Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

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

Protector - 660 x 82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignZhik ZKG 660x82

Related Articles

Heerema delayed by Biscay lows, Groundhog Day for Destremau
With 16 boats now finished, eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. With 16 boats now finished, the eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. Until now it was the 2000-2001 edition, with 24 starters and 15 finishers, which saw the biggest number of starters reach the end of their race at the legendary South Nouch buoy.
Posted today at 10:24 am
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season with major victory at RORC C600
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season off with major victory at RORC Caribbean 600 Bella Mente Racing, led by owner/driver Hap Fauth, launched its 2017 campaign season with a major victory this week, winning IRC Overall, CSA Overall and CSA 1 at the RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua; The team took home coveted RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the IRC win as well as the Bella Mente Trophy, the team’s namesake award, for being first IRC yacht to finish that is wholly manually powered.
Posted today at 4:54 am
Cool drone footage of Dongfeng Race Team on the water
Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Stunning drone footage of the re-fitted Volvo Ocean 65 has been released as the team hit the water off the coast of Lisbon.
Posted today at 3:52 am
49th Transpac early entry deadline approaches on March 1st
Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race is well underway Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race presented by the Los Angeles Times and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club is well underway, with 52 monohull and multihull entries from nine nations already signed up for this biennial 2225-mile ocean race, one of the world's oldest having first been sailed in 1905.
Posted today at 3:36 am
18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - Replay coverage - Race 1
Live coverage of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain Replay of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain
Posted today at 3:25 am
Hat-trick all around for Phaedo^3 in this year Caribbean 600
Lloyd Thornburg and crew of Phaedo^3 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class. Lloyd Thornburg and the crew of his MOD70 Phaedo^3 for the last three editions of the RORC Caribbean 600 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class.
Posted today at 3:16 am
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman's thoughts on his incredible performance
Colman was the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels After finishing 16th in the Vendee Globe, crossing the finish line under the jury rig which had carried him the final 720 miles of his race since he was dismasted, Conrad Colman was greeted by a hero's welcome into Les Sables d'Olone. The first New Zealander to complete the race he was also the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels.
Posted on 24 Feb
More winners announced in RORC Caribbean 600
As dawn broke on day five, crews who had finished the race were beginning to arrive back in Antigua. At Dawn on the fifth day, the leading Class40s were approaching the finish. Throughout the race, the battle in the class had been intense, with three yachts taking the lead at various points along the course.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman finishes under jury rig
Colman constructed and stepped a remarkable jury rig which has allowed him to sail the final 740 miles of 27,440nm race New Zealander Conrad Colman wrote a new chapter in the storied history of the Vendée Globe when he crossed the finish line of the eighth edition of the non stop solo round the world race under a makeshift jury rig.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendée Globe – Romain Attanasio takes fifteenth place
French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the solo race around the world French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the non stop solo race around the world this morning (Friday 24th February) when he crossed the finish line at 1006hrs UTC.
Posted on 24 Feb