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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Too rough to practice

Associated Press

VALENCIA, Spain Strong wind and rough seas yesterday kept Alinghi and BMW Oracle from training the day before the first race of their America's Cup showdown pitting the fastest, most powerful sailboats ever built.

Cup holder Alinghi decided against launching its catamaran, while American challenger BMW Oracle got its trimaran on the water with president Larry Ellison aboard but decided to abandon a planned practice.

The American challenger had wanted to test some sails, but said conditions made training "too risky."

"If it wasn't the day before a race we would have been out there," BMW Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill said. "We'll see what tomorrow brings and if it is like it was today we'll be out there."

The first race was called off on Monday because of light, unsteady wind, pushing back the start of the three-race series to today.

Both teams are hoping for good conditions, but are also expecting choppier waters. Another postponement would shift the first race to Friday.

The northwest front that blew into Valencia yesterday was expected to continue into today and create a good sailing breeze, although boats are not likely to race if waves are larger than 3 feet.