Sunday, 27 March 2011

Strong Winds Force Abandonment of Racing on Day 2 of the 2011 SAP 505 Worlds

Race Officer Kevin Wilson preparing to abandon racing for the day. Image copyright Christophe Favreau.

by Di Pearson

Racing has been abandoned for the day at the 2011 SAP 505 World Championship at Hamilton Island when weather predictions of 18 to 30 plus knots winds came to fruition earlier than expected.

Race Officer Kevin Wilson went out onto the race course and came back to base with the latest: “There are 2 metre swells on the course area and sharp backs on the waves. Right now it’s an ebbing tide, which is due to change at 12.00pm. That will bounce waves up even more, making it treacherous,” he said.

“We monitored the wind and got 24-30 knots regularly. Tomorrow isn’t looking too good either, but right now the plan is to reassess early tomorrow and aim for a 10.00am warning signal if conditions are sailable,” he said.

And gusty it is, with squalls hitting the Bay relentlessly, accompanied by intermittent rain.

While racing may have been abandoned for the day, not so other matters on the agenda, event organiser Carter Jackson announcing: “Happy Hour will go ahead at 5.00pm as planned.”

Between squalls, some sailors are making repairs to their boats, including Sarah Withall from South Australia, who arrived at Catseye Beach this morning to find a coconut had dropped from a palm tree and straight through the deck of her boat – leaving a hole the size of a bowling ball!

“I pulled the cover of the boat and saw a big hole. It took me a minute to figure out what had happened,” she said.

“A sailmaker is going to help fix it – with lots of tape! It’s my partner’s father’s boat, but he’ll be fine about it – he ran the boat up on the reef here last year!”

Others are just playing catch-up with old and new friends in the SAP marquee where the latest in SAP technology is also there for competitors and officials to use.

Family and fans can follow the fleet live via the tracker with SAP analysis, video and more on the official site at: