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Electrical Storms Keep Sailors Ashore in Perth

6th December 2011
Electrical Storms Keep Sailors Ashore in Perth

#PERTH2011 – Electrical storms have forced cancellation of all fleet racing on Day 4 of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. Ireland's Annalise Murphy,  who celebrated an opening race win yesterday,  was due to sail as was Finn sailor Ross Hamilton and 470 duo Ger Owens and Scott Flannigan. The Race Committee at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships abandoned all racing at 1350 local time on the afternoon of Day 4, Tuesday 6 December.

After a morning of loud thunder, lightning and sometimes heavy rain, the Race Committee made the decision to abandon racing for the day. The forecast of electrical storms and possible wind gusts up to 100kph continuing through to evening kept the fleet sailors killing time in the boat parks hoping for an afternoon's start.

Despite looming dark skies, Women's Match Racing kicked off on Fremantle's inner harbour at 1000 local time. The first match was one postponed from Sunday because of calm conditions. Easterlies gusting up to 17 knots greeted the two Spanish crews for Tuesday's first flight.

A change in the official race results later in the day gave the match to ESP-2's Silvia Roca and her crew instead of Tamara Echegoyen (ESP-1) as first posted in results.

Mandy Mulder (NED-1) and her crew won the second match by a very convincing 37 seconds against Peru. In contrast, an exciting finish for Olivia Price (AUS-2) when her team beat Genevieve Tulloch (USA-2) by just one second.

The last match of the morning - between Sweden and Brazil - finished with another tight margin - seven seconds - favouring the Brazilians.

Late on Tuesday, the Race Committee announced that all fleet races would start at the earlier local time of 12 noon on Wednesday, 7 December. Competition Manager Skip Lissiman said it was hoped weather conditions would allow an extra race to be sailed in each of the four fleet classes.

The other delayed races will be held on either Thursday or Friday which are nominated lay days, according to each class.

"Safety was the ultimate concern today," Lissiman said. "The electrical storms posed too big a danger to sailors on the water

Published in Olympics 2012
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