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The start of the 47th Christmas Race will have to wait

by Jaume Soler 19 Dec 2023 08:43 PST 18-22 December 2023
47th Christmas Race © Alfred Farré

The 329 sailors participating in the 47th edition of the Christmas Race will have to wait until this Wednesday to start sailing. On the opening day, the wind refused to show up in the bay of Palamós due to the powerful high-pressure system anchored over Europe.

The Committees and mark layers headed out to the racecourse at the scheduled time and conducted wind measurements throughout the day, but it barely exceeded 3 knots. Considering the situation at 3 p.m., the PRO, Carlos Palomares, as there were no signs of the wind intensifying, called off the day's events until tomorrow. "The wind conditions today made it impossible to get the fleet on the water," Palomares said. Looking ahead to Wednesday, "the forecasts are promising, so the intention is to run the day's races and, if possible, make up for some that couldn't take place today," Palomares added.

For Wednesday, the wind forecast is positive, from the north between 7 and 15 knots. Enric Agud, the Christmas Race meteorologist, explains, 'Tomorrow, we expect wind, but it won't be easy conditions as it will be very variable in intensity and direction. However, there's confidence that races will be able to take place.'

World champions in Palamós

In the 47th Christmas Race, there are two reigning world champion crews: Spaniards Pol Mateu and Alejandro de Maqua in the 420 class, and Swede Henric Wigforrs in Optimist.

Mateu and De Maqua clinched the 420 class world title last summer in Alicante. The CN El Balís crew, who finished second in the last Christmas Race, mentioned, 'The Christmas Race is a top-notch international regatta, and this year it suits us well as preparation for the World Championship happening after Christmas in Brazil.' Despite the lack of wind on the first day for the Catalan crew, they expressed, "It's okay. Palamós is a great place to sail, and even though there was no wind today, there will be tomorrow, so we're very calm."

Wigforrs, who won his World Championship in Sant Pere Pescador, debuts in the Christmas Race in the 29er class alongside his partner William Drakenberg. Wigforrs explains, "Palamós is a magnificent place; in Sweden, it's very cold, and here the weather is fantastic. It's my first time sailing in Palamós, but just the fact that it's sunny and you can see the blue sky is wonderful."

For this Wednesday, the second day of the Christmas Race, the start of the races is scheduled for the expected time, at 11am.

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