Dogs off chains

Day one of Red Funnel Easter Challenge canned dueto 40 knot winds

Friday March 21st 2008, Author: Louay Habib, Location: United Kingdom
Day one of the Red Funnel Easter Challenge saw strong north westerly winds, gusting over 40 knots. The fresh gale combined with spring tides whipped up the Solent into a foaming and confused state. The Royal Ocean Racing Club decided to postpone racing for one hour in the hope of getting at least one race in for the competitors.

However the conditions failed to improve as PRO Jamie Wilkinson explains: “We decided to postpone racing until 1500 to avoid wind against tide. Although the wind occasionally dropped to about 25 knots, it was regularly at 35 knots and occasionally gusting over 40.The foredeck on the committee boat was pretty precarious and although we could have anchored, it would have been very dangerous to run a race from the deck of the boat.”

Three races are schedule for day two of the Red Funnel Easter Challenge, however the weather forecast for tomorrow is looking very much the same. If racing is not possible, a provision has been in put in place for the competitors to have a coaching session in Cowes Yacht Haven Event Centre, as Jim Saltonstall explains: “Tomorrow morning, if a decision is made not to sail, then the plan is to try and get as many people as possible for a training session on dry land. Myself, Barry Dunning, Cathy Foster and Eddie Warden-Owen will be giving an hour lecture or possibly longer, on Championship preparation. It will be a shame if we can’t race but we have to make the most of it.”

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