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America’s Cup decision at 5pm

The opening of the America's Cup could be blown back a day because of gale-force gusts expected tomorrow.

Racing is scheduled to begin at 5pm, but organisers have warned that both racing and the event's Opening Ceremony would be pushed back should strong winds bring unsafe conditions for sailors.

A decision will be made at 5pm today.

While the Bermuda Weather Service was yesterday forecasting clear weather today and this weekend, a cold front is expected to pass the island tomorrow afternoon, bringing unsettled conditions.

In addition to showers and a chance of thunder, the BWS has forecast strong to gale-force gusts during the midafternoon to early evening period.

According to a statement by the ACBDA, the opening races could be pushed back if gusts exceed safety limits.

“The current forecast for Friday is showing wind levels to be gusting above 30 knots in the afternoon,” a spokeswoman said.

“Whilst the wind may drop within the raceable limits of 6 to 24 knots later in the evening, the safety of both the sailors and spectators is always paramount, and a decision whether to open the America's Cup Village or not will be taken accordingly.”

Racing is scheduled to begin at 5pm tomorrow, with the Opening Ceremony starting in the America's Cup Village at 8.30pm, however the spokeswoman said that should racing be cancelled, the America's Cup Village would remain closed.

“Racing would then be rescheduled for Saturday afternoon and the Opening Ceremony would also be delayed,” she said.

Russell Coutts, CEO of the America's Cup Event Authority, said everything possible would be done to ensure the opening day goes ahead, with a “sell-out crowd”.

“However, if the prudent decision is to postpone the start of the event, then racing will be rescheduled to Saturday, where the weather forecast indicates great racing conditions,” he added.

An ACBDA statement said that should the America's Cup Village not open, all ticket holders for the America's Cup Village, Grandstand seats, Goslings Dark ‘n Stormy Island Bar and Longtail Lounge will automatically receive a refund.

Should they wish to attend another day, tickets will separately need to be purchased for that day. For Official Spectator Boat ticket holders, should the boat be unable to leave the dock, they will also be provided with a refund.

Event updates will be provided online via www.americascup.com, Twitter and Facebook @americascup. Meanwhile travel updates, such as ferries and buses, will be sent out on www.acbda.bm, Twitter and Facebook @AC2017Bda

Oracle Team USA heads upwind, leading Softbank Team Japan, in practice on Tuesday (Photograph by Talbot Wilson)

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Published May 24, 2017 at 5:16 pm (Updated May 25, 2017 at 7:42 pm)

America’s Cup decision at 5pm

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