No wind, no play
Despite the presence of an encouraging 6-8 knot breeze on the race course early on the morning of day 2 of the 2011 Böklunder Melges 24 European Championship, sadly by the time the 80 boat international fleet had arrived at the starting area, the wind had faded a little and was becoming increasingly unstable. After an initial General Recall on the first attempt to start the fourth race of the championship series, Principal Race Officer Hank Stuart was forced to AP the following attempt when the wind dropped below 4 knots. Over the next few hours, this pattern was repeated several times as the recalcitrant breeze continued to spring up and frustratingly die away again.
After no less than eight stymied attempts to get racing underway, Stuart finally had to reluctantly admit defeat soon after 14.00 and post flags AP over A to abandon racing for the day and send the fleet ashore. "It was a frustrating day for sure." commented Stuart. "Several times the breeze looked as if it had filled in consistently across the course, but the moment we tried to get a race away, the wind data from the mark boats would start to come in with widely varying directions and strengths and we would have to go to AP. It's disappointing for the sailors not to race, but this is a European Championship and we want to be able to lay on good fair races."
Back ashore, the competitors appeared understanding and appreciative of the efforts to Race Committee. Geoff Carveth, helmsman on GBR 654 Gill Race Team, said that he believed the committee had done everything they could: "At least we all got plenty of starting practise today. Shame is that we got some of our best starts of the regatta in the races that never happened!"
Racing at the Böklunder Melges 24 European Championship continues tomorrow Tuesday 26 July, with forecasts offering the hope of warmer and sunnier conditions, but unfortunately more light winds are expected too.