A narrow escape for Alinghi sailmakers in gale force winds
Note: According to sources in Valencia's Port Authority, we have had an average windspeed of approximately 40 knots throughout Thursday with gusts peaking at 62 knots (probably the ones that, unfortunately, blew Alinghi's tent off).
[Source: Alinghi] Alinghi's 1,000m2 temporary sail repair tent in the outer Dársena of Valencia was blown over and destroyed in winds gusting up to 60 knots this morning. Thankfully no one was inside at the time and there were no injuries in the accident, but with gale force winds averaging 40knots anticipated throughout the day the team is taking safety precautions to batten down the other temporary facilities at the Alinghi base in the Dársena (just inland a gust of 80knots was measured!).
“The weather pattern here in Valencia at this time of the year is so far removed from the ideal conditions that we were experiencing in Ras Al Khaimah for these types of boats. Let’s hope the weather settles down for the racing!” said Ian Pattison who manages the sails.
Alinghi's destroyed sail tent. Valencia, 14 January 2010. Photo copyright George Johns / Alinghi
“Just moments before the tent lifted off in what appeared to be a 60 knot gust we were working in the sail tent checking sails in preparation for sailing tomorrow. I decided that in the interest of our own safety we should vacate the area. It was just moments later that the tent took off. We were extremely fortunate that there was no one inside the tent at this time as someone would almost certainly have been seriously injured or even killed,” he added.
“I’d like to thank the emergency services for their assistance with securing the area and we will be all hands to the pumps to get the facility rebuilt as soon as the wind drops a bit.”
Alinghi is currently preparing its catamaran to go sailing in Valencia and is looking forward to racing the 33rd America’s Cup Match on 8 February.
Alinghi's temporary sail tent, before the collapse. Valencia, 11 January 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
Labels: 33rd America's Cup