Mistral winds put a halt to racing at Rolex Cup

Porto Cervo, Italy. 6th September 2011.

Instead of racing around the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago, strong Mistral winds blowing off the north eastern coast of Sardinia kept the 45 Maxi yachts competing in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2011 firmly moored in Porto Cervo marina today. The fleet has been divided into Racing, Racing/Cruising and Supermaxi divisions as well as the Mini Maxi division which numbers sixteen yachts competing for the title of Mini Maxi Rolex World Champion 2011. The event is organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the International Maxi Association from 5th to 10th September.

Principal Race Officer Peter Craig had no regrets about today’s decision to abandon racing which was taken at 1.30 p.m. after support boats on the course consistently registered approximately 30 knots at sea level. “Today’s decision was not a difficult one, the breeze was much stronger than most of the forecasts we had. We had no choice but to sit and wait as some of the models we consulted showed the wind falling off a little later in the day, but the wind stayed pretty constant at 28 to 32 knots with much higher gusts. Given that this was the first day of a Rolex championship event we didn’t want to see a lot of equipment breakages creating problems for the rest of the week and I think the majority of the sailors here agreed with the decision.”
On his hopes of starting racing tomorrow Craig was optimistic: “Tomorrow’s forecast predicts a situation similar to today in the late afternoon with more than 30 knots of north-westerly wind. The good news is that earlier in the day we should have 18 to 25 knots and for this reason we have moved the start forward and intend to get these boats racing.”
Racing on Wednesday, 7th September, has been moved forward to 10.30 a.m. and all divisions will be set a coastal race.
Live tracking will be available on www.yccs.com during the event.