Thursday, October 18, 2012

Racing Cancelled at Extreme Sailing Series - Nice

Wild conditions in Nice today saw the cancellation of the first day of racing at the penultimate Act of the Extreme Sailing Series.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Today's forecast was for 14 to 17 knots but the French Riviera over delivered with the winds blowing  25 knots, with gusts peaking at 30 knots throughout the day. Together with a strong tide and rolling waves there was lots of bow down, hull flying action as the eight Extreme 40s battled the elements to keep their catamarans upright.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Shortly after the fleet left the dock, Race Director Phil Lawrence made the call to postpone racing by one hour but after the strong wind conditions showed no sign of easing, competition was cancelled at 1530 local time.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“When we arrived on site there was already 20 knots of wind and building fast with large waves rolling through the course. As we were about to start racing, the wind jumped up to 25 to 30 knots with two metre breaking waves, so we postponed and sent the fleet back to the dock. Several boats sustained minor damage in the boat breaking waves, as they sailed in. When we made the final call to abandon racing for the day, the wind was a constant 29 knots with large gusts and the sea state was still worsening. We have added additional morning sessions on Saturday and Sunday to get the racing back on schedule.” Phil Lawrence said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“This is some of the windiest conditions we have sailed in but the biggest problem was the waves,” said SAP Extreme Sailing Team’s Danish skipper Jes Gram-Hansen back onshore. “They were pretty big and that made it quite scary to do the bear-aways so it was the right decision to cancel the racing. These boats are difficult to sail and capsizing is a part of the game but we are ready and looking forward to tomorrow.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Red Bull Sailing Team snapped a halyard and local boat Team Extreme Ville de Nice also suffered minor damage when they blew the track on the way back to the harbour.

"It was lucky we were on our way back to the harbour otherwise we couldn’t have raced," Team Extreme Ville de Nice skipper Erik Maris said. "We’ve done a few training sessions on the Extreme 40 in about as much wind and waves as today, but racing-wise we’ve never competed in these conditions. We don’t normally see these kind of conditions in Nice so hopefully tomorrow it will be a bit more manageable.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Both teams are confident they will make their repairs in time for tomorrow’s racing. Three more days of racing remain and the conditions expected to subside enough tomorrow to begin racing. www.extremesailingseries.com

Lulu Roseman

No comments: