Monday, 28 March 2011
Conditions on Cats Eye Beach this morning. Image copyright Christophe Favreau.
by Di Pearson
Driving wind and rain are playing havoc at Hamilton Island and once again Race Officer Kevin Wilson has been forced to postpone racing at the 2011 SAP 505 World Championship, conditions even worse on the course area than they were yesterday.
“We recorded regular winds of 25-30 knots average with some big gusts. We were out in wipe-out conditions to gauge the conditions on the course and we couldn’t go any faster than 7 knots, because we would have become airborne and very uncomfortable,” Wilson said.
“We’ll reassess the situation at 11.00am. We’ll need to make a decision by midday or thereabouts, because then winds will be against the current and it will make sailing impossible.”
However, racing today is looking unlikely and the forecast for tomorrow does not look much better.
Currently, the wind is beating straight onto Catseye Beach where the 87 505’s are sitting. “You’d be hard pushed just to get your boat of the beach; it doesn’t look good. It looks worse than yesterday,” Nathan Outteridge said.
Two of the event’s rescue boats sank at the Hamilton Island marina overnight, event manager Carter Jackson saying this morning: “the automatic pump didn’t work in one boat. We’ve lost one, it can’t be saved, but we hope to save the other one.”
In the SAP marquee where Wilson made the postponement announcement, the sailors took the news calmly; there were no groans that usually accompany such news.
“We all realise how hard it is for the race committee to make decisions like these. They know we all want to go racing, but they have to look at the safety aspect of allowing us out there,” British competitor Patrick McGale said
“It’s a great time to catch up with friends and socialise a bit; we don’t normally get much of a chance to do that,” he said.
Family and fans can follow the fleet live via the tracker with SAP analysis, video and more on the official site at: www.505sapworldchampionship2011.com