One class has been abandoned at Cowes, all others are underway with 811 yachts out on courses in the central and eastern Solent.

A low pressure system on its travels eastwards arrived over Skandia Life Cowes Week participants at lunchtime, conspiring to kill the wind entirely at 1330. That was just as the last class, the XODs, were scheduled to start. Despite being very keen to get them away, a strenghtening foul tide left race officers with little choice but to fire three guns to mark the abandonment. Bizarrely, all of this was taking place even as the first of the Darings, Etchells and Sportsboats were finishing, those classes having found better breezes earlier in the day.

The Victory class started just minutes before and are now floundering somewhat. One of them, Christina, had already had a bit of a moment this morning, having gently tangled with the hulls of a large trimaran before being towed into the clear again by Cowes Inshore Lifeboat.

Weather is dominated by steady rain that is dampening proceedings somewhat. The current forecast is for winds to back to north-west and pick up to around a Force 3, with a Force 4-5 possible later. The rain should ease this evening but a chance of a shower will persist.

Saturday’s racing is due to take place in moderate to strong north-westerlies.