Barcelona swelters as winds fail but conditions set to improve at Rolex TP52 World Championship


Although the winds proved too light for competition on the first day of the Rolex TP52 World Championship which is based at the city’s Marina Vela, the prospects look set to improve over the coming days.

With the 37th America’s Cup host city sweltering in high summer temperatures Principal Race Officer Maria Torrijo did all she could to ensure the fleet only went afloat when she felt there was high probability of racing. But an initial six to seven knot breeze faded and the boats returned to the dock at just after 1600hrs after a couple of hours of waiting.

“ I am thinking it is about to get a little better.” 

James Lyne, the Quantum Racing powered by American Magic coach asserts,

“We need to get rid of the high pressure to our west and the temperature inversion where there is this hotter air above us than on the surface here, and it is looking like we should get decent sea breeze for the rest of the week. It will be later tomorrow maybe but as the SW gradient wind builds we get classic Barcelona.”

The US flagged defending champions, perhaps more than some teams, need races to coalesce their afterguard changes with Terry Hutchinson joining the team this week in place of John Kostecki who is in the final stages of recovering from a medical procedure. 

“We would have loved to have raced today and had a practice race yesterday as we need to get our afterguard to gel, everybody is new to sailing with each other so communication is probably the key for us to improve over the next four days.”  

Said Lyne

Race office Torrijo summed up the day,

The crews understand that we tried, especially because when they went out there was still a bit of that wind that I encountered in the morning. It’s true that it’s too hot, and the idea is not to spend hours at sea waiting for the wind.

“The forecast is improving for the rest of the week, starting tomorrow: as there won’t be that gradient wind, we’ll just have to wait for the thermal to settle. Tomorrow afternoon, at two or three o’clock, there will be ten or twelve knots from the south-southwest. That’s what we’re expecting for the rest of the week”.

Rolex have sponsored the Rolex TP52 World Championship since 2017. This 2023 edition is being co-organised by Marina Vela and Club Nàutic Vilassar de Mar.

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