Commodores’ Cup racing abandoned due to lack of wind at Isle of Wight

Three races to be attempted today to retrieve the schedule

Irish double-Olympian Peter O’Leary (centre) trimming the gennaker on Catapult on the fourth day of racing in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup at Cowes. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Irish double-Olympian Peter O’Leary (centre) trimming the gennaker on Catapult on the fourth day of racing in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup at Cowes. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 01:00

The summer conditions on the south coast of Britain are playing havoc with the racing schedule for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup as light winds forced

racing to be abandoned.

While Race 4 of the series got under way yesterday, variations in conditions from steady breeze for the leaders to total calm for the chasing fleet led to concerns about fairness.

An attempt to restart a shorter course of just two laps was also abandoned, much to the frustration of the 27 crews, who were at sea for up to nine hours in hot sun.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club said three races would be attempted today to retrieve the schedule but team weather experts have predicted there will be even less wind today.

High pressure over the area has blocked the circulation needed for the more usual sea breeze that can give over 20 knots at this time of year. The ebb tide flowing along the Solent reaches three to four knots in places and, with little more in terms of wind, doubt remains that racing can take place.

Round the island race

The schedule also calls for a round the island race, which is in doubt unless the fleet starts with the last of the flood tide in an easterly direction and then picks up the ebb tide along the southern shore of the Isle of Wight until the next flood tide occurs for the leg home from the Needles.

Little choice remains for the organisers but to attempt to set courses in the hope that even a short race can be delivered. One more is needed, as four including an offshore course are required to constitute a series.

Ireland remains the overall event leader, unchanged from Tuesday morning at the end of the “long offshore’ that turned into a shorter affair, again due to concerns over breeze.

Ironically, yesterday’s first race saw all three Irish boats pull away from the main fleet that were becalmed in a small group of leaders. The trio were on course to deliver a top five, combined result that would certainly have extended their comfortable points advantage on the leader-board.

A final race, counting for double-points is scheduled for Saturday. It could be the final opportunity to decide the event if the next two days’ racing is hit by weather yet again.

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