Organizers on Bermuda are tracking Hurricane Gonzalo which is threatening to disrupt next week’s Argo Group Gold Cup regatta, the penultimate stage on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, which is scheduled to start on Monday with the opening ceremony and practice session in Hamilton Harbour.
The storm grew into a major Category 3 today, with top sustained winds of nearly 115 mph, and forecasters said Gonzalo could become a powerful Category 4 hurricane Wednesday as it spins over open waters through Friday on a track toward Bermuda.
Category 4 storms have sustained winds of at least 130 mph with the potential to cause catastrophic damage.
“Obviously we are concerned about Gonzalo which looks to be approaching close to Bermuda or hit ting Bermuda this weekend – whether it’s Friday, Saturday or Sunday – and that could put a wrinkle into the start of the Gold Cup practice day on Monday,” Brian Billings, the Argo Group Gold Cup chairman, said.
“It’s early days yet so we can’t make any decisions on that and we will not be making any decisions yet. But we will be looking at various options of what we can and can’t do depending on what Gonzalo allows us to do.”
It is hoped that a cold front pushing across the south east of the United States will steer Gonzalo further to the east of its predicted track to Bermuda.
“As we all know it’s a moving target and these things can slip off to the east of us, which we hope she will do, and keep drifting to the east,” Billings said. “But she’s a long way away at his stage of the game, and so it’s difficult to predict exactly how badly it may affect Bermuda and the Argo Group Gold Cup. We are all keeping our fingers crossed.”