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2019 44Cup Palma - Day 1

by Jessica Gray 14 Nov 16:29 GMT 14-17 November 2019
2019 44Cup Palma - Day 1 © Pedro Martinez / Martinez Studio

Winds gusting up to 40 knots and a heinous seastate out on the Bay of Palma, kept the 44Cup fleet at the dock on the opening day of the 44Cup Palma. The wind began veering and dropping mid-afternoon but the left-over sea state precluded the deciding round of the 2019 44Cup from getting under way.

"We had a steady 23-25 knots of wind, but the sea states was such, coming from various directions, that it was basically like a cauldron," reported PRO Peter Reggio. "That combined with the velocity being at the upper end means it wouldn't have been good racing at all. Fortunately the forecast for the next few days is looking better than it did this morning.

Many of the owners spent the early afternoon enjoying the hospitality provided by the Real Club Nautico de Palma before the final decision not to race was made at 1430.

"I'm disappointed, but that is how it is," said Igor Lah, whose Team CEEREF currently lies fourth in the 44Cup but whose Slovenian team led by Britain's Adrian Stead was back to back winner in 2016 and 2017. "I like sailing in big wind but I am a bit afraid of big waves because of my knees. It is my first time racing in Palma. I like the city. The cathedral is amazing." As to his team's prospects Lah added: "We were a little unlucky at the last event. We started with some mistakes and then it accumulated. We are in better shape now."

David Lenz, coach for Team CEEREF felt it was a good call not to sail today. "The sea state was driving it as much as the wind. The models were in the 20s gusting to 30 and, later on, going hard right and dropping, so would make it hard to set a race course. For the new few days, it looks pretty good, with 10-20 knots, maybe lighter at times and offshore, so fairly flat water, shifty with some rain around making it less stable. But we like that - it'll be good fun."

Bronenosec Sailing Team's tactician Cameron Dunn agreed: "It was the right call. The wave state out there would have been very big for these boats and short. For the rest of the week, it is looking promising - offshore, shifty, puffy conditions, but we should get three good days of racing and at least nine good races in."

Conditions are looking more reasonable for the remainder of the 44Cup Palma with a first warning signal tomorrow scheduled for 1200.

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