The breeze is up but the boats remain in dock. Matthew Sheahan reports
A quiet chat on the dock has been impossible all morning as a steady 35 knot breeze has been whistling through the rigging of the maxi and Superyacht fleet here in Porto Cervo. Yesterday’s forecast for strong Mistral type winds from the north proved disappointingly accurate and by 10am (local) the race committee had postponed for two hours. At midday a further postponement was announced before racing was eventually cancelled for the day at 1220.
The problem appears to be a modest area of low pressure pressed up against a large high pressure system over the UK, which has resulted in a squeezing of the isobars over SE France, Corsica and Sardinia.
As the breeze continues to howl through the dock, tugging at the bows of the superyachts, it’s easy to see that simply getting out of the harbour would be tricky enough. Out on the race course, a steady breeze of 35 knots with gusts well over 40 would reduce most of the fleet to storm sails at best.
The good news however is twofold.
1) The weather system is due to sweep through to the south east late in the day or this evening, leaving more settled conditions for tomorrow and the rest of the week.
2) The delay to racing has provided plenty of opportunity for dockside chatter and banter.
Among the gossip came more details on some of the shenanigans from yesterday’s racing. With 15-20 knots of breeze and sparkling sunshine the crews could not have asked for more. Yet not everything went smoothly.
Aboard Wild Oats a power failure shortly before the start meant that none of the winches could be operated other than with the top handles, not a racing option. The crew were left having to start at the wrong end of the line, on the unfavoured tack and limp up the first beat until the power was restored.
For the crew of the 122ft Ghost, an awkward dilemma developed when a headsail slipped over the side on the upwind leg. With plenty of RIBs following the racing, the chances of having the sail picked up were good had the sail not been that off a superyacht and weighed so much. One helpful soul headed towards the sinking sail, but was clearly struggling to pull a sail that normally takes an army of five on the foredeck to hump about, aboard his RIB. Seeing a $100,000 sail sink to the sea bed and a lone soul trying in vain to prevent the inevitable, was too much to bear for the crew of Ghost and they turned back to collect the sail, retiring from their pole position as they did so.
The mighty J Class Ranger managed to break the end of her spinnaker pole on the downwind leg, not something you can readily repair, but the crew still managed to win their class.
Keeping the show on the road is a large part of the maxi scene and Peter Rusch spent the morning talking to Wild Oats’ shore logisticts manager Iain Smith as well as Stephan Kessenich who performs the same role for the Y3K team.
feature and podcast.
IN A NUTSHELL
Rolex Maxi World Championships Day 2
Wind Strength: 35-45 knots
Sea State: No Thanks
Race : Cancelled for the Day
******AUDIO STORIES & PODCASTS******
Matthew Sheahan and Peter Rusch talk to some of the key players during the week. You can also subscribe (free) to updates through iTunes.
CLICK HERE for Wild Oats’ shore manager Iain Smith on keeping the show on the road
CLICK HERE for Alfa Romeo Tactician Michael Coxon on Day 1
CLICK HERE for Mani Frers on Day 1
CLICK HERE for ALL Audio Stories & Podcasts
****** RESULTS ******
CLICK HERE for Official YCCS Website & Full Results