After a day of carnage and damaged yachts returning to port, this mornings tracking still shows Maserati, Scarlet Runner and DStv Explora out front with the rest of class 1, led by Iskareen, in hot pursuit. Privateer, who took a more northerly route is now closing on the fleet too.
A quick look at this morning’s GRIB files shows that the front has dissipated and the fleet is now sailing in 17 to 25 knot winds, depending on where they are. With the front passed, the high has once again stabilised and the front runners will be starting to have the seas slacken as they begin to enter the trade winds. Over the next 24 hours, winds will drop to maximum of 20 and the seas will flatten to give participants those dreamed of downwind, smooth sailing days – trade wind sailing.
The long term forecast is for the winds to be stable between 12 to 16 and navigators will need to choose the isobar to sail along. Currently 1017 looks about correct, but towards the end of the week, it looks like it might be worth moving south, closer to the high and sailing closer to the 1020 isobar.
Report by Matthew Thomas