Sailing stalled by strong winds at the Qingdao Mazarin Cup powered by Extreme Sailing Series™
Strong winds struck the racecourse today in Qingdao, China, resulting in the cancellation of racing on day one of the Qingdao Mazarin Cup powered by Extreme Sailing Series™.
Sunday 30th September 2018
Suffering the effects of Typhoon Trami’s peripheral winds, with the storm moving past China to Japan, China’s sailing city saw gusts of up to 24 knots, preventing the fragile Flying Phantoms from competing on the Fushan Bay course.
With gusts continuing to filter through the city’s high rise buildings as the planned start time approached, Race Director Anne Mallédant postponed racing at 12:15 local time (UTC+8). The final call was made at 14:30; the boats would not leave the dock.
“The conditions were really, really strong with wind coming from the shore,” Mallédant explained. “In these conditions you never know when the gusts will fall on the competitors and what the strength will be. To be close to the city, with these wind conditions and gusts of 24 knots, it was best to cancel the day’s racing.”
Disappointed to have been kept ashore, Team Qingdao helm Max Richardson spoke of today’s lack of racing.
“The boat was sorted and all ready to go,” he said, looking a little disheartened. “We were feeling pretty good today, but I think it was the right decision as it’s quite gusty with the breeze coming through the city. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit lighter and we can get some good racing in.”
Although not an ideal start to the regatta, the strong winds have added to the pressure amongst the fleet, keeping tensions high and the excitement brewing.
“Losing a day makes the competition a little more interesting,” explained Kiwi Tokyo 2020 hopeful Micah Wilkinson, crew for Hamilton Huas. “It makes tomorrow a lot more important as it’ll be our first day and if we muck that up then there’s only two days to go. We’re looking forward tomorrow, we’re going to be fresh and hopefully hit it hard.”
The forecast looks set to improve over the next few days, with racing planned for a 13:00 start tomorrow. The international fleet will return to Fushan Bay refreshed, focussed and ready for action.