Here's the deal: A support boat will go out at 11:30 along with PJ Patin (he's sailing and in 2nd place). If both make it out OK, presumably racing will commence. Conditions are still a steady 30 MPH with gusts near 40 and hard rain on and off.
Updated at 10 AM on Oct. 11
Postponement is still on as the AP flag takes a beating. No races can start after 3, so we are running out of runway. A mark boat tried to go out but was thrown nearly vertical as it left the channel. They turned back to port.
Lots of ping pong going on and anxious faces among the top 10. Many sailors have de-rigged in anticipation of the day being called. RC wants to get out, but the feeling is it's just not safe for the support boats or sailors right now.
Updated at 8 AM on Oct. 11
The postpone flag is up again as nothing much has changed at Lewes: 30 MPH from the NE, driving rain. One new development: the parking lot is flooding. The PRO will have an update by 10, and rumor has it they are hoping for a window around noon.
Updated at 10 PM on Oct. 10
Racing is scheduled to resume on Friday at the early hour of 9 a.m. Friday is the last day of the worlds and racing has been suspended since Tuesday due to high winds/seas. The forecast is not a heck of a lot better at this point, but there is some hope that the sailors can get back on the water for a 6th race, or more. A throwout is added after 6 races.
Defending champ Alex Zimmermann holds a 3 point lead over the US' David Mendelblatt and PJ Patin. That lead would widen with a throwout, if things remain as they are.
Racing has been cancelled on Thursday. Winds continue well above 30 MPH with gusts at 40. Rain, too. Friday appears to be slightly better as the wind backs a bit putting us in the lee of Cape May. That's the hppe anyway. Local forecasts say the rain and wind should go away by this time next week!
First signal at 9 a.m. on Friday (moved up an hour).
The fleet is headed to Annapolis for the boat show (and bars) in two chartered buses. Should be an adventure.
Meanwhile Americans Paul John Patin and David Mendleblatt sit 3 points back of Peru's Alex Zimmermann after 5 races. One more needed for a throw-out so if we get some sailing in on Friday it is wide open.
Updated at noon on Oct. 9:
Racing has been cancelled for the day. Sailors will try again on Thursday (what had been the lay day). There is a bus being organized to take people to Annapolis Boat Show on Thursday if (when) racing is called. Forecast calls for more of the same through Friday: Rain and winds 25-35 from the NNE.
Updated at 9 AM on Oct. 9:
Controversy for regatta leader/defending Champ
As we wait out the storm, I thought I'd share an interesting protest that happened following racing yesterday. Here's what happened:
Peru's Alexander Zimmermann bent the straps on his rudder/tiller configuration while launching off the beach on Tuesday. Like so many others, he was facing the prospect of missing a race or two to make the repair. Zimmermann's father is also competing in the regatta, however, so senior and junior switched rudder rigs on the water. Alex Jr proceeded to win the fist two races of the day and ended the day with a lead.
Following racing Andrey Quintero of Colombia, who had been chatting with Zimmermann about the switch on the water, filed a protest against Zimmermann for illegally changing equipment. All sailors have to have their rigs/spars, etc approved before the regatta and changes are only allowed with blessing from the judges. Using someone elses' approved equipment is an interesting one to ponder.
The judges threw out the protest because Quintero did not hail "protest" on the water. They later approved Zimmermann's retroactive request to change equipment (which is allowed, if the break-down happens on the water). There was some grumbling in the clubhouse because Zimmeremann senior sailed the entire day with the broken rudder, apparently without issue.
Had the protest been upheld, Zimmermann's defense of his title would have been over and done. I think everoyne -- or nearly everyone -- is glad the Worlds wasn't decided this way!
Updated at 8:15 AM on Oct. 9:
The fleet is eating breakfast under the Postpone flag. The wind is howling from the north at 25 MPH and we will get more info at noon. With the remains of Tropical Storm Karen buzzing around offshore and blocked from moving north, the wind is expected to build from here for the next 12 hours or so. Lay day is scheduled for Thursday, so it will be interesting to see whether the PRO decides to make today the lay day. Tomorrow doesn't look much better: Slightly less wind (gusts over 30) with rain moving in.
No results posted and lots of activity with people getting permission retroactively to change parts that exploded on the beach. But it's clear that things have tightened up at the top. Defending Champ Alex Zimmermann broke his rudder before the first start of the day leaving the beach but was able to replace it fast enough to make the start and win the first 2 races (see post below for writeup of race 1 of Tuesday/Race 2 overall).
Conditions on Tuesday started out with a howling from the north and gradulay diminished. Four races were completed on the day, the last two in under 10 MPH with a big, lumpy sea, making for an interesting challenge for many of the sailors who had depowered for the morning. Will post official results when they become available, but here's what I think I know about the top 2-3 of the final 3 races of the day on Tuesday:
Results of Race 3 (second on Tues): Top Finishers
1. Zimmerman, 2. Quintero, 3. Trazegnies
1. Quintero, 2. Zimmerman, 3. Patin
1. Collantes de Riglos, Villena, ??
Trazegnies, Patin, ??? ...Zimmermann 12th
Udated at noon on Oct. 8: UNOFFICIAL:
After two races (one on Monday one on Tuesday) defending champ Alexander Zimmermann of Peru has two bullets. Jean Paul Trazegnie of Peryuu is second. Andre Quintero of Colombia is 3rd.
Conditions are a stiff northerly ranging from 18-25 MPH, bringing big waves as the bay is wide open from that direction. Skies are cloudy and temps are in the 60s. Several sailors had their boats pummeled on the surf leading the beach, causing a frenzy of repairs/replacements of spars, rudders and bodies. Only about 45 of the 74 sailors left the beach for the first race. Condidions are expected to deteriorate after today, so the race committee is trying to get as many races in today.
Squalls, a tornado watch, and gusts over 40 MPH but Defending Champ Alex Zimmerman is at the top after one race.
Dark skies and the threat of hideous weather later in the day greeted sailors on the first morning of the 43rd Sunfish World Championship at Lewes Deleware on Monday. The first race started with a stiff southerly that jumped to 30 MPH right at the start immediately separating the leaders from the pack.
Things moderated back down into the 20-25 MPH range after 15 min or so, but as the fleet worked its way upwind on the second beat a squall came through with driving rain that felt like little pins on the face. Wind was sustained at over 35 MPH for about 10 min and gusts were approaching 45 MPH. But the sailors kept on. Breakdowns were everywhere and visabiity was down to a few hundred yards at times.
In the end Zimmermann took the race, followed by Malcolm Smith of Bermuda and Hank Saurage of the US. All of this is unofficial. Results are not posted yet and the protest period has not passed.
The fleet is in for the day as we ride out a coming storm line under a tornato watch. Full results will be posted here once available.
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