Principal race officer Sandy Grosvenor made a wise decision by delaying ashore for two hours on the second day of the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship. In hindsight, Grosvenor wishes she had kept the 89-boat fleet on the lot at Severn Sailing Association.
Following a couple false starts, Grosvenor was unable to start a race on Tuesday as a sail-able breeze that had developed on the Chesapeake Bay disappeared just as fast as it materialized.
“Sailors arrived on the race course under tow to find total glass conditions,” Grosvenor said. “I wanted to get on the radio and say ‘Honest to goodness, there was wind when we made the decision to bring you out.’ We had five to six knots out of northeast, but it completely dropped out to total calm.”
Grosvenor originally posted the AP flag first thing in the morning, announcing a two-hour postponement. That flag came down around 11 and the race committee sent the fleet out for a planned 1 p.m. start. However, a signal boat that blazed out to the racing area in advance reported becalmed conditions and the boats wound up remaining at Severn Sailing Association for another couple hours.
Encouraged by the wind readings out on the bay, Grosvenor brought the fleet out to the racing area and soon wished she had not done so. However, no opportunity to conduct a race can be missed as Sunday’s opening day proved. While the forecast was ominous, Grosvenor wound up getting in a good race in better-than-expected conditions.
“It’s a little frustrating to be two days into the regatta and only have one race completed,” she said. “However, I’m satisfied that we didn’t leave a race on the table and I’m satisfied that we didn’t hold a race we shouldn’t have.”
Grosvenor said the forecast for Tuesday is more encouraging with most models showing 7-9 knots of wind holding steady through the morning and early afternoon. She is hoping to complete the maximum three races before the wind drops out later in the afternoon.