Thermal layers give way to sunscreen on this highly tactical leg. The big question facing crews is whether to take the inshore or the offshore route. The Californian Current flows south, but the helping hand this gives the fleet can be counteracted by heating effects from the North American land mass, which might change the winds unfavourably.
This race down to Panama should be fast, but it’s not over until the finish line
is crossed in the Gulf of Panama, as changeable conditions near the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone or Doldrums) could decide the finishing positions in the final stages of the race.