Weather a 'minor inconvenience' for Bassmaster Classic anglers

Weather a 'minor inconvenience' for Bassmaster Classic anglers

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Weather a 'minor inconvenience' for Bassmaster Classic anglers

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The weather won’t exactly be balmy for the Bassmaster Classic later this week, but a chill in the air probably won’t impact the tournament or its Wednesday practice day.

“When we’re planning an event in February, we know that it’s probably going to be cold with a chance of snow, but it doesn’t really affect us,” said Eric Lopez, director of event operations for the Classic. “Weather is an issue the anglers have to contend with, but these are the best anglers in the world, and weather conditions factor in if they want to call themselves the best.”

There’s a remote possibility that Wednesday’s practice could possibly be delayed, but that would be attributable to gusty winds rather than cold air temperatures. Wednesday’s forecast calls for a high of 42 degrees, but wind gusts of 20-30 mph, with occasional gusts of 40 mph or more.

“We’re all systems go right now,” Lopez said Tuesday afternoon. “We monitor everything and we know that conditions can be completely different in one end of the lake than they are in the other end.

“We want to make sure everyone’s safe, but there’s nothing from a competition standpoint that would cause us to make any changes at this point. One thing we’ve seen in the past 24 hours is that the forecast has changed a lot. We have plans and procedures in place, but until we actually see the conditions we can’t come up with what we’re going to do the next day.”

Interactive graphic Bassmaster Classic

Friday’s forecast calls for a partly cloudy day with a high of 35 while Saturday’s high will be 48 on an overcast day, with a 50 percent chance of evening rain. The temperature could reach a balmy 55 degrees on Sunday, although the Classic appears bound for a wet finish what with a 90 percent chance of rain.

Interactive graphic Lake Hartwell

It was rainy and chilly on the first day of the Bassmaster Classic at Lake Hartwell in 2008 and a few years ago it snowed in Del Rio, Texas, for a Bassmaster event, but Lopez termed it “more of a minor inconvenience than anything.”

And anglers competing in the Classic at Grand Lake, Oklahoma, two years ago blasted off in 19-degree temperatures.

“That was cold for us, but these guys are used to being out on the water in these elements,” said B.A.S.S. Communications Manager Helen Northcutt. “They’re used to loading boats on and off icy ramps because they do it all the time. But safety is our No. 1 priority, so we’re keeping a close eye on the conditions.”

Live tweets from Bassmaster Classic pros:

Live Blog BassMaster Classic 2015
 

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