Etchells Worlds Day 2 – Horror seas means racing abandoned

Etchells Worlds 2012 Day 1
Etchells World Championship 2012 day 2.

Building breezes were expected off Sydney Heads, blowing from the south at 18-22 knots for the second day of competition.

At 1100 the 74 boat fleet was been held in Sydney Harbour (in Watson's Bay) with race officals concerned about the offshore sea-state.


Principal Race Officer Ross Wilson explained. 'The conditions today with wind against a two knot south flowing set, are huge. We are in no hurry to drop the AP; we are very concerned if if we start racing we might sink half the fleet. Steep sharp conditions, classic wind against tide. We are monitoring conditions, but our feeling right now is that it might be a non-race day.'

As the sailing instructions say racing SHALL be conducted offshore, a Sydney Harbour race is not an option.

Building gusts, an even 28 knots within the Harbour made the decision to abandon racing for the day inevitable.

At 1300 PRO Ross Wilson confirmed the decision and the Harbour race to Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron began.

As the fleet headed back across Sydney Harbour small breaking waves appeared across the water.

'There was really no choice' said Wilson. 'We saw 37 knots on our second trip out the Heads and with wind against tide, it was just horrible to contemplate.

'We are now behind schedule, we wanted to have five races completed tomorrow, so we will be aiming for three races tomorrow.'

Just a few minutes ago, the Bad Doll crew failed in their attempts to negotiate a table for 350 (crew + race officials + media) at Doyles seafood restaurant in Watsons Bay.

From earlier today, some pre-race comments.

‘Today will be about boat speed and boat handling’ said 2010 Etchells World Champion John Bertrand.

'Thunderstorms last night, light rain this morning and building breezes. Gusts to 22 knots in the last few hours, now south south east at 10-13 knots at North Head. The south flowing set with southerly breezes against the current will be a concern.

Racing will again be on the Macquarie Circle just south of Macquarie Light on South Head.'

Tongue in cheek Mothie Steve Jarvin said ‘We have the reef lines in, expecting Sydney Hobart weather.’

More seriously his skipper Graeme Taylor, the series leader after two races, said ‘Once again it will be about getting off the line well with a clear lane. We did not do that in the Australian titles (where black flags were the order of the day) but we did it well yesterday.’

Principal Race Officer Ross Wilson said early in the day 'Aiming for two races and probably on course 2 (standard two lap windward leewards).'