Sunday, August 12, 2007

Severe blow...

Photos credit: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
Rolex Fastnet Race Postponed
Race crews had an extra day to prepare for the Rolex Fastnet Race start rescheduled for Monday 13 August. For the first time in race history, RORC race organizers elected to postpone the start by 25 hours due to a severe weather warning from the UK Met Office, which would have put the bulk of the fleet in the middle of the Celtic Sea as a low pressure system approached, with no safe port to run to.

Fastnet: "it is going to be hideous"
Records could be broken on this Fastnet Race, provided the handful of maxis get to the Fastnet Rock before Wednesday morning - and then hold together. But the rest of the 300-strong race fleet is about to face the biggest test of seamanship and preparation in almost 30 years.
When I ask him if he has fears about what the fleet faces, Broughton is candid. "Yes, I do actually. I very rarely ever have fears about yacht racing but beating into that after the sea changes with two or three different wave trains… yes, I do. The sea state is the big issue.
-Elaine Bunting's blog
Multihull Class Pull Out To Dangerous
On Saturday 1600 hours, RORC race management announced a 24 hour delay for the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race (initially planned for Sunday 12th August) with the possibility of an ensuing postponement...
For the ORMA class, in agreement with all the enrolled skippers, the race has been cancelled. This cancellation was motivated by 3 main reasons:
"Weather conditions"
A violent depression is deepening off the English coast with 35 to 40 knots of wind and very big seas (4 to 5m). In these extreme conditions with a course at 90° to the wind, there is a considerable risk for the entire fleet and the ORMA multihull class in particular. This same, highly unstable depression is also the source for the change in course of the Figaro.
"A difficult decision for race management"
In deciding to postpone the start, the organisers made a single decision for all the boat classes, creating a delicate situation for the fastest boats like the ORMA multihulls, who could have completed the whole course prior to the depression if the start had been given on Sunday as originally intended.
Transat Jacques Vabre, the key event of the ORMA season! Bringing the ORMA Multihull Championship 2007 to an end, this event is the main objective for each of the teams.