A major sailing regatta cancelled events for the first time in 60 years due to “life threatening” weather conditions yesterday (FRI), as the UK was battered by gale force winds and heavy rain.
The Salcombe Regatta, held in the popular Devonshire holiday town, was scheduled to kick off with a harbour swim at 5:00am yesterday morning, but events were cancelled due to the anticipated high winds.
The Met Office has forecast winds of up to 60mph for parts of the Channel coast, south-west England and west Wales for much of Friday and Saturday.
Debbie Hainey, chairman of the regatta, told The Telegraph: “We had to cancel the swim for safety reasons, it would have been too dangerous, the conditions were expected to be life threatening due to the winds.”
The annual event had around 500 people, aged 11 to 80, signed up to take part, including whole generations of families, she said.
Ms Hainey said people were “disappointed” but understanding of the safety concerns.
All sailing events were also cancelled for the day, as Ms Hainey added, “I don’t think anyone would stay up right!”
The Salcombe Harbour master said: “After assessing the weather warnings, taking the health and safety precautions into account – as well as the potential risk to life – we have come to the very tough decision that the risks far outweigh the enjoyment of holding the swim this year.”