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Weather delays start of AC35

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Race fans will have to wait a little longer for the start of the 35th America's Cup, which has been delayed 24 hours because of a forecast for strong winds.

The America's Cup Event Authority and America's Cup Race Management made the call late yesterday afternoon to postpone today's opening day of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers and the Official Opening Ceremony because of an approaching cold front, accompanied by strong gales and the risk of thunderstorms.

“We are obviously disappointed that the strong winds mean we have had to postpone day one of the 35th America's Cup,” Sir Russell Coutts, the ACEA chief executive, said.

“This is clearly a decision we have not taken lightly and appreciate the inconvenience caused to the sell-out crowd. Our primary concern, however, is always safety for everyone involved in the America's Cup.”

The opening ceremony and start of the qualifying regatta will now take place tomorrow instead.

“We are adding an hour to the race window on both Saturday and Sunday to run extra races, with the aim of getting back on schedule,” said Sir Russell, the five-times America's Cup winner.

“There are still tickets available at the weekend, although not in all categories, so we are hoping Friday's ticket holders will still get the chance to enjoy what should be an incredible opening weekend.”

Six races will be held tomorrow, with defender Oracle Team USA facing off against Groupama Team France in the opening match race, starting at 2pm in the Great Sound. Racing will continue until 5pm both tomorrow and Sunday.

The opening ceremony will start at 8.30pm, following on the heels of a performance by three-times Grammy Award-winning entertainer Wyclef Jean on the main stage in the America's Cup Village, which commences at 5.15pm.

Gates open at the Village at 11.30am tomorrow and will close at 9.30pm.

Because of today's postponement, all ticket holders for the Village, grandstand seats, Gosling's Dark ‘n Stormy Island Bar and Longtail Lounge, and Official Spectator Boat ticket holders will automatically receive a refund within the next ten days. Should those ticket holders wish to attend another day, tickets will need to be purchased separately via www.americascup.com/tickets.

Ticket-holders for today's ferry will also receive a full refund, while those who have tickets for tomorrow can rebook their ticket to a new time, should they wish.

Direct ferry runs to the village before and after racing have been added to tomorrow's schedule to increase capacity, and there are some updates in the existing timetable owing to the changes in the America's Cup schedule, which will be communicated directly to those existing ticket holders, or can be found at www.acbda.bm. Additional ferry runs will also be added to the regular public schedule from Hamilton to the Dockyard ferry terminal tomorrow. From Dockyard, the public can either catch a free shuttle train from in front of the Clocktower Mall, or walk over to the America's Cup Village.

Mike Winfield, CEO of the ACBDA, thanked Marine & Ports for their flexibility and teamwork in accommodating event changes.

“We recognise this is a late change due to weather, and it likely won't be the last,” he added.

Motorcycles and private cars are also available to spectators, but with Saturday a possible sell-out, guests are encouraged to take two-wheeled transport to reduce congestion. Motorbikes can also park for free, with spaces available at the Transportation Hub, near the village entrance.

Meanwhile, the America's Cup Park n Ride programme must be pre-booked at the Boaz Island sports field: $25 is charged per car for all passengers when booked in advance, and $30 if booked with 12 hours of use. Bookings can be made at www.americascup.com/tickets.

Once parking is full at Boaz Island, additional spaces will be available at Warren Simmons Field near Somerset MarketPlace and Somerset Primary School.

All locations will be serviced by minibus shuttles to deliver spectators to the Transportation Hub at the America's Cup Event Village.

For event updates, visit www.americascup.com, Twitter and Facebook @americascup. Transportation information and updates are available at www.acbda.bm/transport, with real-time updates accessible through the America's Cup Bermuda Twitter feed @AC2017BDA.V

To see the full statement, click the PDF under “Related Media”

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Published May 25, 2017 at 5:40 pm (Updated May 26, 2017 at 12:40 am)

Weather delays start of AC35

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