just three boats, means some days will have only one race, others two.

Similarly, the America’s Cup match that starts on March 6 has a schedule of two races a day unless the best of 13 series is tied at 6-6 and a sole decider will be raced on March 15.

The practice races over the past week were held in some flukey winds and proved to be drawn out affairs with plenty of downtime as starts were abandoned with the wind failing to corporate.

The wind window for this week’s racing is 6.5 to 21 knots.

Australian Murray, an America’s Cup sailor, multiple world champion and Sydney to Hobart legend, has been in charge of the last two Cups in San Francisco and Bermuda and believes the new class of foiling 75-foot monohulls is excited by what he has witnessed so far in the tune-ups.

“AC36 is going to be a remarkable event … four teams with incredible boats,” he predicted for the Auckland action.

“Having been up close and watching these boats during practice races, some have been close, some have been a bit far apart … that’s what it’s all about.

“But some of the match racing I saw is what the America’s Cup history is looking for.

Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand show their speed at close quarters.


Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand show their speed at close quarters.

“We are looking for fair and proper racing in the greatest technology boats representing their countries.

“And from what I’ve seen from the little bit of racing so far is that these boats are capable of producing that.

“So for me, coming up through technology classes, seeing these boats evolve, I think we are in for something quite special.”


Race 1: Team New Zealand v Luna Rossa, followed by

Race 2: American Magic v INEOS Team UK

Race 3: INEOS Team UK v Luna Rossa

Race 4: Team New Zealand v American Magic

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