A lack of breeze

Not enough wind to get the Tornado Worlds off to a start in Martha's Vineyard

Tuesday September 24th 2002, Author: Sasha Oswald, Location: United States
The 2002 Tornado World championships was due to commence yesterday, but had to be delayed due to lack of wind.

The first day of the championships dawned with a big thunderstorm overnight and torrential rain in which the competitors had to rig the boats. After a brief wait for a few suspected thunderclouds to pass over, the fleet were sent out.

A south westerly breeze of around 7 knots was sufficient to get the fleet away after three general recalled starts. The breeze slowly died during the race and dropped to below three knots for over fifteen minutes on the third round so the race was abandoned, at the time RYA team GBR sailors Hugh Styles and Adam May were the top Brits, rounding the bottom mark in seventh place just before the race was abandoned. After waiting around for another half an hour, racing was abandoned for the day and the fleet headed home.

Martha's Vineyard, lies seven miles off the coast of Cape Cod and is the largest island in New England (it is nine miles wide and 23 miles long). The event here has attracted the cream of the crop, with 57 boats representing five continents and twenty countries. The depth of talent is vast and includes the likes of 2000 Olympic Gold medallist and 2000 world champions Roman Hagara/Hans-Peter Steinacher of Austria, Sydney Olympic silver medallists and 2001 world champions Darren Bundock/John Forbes and 1996 Olympic silver medallist Mitch Booth, who is sailing with Herbert Dercksen, from the Netherlands.

There are six British boats entered in the event, including team GBR sailors Hugh Styles and Adam May who are ranked number three in the world and finished eighth at the Europeans earlier this year. Team mates Leigh McMillan and Mark Bulkeley who are ranked number six in the world and Rob Wilson and Will Howden who finished tenth at the Europeans and are ranked tenth overall in the world rankings. Other British teams that will be hoping to put in some solid results will be Steven Lovegrove and Martin Sellars, Matthew Eeles and crew Marcus Lynch and Leo Farrrow sailing with Tris Lamb.

The forecast for day two of the championships is for 10-15 knots, so the competitors and race committee will be hoping that the championships will have a solid breeze in order for racing to get underway.

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