The forcast for the third day of the Six Metre European Championship was for strong sun, high temperates and little or no wind, and unfortunately it was not wrong! Despite everyone's best efforts no racing was possible for the second day running.
Chris Hadden and his Race Committee started by taking the fleet out towards the entrance of the Helford River, as they had a nice light sailing breeze in that area at the time the boats were leaving the dock. Sadly by the time they arrived on the start line it was dying and soon the Sixes were lolling airless on the swell. With current taking them towards the rocky shore and the crews finding the rolling hard to stomach, it wasn't long before the boats were under tow back across the bay.
The Race Committee then looked in vane at various other options around Falmouth Bay and in Carrick Roads, before sending the fleet back in at lunchtime to avoid the worst of the midday heat. By early afternoon there were signs of a light sea breeze out towards St Anthony's Head, so the committee called the boats afloat again. But it was to no avail and shortly after the wind once again petered out. The fleet stuck it out for a couple more hours watching tempting zephyrs come and go, but eventually had to admit defeat.
Only two races have been completed so far and at least five races are required to constitute the championship, so the race committee has confirmed the regatta will be extended into Friday's reserve racing day. Advance notice has also been given that the committee is considering bringing the first warning signal for Friday's racing forward to 08.55; a final decision on this will be made after racing tomorrow once the forecast and number of races completed to that point is known.
Unfortunately the forecasts for tomorrow and Friday offer more light winds and only a minimal chance of sea breezes. Asked for his thoughts on the situation, Chris Hadden joked ironically, 'When last seen, the race officer was drawing two overlapping triangles in chalk on the ground, borrowing six black candles and looking for a virgin goat to sacrifice!'
The sailors are philosophical about the situation and making the most of the opportunity for long lunches with friends and to enjoy the wonderful scenery of Falmouth Bay. Of course everyone is frustrated with the lack of racing, especially those who have travelled from as far afield and Canada, the USA, Hong Kong and across Europe, but they all recognise that sometimes the weather gods simply refuse to smile on them and there is nothing anyone can do but remain calm, keep their spirits up and make the most of a difficult situation.
Fortunately Falmouth and the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club's reputation for outstanding hospitality is well deserved, and the town and surrounding area offer lots of attractions for the visitor. This evening competitors are enjoying a champagne and strawberries sunset cruise around Falmouth Bay and the spectacular Helford River. All this sun and heat might not be much good for racing, but its definitely an added bonus on evenings like this.
With no racing today the overall results after two races remain Valhalla and Blade Runner tied for the lead of the Modern Division with three points each and Notorious third on 9.5 points. In the Classic Division Titia leads on four points with Gallant second on seven points and Nada third on nine points.
Wind permitting, racing is scheduled to commence at 10.30 tomorrow and the regatta continues until Friday 25 July, when no warning signal can be made after 12 noon. Event website