America's Cup boats stored ashore due to gale-force winds

America's Cup crews struggle in gusty conditions in Plymouth Sound

America's Cup organisers lifted out all boats taking part in the sailing competition in Plymouth in anticipation of gale-force winds overnight.

Nine catamarans from seven countries taking part in the world tour event are being stored ashore amid concern the £800,000 boats could be damaged.

Racing in Plymouth Sound on Sunday was brought forward because of high winds.

Winds reached speeds of about 45mph during Sunday night, but would ease after Monday, BBC Devon Weather said.

Start Quote

It certainly made for an exciting spectacle ”

End Quote Craig Thompson America's Cup

Three boats capsized as about 10,000 people watched from the Hoe on Sunday afternoon.

The racing was brought forward from 15:00 BST to 13:00 because of high winds.

All the vessels were lifted out afterwards.

The chief executive officer of the event authority, Craig Thompson said that some crews said they could have coped with higher winds during the races.

He said: "They were right on the edge in that level of wind, but some senior sailors said they could have raced in winds that were even five knots [5.8mph] higher.

"It was a real test for everybody. Three boats going over was a surprise, but it certainly made for an exciting spectacle from the Hoe."

However, he added that getting the boats back on land afterwards had been a "good move".

Monday and Tuesday are rest days for the catamarans' crews.

Organisers said they hoped the worst weather would be over before racing commenced again on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, members of the crews are joining forces with volunteers and staff from the National Marine Aquarium to tackle litter at the city's Tinside seafront lido and in the Coxside area.

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