Eight classes stay ashore

Gale force winds forecast for this afternoon

Tuesday August 7th 2001, Author: John Greenland, Location: United Kingdom
You can usually expect Skandia Life Cowes Week to throw up a couple of blustery days. Saturday was considered fairly windy, gusting up to 25 knots, however this was bettered yesterday when the wind built to a solid 30 knots - Force 7.

Today's forecast is for stronger winds by this afternoon, possibly reaching gale force eight. The Met Office has issued a gale warning for the shipping area Wight, located to the south of the Isle of Wight, and an approaching front looks set to bring with it rain and 25-30 knots of wind. By early afternoon steep waves will begin to develop as the tide turns against the wind direction.

In the light of this forecast eight classes have taken the decision to cancel racing for the day: X Boats, Victorys, Sonars, Sunbeams, National Squibs, Flying Fifteens, Seaview Mermaids, and National Swallows. Although currently fine, the conditions are forecast to deteriorate rapidly by 1400 this afternoon, when these classes could potentially still be racing.

The race officials have selected shorter courses for all of the classes today in the hope that they will finish before the brunt of the conditions sets in. On average the smaller classes will be racing seven nautical miles less than yesterday.

Racing in these wind strengths isn't normally too difficult, however the steep choppy seas that develop when the wind is against the tide tests even the most experienced of helmsmen in the smaller, lightweight, boats.

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