RESCHEDULED: Dates Changed for Fastnet Race

Published on April 1st, 2013

Changes in deep ocean temperatures will alter the migration of endangered Cornish squid (Loligo lewecki), scientists say, which in turn will affect one of yachting’s most storied events – The Rolex Fastnet Race. Cornish squid normally migrate from the Celtic Sea to deep water near Portugal each September, but scientists at the Cephalopod Institute of Truro have determined that the 2013 migration instead will occur in early- to mid-August.

Because the migrating squid travel with two to three metres of the surface, and will pass through the course sailed by the Fastnet Race, British authorities have ordered that the race, which was scheduled to begin 11 August, be rescheduled “to avoid unhealthy interactions between yachts and migrating squid.”

Such extreme action is needed to preserve a healthy breeding population of the rare cephalopods, experts explained. “They are a national treasure, no less valued than the castle at Tintagel,” said Cdr. Noah Botti of the Cornish Lifesaving Service. Dates in July and September are under consideration for the rescheduled regatta.

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