Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Audi MedCup: Going live on the Gulf of Cagliari

The skippers in Cagliari. Image © Stefano Gattini_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup.

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

All practice for the 52’s is over. The first race day at the Region of Sardinia Trophy is here and the season long battles resume again today.

It’s an overcast morning around the Audi MedCup Circuit village, on the dockside in the centre of the port of Cagliari, and while there is a light SE’ly breeze around, the predictions are that the day’s biggest conflict may be between contrary breezes.

So that could make for a difficult first day of racing on the Gulf of Cagliari. Weather forecasts suggest that the early variation of up to 120 degrees will not improve very much through the early afternoon, and it may even be late afternoon before the 52 Series gets going. So patience will be required.

The early breezes are mostly produced by the cloud cover and it is that same grey ceiling that will stifle the generation of a thermal sea breeze. Best hopes do seem to hang on racing down in the south of the race arena, where up to eight knots of light NE’ly gradient may perhaps fill in.

In light of that forecast then the scheduled three race opening day may seem a little ambitious. Racing for the day is due to start around 1300hrs (ECT) with the 42 Series practice race starts, before the 52 Series start their Race 1 of this regatta.

Audi MedCup TV goes live at 1250hrs local time offering live racing action from the race course including real time 3-D tracking with VirtualEye Interactive.

Jim Saltonstall (GBR), Cristabella’s esteemed coach explains his take on the weather this morning:
“It will be a tricky day today. We have a high pressure area which has associated with it this cloud coming up from the SW and pushing towards the W. So that is why we have the SE gradient this morning. That is why we have these two bands of rain. One has pushed through this morning and there is another one behind it. So we could see a time frame of the breeze actually collapsing and wanting to back round to the NE.
"It will be very difficult for the race committee.
"But once that has cleared the breeze may want to settle down in the SE around 140 degrees, around mid afternoon.
“It is one of those scenarios where it could be a Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck day, or if it does push through late afternoon we might see something of the order of eight or ten knots from the SE.”

Audi MedCup