Please select your home edition
Edition
Protector 728x90

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup day 1 – Mistral conditions in Porto Cervo

by Giles Pearman on 7 Sep 2011
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup fleet at the Porto Cervo Marina - Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2011 © Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi http://www.carloborlenghi.net
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup first day of racing was cancelled due to the strong mistral wind of over 30 knots hitting Porto Cervo. Racing is rescheduled for tomorrow, 7th September 2011.

During yesterday’s Skippers’ Briefing, Claus-Peter Offen, President of the International Maxi Association (IMA) and owner of the 100-ft Wally Y3K (GER), jested about the possibility of the wind being too strong during the first day of scheduled racing at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. Rather than a whimsy, it proved to be a sharp prediction. At 09:30 CEST this morning, Principal Race Officer Peter Craig announced the flying of the AP flag. With 20 knots circulating in the marina and a menacing 25-28 knots recorded out on the course, the Race Committee made the wise decision to postpone sailing until midday. Crews waited patiently, and a little anxiously, to discover if the scheduled coastal racing for all classes would take place. The inevitable was put off until 13:30 CEST when the abandonment of today’s racing was confirmed: the anticipated drop in wind, forecast for this afternoon, showed no signs of arriving.

The Race Committee has made the pro-active decision to commence proceedings earlier tomorrow. The strong breeze experienced today is predicted to drop off overnight, but build again in the afternoon. Accordingly, a prompt 10:30 CEST start and coastal courses are on the agenda for all four classes. Hotels across Porto Cervo will be preparing early breakfasts. In the meantime, the crews have the unexpected pleasure of sampling the Costa Smeralda’s many spectacular beaches.


Weathermen’s wind verdict
Mike Broughton, navigator on the 78-ft Mini Maxi Whisper (IRL), is a shrewd meteorologist and had been expecting a brash start to the week. 'It is a real shame that we have lost racing on the first day,' reveals Broughton, 'we have a Mistral arriving from France which is curling down the mountains in a Venturi effect between Sardinia and Corsica. It keeps on pumping between the two islands, so we’ve got winds in the high twenty, low thirty knots out there. It is on the edge and a little on the wrong side.'

The forecast is equally challenging for tomorrow. 'Unfortunately it could be even windier,' admits Broughton, 'we’ve got a stronger pressure gradient which means it is looking heavier. There’s a bit of a mix later in the week, strong on Thursday and potentially lighter on Saturday.'

Standing on the dockside, the wind may not have seemed so dramatic. A deceptive notion. 'I’ve spent a lot of time in Porto Cervo and on hold,' explains Broughton, 'often in the harbour it doesn’t seem so bad because it is sheltered, but if you get a mile or two offshore, you can face quite a big increase in wind, often 30-40 per cent more. It is a really good decision (by the Race Committee) because you don’t want to break anything so early in the competition. It can also be a bit tricky, in these conditions, getting the boats back to moor in the harbour.'

The forecast has also been fixed on the mind of Nacho Postigo, acclaimed Spanish navigator on the Wally 93–ft Open Season (GBR). 'The Mistral is a normal ingredient of Porto Cervo, and it is a regular visitor of this regatta,' explains the former America’s Cup sailor, 'often you have days when the wind stays between 20-25 and it makes for tricky but very enjoyable racing but days like today when wind conditions are well above 25 knots makes for extreme and dangerous sailing, considering size of the boats. The difference of just three knots can be really big. It is a very good decision to postpone.'

'Tomorrow is still tricky,' warns Postigo, 'The Mistral is an unpredictable animal and is still dominating the panorama. Today’s waiting game was difficult, it is important for the crews to keep their attention, concentration and avoid relaxing.'

The imposing Mistral is not the only thing fixed on Postigo’s mind. Other challenges lie ahead once out on the water. 'There are so many rocks in this area, that you sometimes have to forget about the wind,' jokes the Spaniard, 'as navigator, there are many tasks. We have to manage the power for the electrical systems for the winches which determine the manoeuvres, continually update the crew on what we are doing, as well as stay as close as possible to rocks without being too close.' Like the other 46 navigators in attendance at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Postigo will be hoping to put his forensic planning into action tomorrow.

On The Agenda
Racing is now scheduled to start tomorrow, Wednesday 7 September and concludes on Saturday 10 September. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, along with the International Maxi Association (IMA) and title sponsor Rolex, will provide a lavish array of first class social events including Saturday's final Prize Giving Ceremony, where the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup trophies and Rolex timepieces will be awarded.


Event website

Mackay BoatsNorth Technology - Southern SparsBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

New Zealand's influence at JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship
Can the Yamaha 18ft Skiff team become the first NZers to win the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour? Can the Yamaha 18ft Skiff team of David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins become the first New Zealand team in the 79-year history to win the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour? The team came within one point of the 2016 winner, Smeg, and are determined to go that one better this year.
Posted today at 9:18 am
RORC Caribbean 600 - Maserati Multi70 in a fight for lead with Phaedo3
After 24-hours of racing in RORC Caribbean 600 Race Maserati Multi70 trimaran is locked in a fierce struggle for lead After 24-hours of racing in the RORC Caribbean 600 Race the Maserati Multi70 trimaran skippered by Italian ocean racer Giovanni Soldini is locked in a fierce struggle for the lead with the race record holder Phaedo3.
Posted today at 5:09 am
3rd line honours in a row for Phaedo^3 in the RORC Caribbean 600
After an epic battle with their MOD70 sistership Maserati, Phaedo^3 took multihull line honours in RORC Caribbean 600. After an epic battle with their MOD70 sistership Maserati, Phaedo^3 took multihull line honours in the RORC Caribbean 600.
Posted today at 4:04 am
Phaedo^3 side by side with Maserati South of Guadeloupe
It was a Gybe for Gybe competition for the two MOD70’s in a Monsoon like storm South of Guadeloupe. It was a Gybe for Gybe competition for the two MOD70’s in a Monsoon like storm South of Guadeloupe. Phaedo^3 has now managed to pull away on the leg up to next mark off Barbuda.
Posted today at 4:01 am
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman talks about a finish on Friday night
The dismasted, now jury rigged entry in the Vendee Globe, Foresight Natural Energy, skippered by Conrad Colman (NZL/USA/ The dismasted, now jury rigged entry in the Vendee Globe, Foresight Natural Energy, skippered by Conrad Colman (NZL/USA/FRA) is making slow progress towards the finish line at Les Sables dÓlonne on the west coast of France. Although he is showing modest speed on the water his progress is still painful
Posted on 21 Feb
Newport Shipyard prepares for busy season, announces major events
Newport Shipyard will once again prove its prowess as New England’s “yachting hub” when a rush of superyachts head north Newport Shipyard will once again prove its prowess as New England’s “yachting hub” when a rush of superyachts head north to the famous “City by the Sea” after the America’s Cup in Bermuda this June.
Posted on 21 Feb
50th anniversary year for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
Founded in 1967, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) this year celebrates its first 50 years of existence. Founded in 1967, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) this year celebrates its first 50 years of existence. This morning during a press conference held in Milan at the Riccardo Catella Foundation, an association dedicated to the research and promotion of sustainable local development since 2007, the YCCS presented a programme of social and sporting events to mark the occasion.
Posted on 21 Feb
New gunboat class to join race and festivities at BVI Spring Regatta
With six Gunboats confirmed to race, the competition dial has been notched up for one of the best Caribbean racing With six Gunboats confirmed to race, the competition dial has been seriously notched up for one of the best Caribbean racing events under the sun.
Posted on 21 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 – Day 2 – More Argyll than Antigua
After a champagne start to the race there was a huge change in weather conditions by the end of the first day. After a champagne start to the race there was a huge change in weather conditions by the end of the first day. The low pressure system emanating from the north arrived earlier than anticipated, extinguishing the trade winds to provide a windless night for many competitors.
Posted on 21 Feb
Vendée Globe – Rich Wilson takes thirteenth place
Wilson, at 66 years old the oldest skipper in the race, completes the pinnacle solo ocean racing event for second time. Wilson, at 66 years old the oldest skipper in the race, successfully completes the pinnacle solo ocean racing event for the second time.
Posted on 21 Feb