According to legend for a long time the city of Antwerp was plagued by a giant called Druon Antigoon. He would stop all boats from making their way along the River Scheldt only allowing them to continue if they paid a toll. If anyone refused to pay Antigoon, he would cut off their hand and throw it into the river. This cruel custom of ‘Hand Throwing’ or Hand Werpen is said to be the origin of the city’s name.
These days rather than Antigoon stopping boats on the River Scheldt it was the turn of Mother Nature to halt the progress of Round Two of the UIM Formula 2 World Championship. Strong gusts of wind as the tidal river was on the turn meant any form of racing was going to be put on hold. UIM Sports Commissioner, Pelle Larson had the unenviable task of informing both the racers and the local promoters VIP guests that racing would be suspended until late afternoon.
The wave height was a real concern to me
That, along with other issues, made the circuit un-raceable. I appreciate that if you race in the UIM F2 World Championship, then you should have experience of rough water racing. So I went out in a rescue rib with the F2 Drivers Representative, Owen Jelf and he agreed with me that it was too rough. When someone with his experience says that, then I listen, because I value his input.
Following a torrential hail storm that had sent the teams running for cover, the sun reappeared allowing the chance to run an untimed Free Practice session on the becalmed river. Much to the delight of the many spectators that had come out to watch the event, nearly all the drivers used this opportunity to get their first taste of the River Scheldt. It is hoped that an early Sunday morning start will see both the giant and Mother Nature still in their slumber allowing us to complete the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix.