were held in the
Hauraki Gulf during the Louis Vuitton Cup series of 1999 to test
ability to modify wind strength and direction in a small race area of a
few square kilometres. Weather
modification (WM) at that level of precision had not been attempted
The preliminary results would determine whether or not TWM would go on
to participate in the America's Cup events.
The results were
proposal was faxed to Prada and Team NZ offering to enhance either
team's ability to win the Finals but neither syndicate accepted the
The idea of generating favourable wind shifts may have been too radical
| risky to be considered at that late stage.
another strategy. To
demonstrate that its claims were well-founded, messages were faxed to
teams announcing that an attempt would be made to achieve
five cancellations on the official race days. These would be the
of five wins required by either team to be able to claim the trophy.
were also faxed to the news teams of TV1 and TV3 at the same time.
on 27 February, copies of all messages were emailed to the America's
Cup Challenge Association and Louis Vuitton Media Centre.
By 29 February, FOUR
cancellations had been accumulated
to Team NZ's three wins.(Dates of cancelled races: February 19,
24, 27, 29)
resources and preparation
time, TWM succeeded where all other challengers had failed. 80%
of its intended goal for the Finals had been achieved before a business
commitment out of Auckland required the project to be terminated. The
race would have made it five cancellations. The
email of 27 February to the ACC Association may have influenced
officials to change 01 March from a lay
day to a race day. Team NZ won the next two races and rewrote history.
But the real epoch-making
the annals of this yachting extravaganza was that Indigenous weather
determined when and how it would progress. The campaign was
and was intended to demonstrate to the world media and yachting
a simple but powerful reality. Whoever "controls" the weather controls
the race... and everything associated with it. Frustrating for
and visitors perhaps, but for the Auckland
community the delays were very profitable.
applications arising from the TWM Challenge
- Remote WM
fact - TWM was
not physically present at the race area. Most events were monitored via
internet, radio, or televised coverage at a location more than 20 kms
from the race area.
area modified weather
events are achievable and repeatable. The objective was to keep
out of the 5 - 20 knot range during each race for about four hours or
cancellation was announced.
- Large and
small-scale WM can
be performed simultaneously.
All things being
equal, a challenger
employing TWM technology and expertise will win the 2003 series.
wind conditions made the last series a nightmare, as Young America
discovered. The solution is to modify
shifts in the race area. There are no ACC rules against
the weather. It happens nearly every day in Auckland. This, of course,
makes sustained WM very difficult and the above achievement even more
for improving boat performance are secondary to WM. Any slight
gained in boat technology can easily be lost by unexpected wind shifts.
Wind determines success or failure for competitors, and race or no race
for organizers. TWM has considerable influence in both respects.