Hellfire and brimstone sends maxis scuttling back to port
Today’s scheduled second day of racing at the 2012 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup was abandoned in the face of thunder, lightning, torrential rain and extreme gusts.
Most competitors were awoken in the early hours of the morning by a deluge of rain. This appeared to have subsided as crews gathered on the dock in the morning but this proved to be the calm before the storm and once out on the race course, a series of severe squalls and even persistent hail storms ultimately caused racing to be canned for the day.
“Our intention was to have coastal races for four classes and windward/leeward racing for the Mini Maxis,” explained PRO Peter Craig. “We delayed the start this morning because we had reports of a very confused sea state which we decided to let settle with every intention of getting racing underway. Things then looked good. The breeze was further east than predicted and about 10-14 knots.
“Unfortunately reports about conditions inside the strait led to some different decisions as the situation deteriorated very quickly. Wind speeds of 25 knots became 35 knots with hail and cloud formations which we deemed to be unsafe.” The Race Committee had no alternative than to call the 34-strong international fleet back off the water.
The deluge continued for the remainder of the afternoon. Looking ahead the forecast models are not aligning well but the general indication is that conditions will be abating from tomorrow late morning onwards with the wind backing from the north into the northwest.
The schedule for tomorrow includes windward-leeward racing for the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship and coastal races for the other four classes. Crews will now expect to race on Thursday, previously scheduled as a lay day.