Marinonics Sail Paradise has tonight been coined ‘Gale Paradise’ with a low pressure system moving south from the Sunshine Coast whipping up conditions on the Gold Coast and postponing the opening day of racing.
Competitors gathered at the host club, Southport Yacht Club, this evening to be advised by principal race officer Denis Thompson that due to adverse conditions there will be no racing tomorrow, Monday 10 January.
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting 25 to 30 knots out of the east south while weather guru Roger ‘Clouds’ Badham has forecast winds of between 22 and 27 knots and torrential rain starting from around 3am tomorrow morning.
Southport Yacht Club’s sailing manager Shane Smith this afternoon described the Gold Coast seaway as 'messy with waves breaking right across the bar opening'. With torrential rain forecast, possibly up to 200ml in a 24 hour period, the heavy sea state is likely to worsen once the flood water starts escaping out of the seaway.
'The wind strength in itself is not enough to cause concern, it’s the combination of wind and driving rain which is going to make visibility an issue for competitors,' said Thompson this evening.
'We also have to think about getting the boats back into the seaway safely. With the expected downpour yachts will not only be battling heavy seas, they’ll also be pushing into floodwater to get back across the bar.
'All in all it’s a volatile combination for day one so we’ve decided for safety reasons to keep the fleet ashore where they will be nice and dry and will be able to see their hand in front of their nose.'
Conditions for the Gold Coast’s newest sailing regatta are expected to ease as the week progresses.
Thompson and his regatta team will meet tomorrow to look at the racing schedule for the rest of the week with a strong possibility Wednesday’s layday will be cancelled to make up for tomorrow’s postponed races.
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