Friday, February 24, 2006

Are we there yet?

Yes, the back seat drivers stuck in the middle of the Pacific can relax. The boats of the Volvo Ocean race have finally reached the first ice gate on the long leg from Wellington to Rio. Now they can bear away and head for the next one, same latitude just further east.

But as the figure above from Virtual Spectator, behind them are the strong winds which for once have been forecast well in advance. So the fleet is battening down the hatches and checking the rigging for what is to come.

Already ABN AMRO TWO at the tail end has experienced winds up to 30 knots and thats just the start of what could be a rough 24 hours. It can't be much compensation to see that their sister ship's radical tactical move south has put them in the lead, over 200 miles ahead.

However it must be somewhat of a confort to Moose and the rest of ABN AMRO ONE that their gamble paid off. Maybe the weather didn't pan out just as expected, but it was enough - and they missed the worst of the wind hole.

Though as an email from the kids navigator Simon Fisher put it, there are still 3,000 miles to go.

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