Light winds and torrential rain warnings have caused racing to be abandoned at Skandia Cowes Week

Lunchtime today saw a maximum wind speed of 0.6kts – hardly enough to stir the postponement flag hanging limply outside the Royal Yacht Squadron. With such a packed schedule, abandoning racing at Cowes is a huge decision, but the team on the race platform hardly needed advice from expert meteorologist Chris Tibbs to see that today was only suitable for the rowing championships.

When questioned about the impact of the abandonment, Stuart Quarrie, director of Cowes Combined Clubs, commented: “The races scheduled for today have been abandoned – that means that they will not be rescheduled later in the week. That also means that the trophies which would have been contested today cannot be awarded, although the class trophies will simply be decided on one less race per class. It’s very sad, but there’s nothing we can do.”

A Met Office warning today also warned of thundery downpours, delivering up to 25mm of rain in an hour. The high pressure area and detached cold front which have caused these conditions are set to move eastwards overnight, which should result in a light south-westerly breeze by morning. The crews at Skandia Cowes Week will certainly be hoping the prophets are right, but perhaps a little superstitious backstay scratching and whistling might be found on board the boats this evening.