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Alinghi face wait as Cup start delayed

It was a long wait on Monday morning


The opening race of the 33rd America's Cup between Swiss defender Alinghi and American challenger BMW Oracle has been called off due to unsuitable wind conditions.

Officials said the competition between the hi-tech, multi-hull boats had been rescheduled for Wednesday.

Alinghi and BMW Oracle had an almost four-hour wait off the coast of Valencia, Spain, before the race was called off on Monday morning as a result of shifting wind conditions.

The unique boats had finally taken to the water after more than two years of sometimes bitter legal battles between Alinghi, owned by Swiss biotechnology and banking billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, and Oracle software mogul Larry Ellison and his team.

The wrangles over hosting rights and technology have resulted in two multi-hull boats sailing against each other in a three-race final for the first time in the event's 159-year history.

The Swiss team will be riding a giant catamaran the width of two tennis courts packing a 17-storey mast. Oracle’s boat, USA 17, has three hulls and is powered by a 68-metre-high rigid wing in place of a sail, one that’s 80 per cent longer than the one found on a Boeing 747. and agencies


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