Thursday, 21 April 2011

BWR: Lining Up for the Finish

HUGO BOSS. Image copyright Alex Thomson Racing.

by Andi Robertson

Both Hugo Boss and Forum Maritim Catala have been relatively slowed overnight, but the British flagged boat with Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak seem to be well lined up for their sprint finish.

The development and exact timing of the tracking of the low pressure which is off the N. Coast of Algeria is still fairly undefined but with a high pressure up to the NE on the French coast, north of the Gulf of Lyon then for sure the rotation around the north sector of the low is compressed and strong NE’ly winds are already building along the coast and down to Barcelona and south to the Balearics. Though they were relatively slow last night, taking a 23 miles hitch to the east to get a layline through east of Ibiza, Hugo Boss should pick up speed this morning as the lift to a more right hand breeze comes in and accelerate in the afternoon for an estimated finish time between 1900hrs and 2200hrs local Barcelona time (1700-2000hrs UTC).

If anything the question is how hard both these duos will push? FMC were computed to be less than 100 miles behind Hugo Boss, but the real distance is closer to 120 miles and most is upwind, so the time differential is likely to be close to what was predicted yesterday.

Neither have anything to gain really and an hour or two after 110 racing days is but a drop in the ocean.

FMC do have the option to push east and possibly get slightly more favourable conditions but there is no certainty from either weather model and so probably Gerard Marin and Ludovic Aglaor will stick with their westerly routing up closer to the Spanish coast.

We Are Water were getting their first sniff of the NE’lies early this morning, on the wind and emerging from the Doldrums, a matter of a couple of hours left in the southern hemisphere, but surely making ready for the long, upwind days of life heeled and slamming at least to the Canary Islands when there might be the next place there are strategic options

Barcelona World Race