After gusting Mistral winds kept the 52 yachts enrolled in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship on the docks on Monday, today it was the turn of a northerly gale to put paid to the competitors’ hopes of more challenging battles on the regatta course.
A highly agitated sea state combined with winds regularly registering upwards of 25 knots forced the YCCS Race Committee to abandon racing for the day early this morning. With three more days of competition on the cards and lighter conditions forecast, however, organisers the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the International Maxi Association are confident of a making up for lost time.
The leaders of their respective divisions therefore remain: Open Season (Wally), Bella Mente (Maxi 72), WinWin (SuperMaxi), Rambler 88 (Maxi Racing), My Song (Maxi Racing Cruising), Prospector (Mini Maxi Racing), H2O (Mini Maxi Racing Cruising) and Windfall (Southern Wind).
Peter Craig, Principal Race Office, explained the thinking behind today’s decision and the Race Committee’s intentions for the next few days: ‘The forecasts have been pretty reliable, no real surprises, we knew today that it was very unlikely we’d get a race in but we had to keep the option open. But it was plain to see that the sea state was severe and the northerly 15 to 20 miles out was still howling. Going forward the good news is that the forecasts look fairly consistent, with sailable conditions for all three days. For tomorrow we are contemplating two coastals if we get the proper conditions, which is challenging but we are going out an hour early.
We’d like to get the Maxi 72s up as close to their 10 race quota in the World Championship as possible, so there’s a chance of three windward-leeward races for the 72s in the coming days – but of course quality racing is more important than quantity so we’ll see how things develop.
While racing might be suffering at the hands of the wind gods, the accompanying social programme is in full swing with the traditional IMA Dinner at the YCCS Clubhouse this evening and an Audi Crew Party to be held tomorrow evening before Friday’s gala dinner hosted by Rolex for owners.
The spectacular fleet is due back on the starting line tomorrow morning at 10.30 a.m. with a north-easterly breeze forecast.
by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda