Mistral up to 28-30 knots pushed the Hobie Cat 16 Gold fleet back to shore, today in Cagliari. The first race of the 2013 Open European Championship was abandoned when the first teams were just in sight of the finish line. A big disappointment for the 20 per cent of the fleet that was enjoying the challenge and literally flying on the water, but for too many it was not fun at all.
Safety first, obviously. And the Race Committe exposed the November flag to stop the race when it became clear that too many teams were in need of assistance. Some Hobies had capsized right at the start, many more were scattered along the course. A few - closely watched by the support boats - had decided to play it safe and reached the beach close to the upwind mark.
Some boats were later towed back, after landing a few miles away from the Championship's base. One boat lost the mast and another one lost the skipper - a German sailor was taken to shore after being hit by the boom and then driven to the hospital (just out of precaution: she's fine and ready to sail tomorrow). Lots of work late into the night for the repair staff and the sailmakers, anyway.
Just for the (unofficial) record, this was the order at the upwind mark, both times: first the current European champions Cedric e Laurent Bader, second Stefan Wiese-Dohse e Susi Gehrmann, third the multi-eurochampion Detlef Mohr, with Karen Wichardt as crew.
According to the weather forecast, wind on Thursday morning should go down to 11-12 knots. Race Committee announced that it will consider the possibility to add an extra race to the four already scheduled. First possible start at 10:00.