Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

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

Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Naiad/Oracle SupplierInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Clipper Race – Constant trimming and little sleep in the North Sea
There is little opportunity for tactical moves and the timings of tacks are crucial if teams want to make vital gains. After a downwind start with spinnakers trimmed in light airs against the tide off Den Helder on the Dutch coast yesterday, the fleet has been match racing across the North Sea towards the Thames Estuary.
Posted today at 12:28 pm
Edgartown Race Week - Overall report
Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. This is the third leg of the east coast IRC summer series. Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. The three TP52’s had hard fought battles as usual.
Posted today at 6:35 am
Conch Republic Cup - More than just a race to Cuba
When relations between U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a 13-year hiatus. When diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, the Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a forced 13-year hiatus.
Posted today at 6:02 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Lone bullets for the Brits
Despite three more inshore races being held on day five France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Despite three more inshore races being held on day five of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews, France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday, but Flanders North Sea is now the team that has relieved France White of second place overall.
Posted today at 2:10 am
Supermaxi Scallywag has her first outing on Sydney Harbour
Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Yesterday the boat took it first sail on Sydney Harbour in preparation for this weekend's start of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race
Posted on 28 Jul
Extreme Sailing Series– Oman Air sneak early lead despite bump on nose
Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today, with the narrow river, passing traffic, high walls, shifty light winds and strong currents challenging the fleet on the opening day
Posted on 28 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Quantum Racing top of the pops
Quantum Racing stand on the threshold of their third regatta win of the season after sailing to their fourth win today. The Bay of Palma lived up to its one way traffic reputation for most of the time. The risk-reward equation for those pressing for the pin end launch was high. But significantly both of today’s race winners – Quantum Racing and Bronenosec– favoured the lower risk mid line starts where they had a better chance of coming away from the gun at maximum speed by staying clear of the jousting and jostling
Posted on 28 Jul
Debriefing the 2015-16 Clipper Round The World Race with Huw Fernie
Sail-World talked with Huw Fernie of Visit Seattle to learn more about a Clipper Round The World Race skipper’s life. Skipper Huw Fernie and his Visit Seattle crew took top honors in the Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge, marking their second podium finish during the 2015/16 Clipper Round The World Race. I recently caught up with Fernie to learn more about Visit Seattle’s success in the Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge, and to learn more about the life of a Clipper Round The World Race skipper.
Posted on 28 Jul
Oman Air quick to master light airs on Day 1 of Extreme Sailing Series
Last year’s wild and gusty winds gave way to light simmering airs but the Oman Sail was quick to master the conditions. The compact River Elbe race course, bordered on all sides by cargo containers and all the handling equipment associated with one of the busiest ports in the world, was expected to be tricky for the GC32 fleet even though the race area had been expanded.
Posted on 28 Jul
Finale of Clipper Race global series starts in The Netherlands
The 198nm race to London is going to be one of the most nail-biting yet with just six points separating the top teams After a Departure Ceremony from Willemsoord Marina and a Parade of Sail in the presence of Dutch Royal Navy ship ZrMs Luymes, the fleet started the final short sprint to London off the Dutch coast.
Posted on 28 Jul