By Rem O'Donnelley
Fans of Oracle Team USA cheered with relief Friday when race officials announced they were abandoning the first race due to the 40-minute time limit being reached without a race winner.
As opposed to high winds canceling previous races, Friday's race had weak winds. The winds were so weak that boats never reached the speeds seen in previous races. A race usually takes around 25 minutes.
Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) was leading at the first mark and stretched out a large distance from OTUSA. The Kiwis had reached mark four and only had to make the run to the finish line to win. However, the 40-minute deadline was reached and the race called off.
For OTUSA and supporters this was another in the series of reprieves this week from what seemed like the inevitability of having the team knocked out of the America's Cup. For ETNZ and fans they experienced frustration and disappointment again from not achieving what was so close to them.
Those supporting the American team had another reason to cheer in the second race of the day when their team won that race. This gave Oracle four of the nine points needed to clench the cup as opposed to ETNZ only needing one point.
There is also the issue with the many foreign members of each team and spectators on vacation that need to extend their airline reservations back home to New Zealand and elsewhere.
Saturday is the 14th race on day 11 of the series. New Zealand fans want a quick end to this America's Cup which seems more like a bottomless cup.