Whale threatens America's Cup racing on day 16
RIGHT: Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce hosts former Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa at the Emirates TeamNZ base this morning.
UPDATE: Racing underway as fail-whale remains at bay.
The America's Cup has already stretched to a record-setting 16 days, thanks to time-limits, wind-limits and the postponement card.
Now, race 14, scheduled for 8.15am morning, faces a surreal new threat: a whale limit.
The whale was spotted in San Francisco Bay, near Sausalito, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
At his daily media briefing, regatta director Iain Murray said helicopters are monitoring the racing area for sea life that could disrupt racing.
"I think people are fed up with time limits, wind limits and whale limits and want to move on," he said.
But Mr Murray concedes that despite frustration with the giant mammal's sudden appearance, "We are obliged to deal with it. If it's in the middle of the race course we will have to probably stop the race."
If the whale stays at bay, conditions are good for racing, with westerly winds of around 20 knots.
While Emirates Team New Zealand will have the starboard entry against Oracle Team USA's port entry, the changing tidal conditions mean the starboard side will not be such a disadvantage as earlier in the series, commentators say.
Yesterday, racing was abandoned due to the wind blowing from the south. The course is designed for San Francisco Bay's usually reliable westerly.