Sunday, April 02, 2006

Bon Voyage

It's farewell to Rio for the boats of the Volvo Ocean race. There will be one last look at the statue of Christ and Sugar Loaf as they round the mark off Copacabana Beach before heading north east to the open sea.

Its another long leg - a full 5,000 miles to Baltimore, with scoring gate at Fernando da Noronha. But the crews have had time to recuperate after the southern ocean leg, basking in the warmth of the traditional Rio welcome.

Some teams should be leaving particularly re-energised - ABN1 with their win, Ericsson with their new captain, and movistar after their good recovering to take 2nd in the in-port. Others less so - like Pirates, Brazil and ABN2's less inspiring performance.

The forecast is for a mini high / ridge off the Brazil coast. The boats are likely to want to hug the shore initially to avoid it, then enter the trades steadily blowing from the east / south-east all the way to the equator.

Nice reaching conditions - another drag race. This has typically been good for the ABN twins, but the wind is lighter here, so expect to see Pirates and maybe even Ericsson up there too.

Its a long way to Baltimore.

Graphic from

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