Race 14 Day 9: Skippers analyse complicated synoptic situation mid-AtlanticBack to archive
The synoptic situation is very complicated for the fleet, currently in the middle of four different weather systems of weak pressure gradients and light winds that need to be negotiated.
Amidst the changeable conditions, this kind of weather is very hard to predict meaning that a lot of the current tactical play is gut instinct combined with guesswork to try and cross the ridge.
There is also a blocking high pressure system sitting just west of Ireland that remains in place and will cause the fleet a significant detour either north or east.
Current leader Jamaica Get All Right, who has came out of Stealth Mode still in first position, has headed further north with a north/south divide starting to occur amongst the fleet as the boats try and get in the best position to deal with the difficult conditions.
Jan Ridd, skipper of Team Garmin, currently in sixth, said: “The next few days will be very interesting in this race as we see the different boats’ tactics as we all leave one weather system and face decisions of the best course to follow as we will no longer be able to sail directly towards the finish. Already you can see boats taking different courses, trying to be in the best position when the wind shifts.”
Matt Mitchell, skipper of Mission Performance, in tenth, added: “Our easterly course saw us plummet down the leaderboard which coupled with not going very far over the last few hours is slightly depressing, though the whole fleet should have light airs to contend with at some time or another over the next 24 hours.”
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