Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Downhill all the way

Even the wind gods are currently favouring Mike Sanderson and the boys on Black Betty out at the front on Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race. The forecasts coming in suggest a downhill run all the way Portsmouth, making Moose's estimate of arriving Saturday a real possibility, screeching down through the Needles channel.

And if they can make it lunch time would be an excellent time to hit that particular spot, as he'd have the tide with him at 12:00 hrs UT - for even powered up Volvo 70's must notice flows of up to 4 knots on the nose.

The figures below show the forecasts at 24 hour intervals between tomorrow and Saturday, and overlaid is the approximate great circle path between ABN1's current position and Land's End. And all along the route the winds are in the right direction and there's only a few patches of lighter airs.

As expected Movistar's diversion north has not yielded appreciable benefits (an understatement - they are now 250 miles behind), and the rest of the Farrs are hanging on to keep in touch with the leader - and hopefully Ericsson will keep up their current good form till the finish line.

In the mean time it's again the rich get richer, and the road is wide open for Moose to Portsmouth with the Volvo crown easily in his grasp.

If only they don't hit any more whales or prang the much vaunted keel.

Wed 12Z:
Thursday 12Z
Friday 12Z:
Saturday 12Z:
Figures from www.stormsurf.com

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