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Light winds halt sailing in New York

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/05/2016

Light winds have forced the abandonment of racing on the first day of the America's Cup World Series on New York's Hudson River.

The first race started on schedule, but by the time the fleet approached the reach mark, the breeze had dropped enough to make rounding the mark impossible for half the fleet.

The race committee made the call to abandon the race and wait for more breeze, also shifting the course further down the river in an bid to find enough wind to get a second start under way.

Team New Zealand tactician Ray Davies says racing was hard work.

"Right under the Manhattan skyline, it was like sailing under a huge cliff just a few feet from shore," he said.

"A very light and turbulent breeze and about three knots of current made it really un-sailable."

The official race window closed without another start, but as insurance the race committee started a substitute race which will be used to count only if racing cannot be completed on Monday (NZT).

Team New Zealand described the conditions for the substitute race as painfully race-able, with current ruling the race course.

A small gennaker twist stalled the Kiwi boat long enough to put it out of the running.

Skipper Glenn Ashby says conditions made for a long and tough day at the office.

"Extreme current and sloppy water in the Hudson mixed with not a lot of breeze made sailing really testing for not only the sailors, but also the race committee.

"But you put the day behind you and look forward to tomorrow with good breeze and the entire regatta to play for."

New Zealand lead the six-boat series which serves as a lead-in to the 2017 America's Cup regatta in Bermuda, having finished on the podium in each of the first four regattas, including victory at Gothenburg last August.

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