Even at one of the most glamorous of sailing venues sometimes mother nature intervenes. A series of summer thunderstorms caused havoc with the regular breezes on Lake Garda putting an end to any chance of racing on day one of the McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds.
On Monday evening at a colourful opening ceremony where the local Fraglia Vela Malcesine club Optimist team kids acted as the 25 nation flag bearers, proudly parading through the streets of Malcesine to an opening ceremony at the picturesque Castello Scaligero, but the black clouds and thunder storms threatened.
Early on Tuesday morning for race day one, the weather was looking good. The morning Pelèr was blasting down the lake from the North with white water and clear skies. But as the first two groups of the fleet of 220 boats prepared to launch, some black clouds streamed in over the mountains threatening some wild summer thunder storm activity. The two race areas were experiencing big shifts in the breeze and anything between 2 knots and 15 knots.
The Yellow fleet did get into a start sequence but a big shift minutes before the start put and end to any chance of racing. Then a huge black thunder cloud loomed over the horizon from Riva del Garda shutting down the breeze and sending some impressive lightning displays over the lake.
Race Management had no choice but to ere on the side of caution and send the fleet home for safety reasons. Once the storms had cleared the skies cleared, the sun came out for a glorious evening but alas the breeze had shut down for the day.
The revised schedule for the Qualifying Series on Wednesday 26 July is for an early start for two groups (Red and Yellow) of 8.25am (local time). Blue and Green groups will not start before 10.00hrs (local time).
– Jonny Fullerton