Tornado European Championships

Plenty of weather action but no racing

Tuesday May 7th 2002, Author: Sacha Oswald, Location: Mediterranean
Freak weather system prevents racing getting underway at Tornado Europeans, Vilamoura

Racing was cancelled on the first day of the Tornado Europeans in Vilamoura, Portugal, due to appalling weather conditions. Racing was due to commence at 1pm, but was delayed all afternoon and finally cancelled as the race committee attempted to lay a course five times in the unusual conditions that Vilamoura had to offer.

Vilamoura this time of year is renowned for thermal breezes and calm weather which is why racing is scheduled to start at 1pm each day, in the hope that wind would be present by then. Instead, today sailors experienced breezes of 0-22 knots and thunder and hail storms.

A total of seventy-seven boats have congregated at The International Club of Vilamoura's Marina including the best Tornado sailors in the World. Sydney Olympic Gold Medallists and leaders of the World Ranking, Roman Hagara and Hans Steinacher of Austria are present, as well as Sydney Silver Medallists Darren Bundock and John Forbes from Australia who are ranked third in the World.

"The Tornado fleet has stepped up a gear this year and there are a lot of good guys in the fleet. With 77 boats it is going to be a tough regatta and we would expect to see the guys who have been putting in the hours on the water do well at this event, but there are quite a few top guys in the frame," commented Hugh Styles, who went on to say, "We have had the advantage of training for three weeks at this regatta venue already, and have been concentrating on our kit and finding that little bit extra needed to peak at the key events. We won silver last year at this event and will be hoping to repeat our performance and finish in the top three."

The race committee will be hoping that racing can get underway tomorrow, from then on, there will be two races a day with the prize giving taking place on Saturday the 11th May.

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