Challenger Sequence set for ‘ghost races’ with U.S. workforce sidelined

(Reuters) – With American Magic still working to repair the damage to their boat after capsizing on Sunday, America’s Cup organisers said this weekend’s Challenger Series round robin action will feature single-yacht ‘ghost races’.

The American team’s skipper Terry Hutchinson said on Monday they would not make the start line this weekend after their yacht “Patriot” was upended by a freak wind.

The winner of the Challenger Series earns the right to face defenders Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup from March 6.

American Magic’s absence prompted organisers to cancel Friday’s racing and stage the remaining match-ups for round robins three and four over Saturday and Sunday.

Challengers Ineos Team UK and Italy’s Luna Rossa still have to cross the start line to collect points from their ties against American Magic.

“The ‘ghost race’ will then be suspended just a few minutes after the start,” organisers said in a statement. “The rule of 25 minutes between the two starts will not apply to these ‘ghost races.'”

The Challenger Series final starts on Feb. 13.

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