With the Mistral gusting over 45 knots, the Race Committee had little option but to cancel the third race of the the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo yesterday.
They hope that conditions will ease enough to re-run the programme on what was meant to be the reserve day tomorrow.
"We are very disappointed that the weather forced our hand, but the forecasters had warned us this might happen," said the president of the Race Committee, Sandro Ricetto. "There is still the possibility that the wind will remain very strong tomorrow as well, but we will be monitoring the situation and will review everything tomorrow. Our first concern is for the safety of the competitors and the care of the yachts."
The series if scheduled to run five races, but the Sailing Instructions stipulate that four must be completed to constitute a series to find the winner of coveted overall prizes, a Rolex chronometer for each of the four divisions in which the 25 yachts are racing.
A mini-profile of Bruno Troublé - Mr. America's Cup
'Here comes trouble' was the bumper sticker on the Mini Moke which was driven flamboyantly around Fremantle in 1986/87 by the man who has become known as Mr. America's Cup.
Bruno Troublé is in Porto Cervo this week doing what he still loves best, standing at the wheel of a finely tuned racing yacht, but knowing that the event that has dominated his life for the last 25 years is due to crank back to life, in Auckland, this winter. "She may be a 150-year old lady, but she is still very attractive," says Bruno.
All the challenge syndicates will be there to train and the Troublé family moves in next January for a 15-month stretch that will see the Cup either retained for a second time by the Kiwis or moving to a new defender location.
This last summer has also been dominated by a different aspect of the Cup, the Jubilee Regatta in Cowes to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its birth, an event sponsored by the Louis Vuitton group that also stages the challenger elimination series. "To have sat at dinner next to Olin Stephens is something I will remember all of my life," he says.
Like many, Bruno is snatching a few days' break before returning to France and the Brittany home near La Trinité where he is now based. He shares the ride on Magic Carpet, the Wally 77, with its owner, Lindsay Owen-Jones, the boss of the L'Oréal cosmetics house.
"I do the first three days, he does the last three, so we never actually sail together," says Bruno. "But we must be doing something right. We won the class last year." He was also doing something right in self-same Cowes earlier this year when, in his X332 Coyote, he won his class in the Round the Island Race.
This is a welcome break in a hectic life for Bruno. "I love Porto Cervo and I love this regatta," he says. It is not so serious that there is acrimony and not the kind of descent in protest that means you cannot sleep at night. It is also typical of what yachting is all about, where experience and guile mean that even the over-50s can compete with highly talented, much younger rivals and outwit them."
So the appetite is still sharp? "It is always different. I have been racing for 35 years and it is never, ever the same. Plus, we are all passionate sportsmen, we all the feel the same way and one of the most important factors is that we are never bored, always competitive. The Rolex Cup combines that passion with old-fashioned sportsmanship very enjoyably."
Quote of the day
"We are recording enough wind to blow the Poms (i bevitori di te, Les Rosbifs) out of the pubs - and that is a lot of wind." Campbell Field, Product Manager, B&G Marine Instruments.
The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup takes place 2-8th September, Porto Cervo, Sardinia and is organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS).