Porto Cervo, Italy. 4th September 2012. Torrential rain, hail, thunder and lightning, churning seas and 35 knots of wind left the YCCS Race Committee with no alternative other than to abandon racing on Day Two of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. The 34 competing yachts, divided into Mini Maxi, Racing, Racing/Cruising, Supermaxi and Wally divisions, had a delay on the docks followed by an hour's wait out on the water for conditions to stabilize. The shifty breeze, however, swung from south-east to west and then developed into a full blown rainstorm forcing all boats back to Porto Cervo Marina at approximately 1 p.m.
Principal Race Officer Peter Craig explained the conditions in greater detail: "It's been another day in which what was predicted to happen did not happen. Luckily we were getting ready to roll into our sequence when one of the point vessels in the straits picked up an increase of 25 knots from the west. We therefore postponed for a second time to see how the situation developed and the wind increased to 35 knots with strong hail and zero visibility. At that point the only prudent action was to send the boats back to the docks. No one would have been happy to race in those conditions."
As regards conditions for the rest of the week, Craig explained why it is difficult to make any reliable predictions: "The low front that is lying to the north-east of Sardinia is making the situation wholly unpredictable. Forecasts are giving tomorrow as a 15 knot, beautiful sailing day, but we shall have to wait and see. Conditions permitting we will be looking to get in two good windward-leewards for the Mini Maxi fleet and a coastal race for all of the other divisions."
Leaders of the provisional classifications therefore remain Ràn in the Mini Maxi class - competing for the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship - and Velsheda and Aegir among the Racing and Racing/Cruising division respectively. Magic Carpet 2 leads the eight boat Wally class while Nilaya is at the head of the Supermaxi division.
The event, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the International Maxi Association (IMA), is taking place from 3rd to 8th September and in addition to top class racing also features a range of social events for owners and crews. Wednesday 5th September sees the annual dinner for IMA members while on Thursday title sponsor Rolex will host a gala dinner for owners at the YCCS Clubhouse. On Friday 7th September the Rolex Party will take place at the Colonna Pevero Hotel while Saturday sees the conclusion of the event with the prize giving ceremony on the Club's Piazza Azzurra.