Just seven cruisers left Las Palmas yesterday due to adverse weather conditions
For the first time in 23 years the cruising division of the ARC has been delayed because of the weather.
A forecasted low pressure weather system brought strong south winds and big swell on the first night of the rally. ARC meteorologist and Yachting Monthly contributor Chris Tibbs predicted that any yacht departing on Sunday would face winds exceeding 25 knots through the night as the fleet reaches the wind acceleration zone to the south of the islands.
The organisers of the ARC decided to offer cruising yachts the option to delay their departure until Tuesday, when the weather will bring a downwind start. The yachts in the racing division left Las Palmas yesterday as planned.
The announcement, made by World Cruising Club managing director Andrew Bishop at the skippers briefing on Saturday, was met with spontaneous applause.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to watch Bishop. Tibbs and Nick Elliott (RORC) talk about the decision.
Andrew, sailing on board Sumatra (pictured), summed up the general feeling when he said: “It’s not a race so if you can avoid bad weather you might as well.” The Australian crew of the Swan 49 (Frers) seemed happy to have an extra couple of days to relax in Las Palmas and lounge on deck.
Just seven cruising yachts choose to start yesterday. A total of 34 boats departed Las Palmas on Sunday, leaving 200 more to begin their 2700 nm journey tomorrow.
Kristin, who is crossing the Atlantic with husband Marius for their honeymoon on board a Hanse 325, said Tuesday’s forecast looks set to favour the boats that choose to delay their departure. The newly-weds believe they will see a faster and more pleasant start for the fleet tomorrow.
Watch the video below to see why the World Cruising Club decided to delay the start of the 2012 ARC: