Saturday, 16 April 2011

BWR: HUGO BOSS between the Rock and a Hard Place

HUGO BOSS working hard upwind to get home. Image copyright Alex Thomson Racing.

by Barcelona World Race media

HUGO BOSS are too far ahead of the gradual evolution and movement of the cut off low pressure which is centred to their WSW to gain from the pressure fields it generates while to the south of it Forum Maritim Catala are coming in on a direct course towards Gibraltar in SW'lies and SE'lies, so essentially downwind and reaching in good pressure. Gerard Marin and Ludovic Aglaor are making nearly 14 knots this Saturday morning directly towards the cut, the Straits, while the Hugo Boss duo have been making less than that overnight.

The low is what is known as a cut off low - such as we have seen quite regularly in this corner - it becomes cut off from the jet stream, its energy source and end up aimlessly meandering around until it eventually dissipates or moves off. In this case over the next 48 hours it tracks south, east and then north. And only really by tomorrow does the flow on the eastern side of it starts to organise into a more regular flow which is when Hugo Boss's Meiklejohn and Verbraak will start to see some more constant breeze. Otherwise today they have a trough developing which leaves them with headwinds to the north of the latitude of Gibraltar and to their south and east light SW'lies, SE'lies.

And the more that they track to the SE just now then the more they end up in the worst of the light, variable breezes - especially tonight. So it is looking quite complicated still, and doubtless very, very frustrating for the duo who really just want to be finished. "Light winds this morning. lots of focussed helming to keep her moving east. new wind tomorrow." reported Wouter from the boat.

North Atlantic Ocean sea/skyscape from HUGO BOSS. Image copyright Alex Thomson Racing.

They are certainly going to see their margin to FMC reduce considerably, but have no reason to panic, but they will certainly have to keep working hard all the way into the Mediterranean. With 440 miles to go to Gibraltar they should be there by Monday, but by then it is possible FMC will be just over a day behind them.

Meantime for We Are Water they are still in the SE'ly trades making 10 to 11 knots and are four days from the Doldrums.

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