The expected westerly started making it’s presence known early on Wednesday morning. Some anxious and eager faces in the boat park of the 60th SAP 5O5 World Championships told the tale of who was expecting to do well and … who not.
With the wind reaching 45 knots in Algoa Bay the Port of Port Elizabeth closed the port to any vessels wishing to leave or enter the harbour and the postponement flag went up for a two hour delay.
Calls to Cape St Francis revealed a westerly dropping to 15 knots so racing of the single scheduled race today was tentatively re-scheduled for 15h00.
Meanwhile worried Jury Members and Officials were seen to be asking exactly where they needed to report for their Urine Tests as per an official notice on the Regatta Notice Board – until someone pointed out the date!
Racing in Algoa Bay’s offshore west always presents fast and flat racing with spectacular opportunities for great reaching along the coast and seat of the pants stuff around the bottom leeward mark.
After waiting until 14h00 the racing for the day was canned on the back of an increasing wind.
Whilst waiting for the decision we chatted to this years leading skipper, Mike Holt who said that the highest wind speed he had ever sailed in was in Durban in 2000 when the wind increased to 50 knots. After winning the race he had to beat into the wind back to the beach. Mike says that they then waited three hours until the next 5O5 returned whilst helicopters and rescue craft dashed around rescuing craft and sailors. 4 boats were lost to sea never to be seen again that day.