Thursday, June 08, 2006

Dragging Race

What’s a slow drag race? The Volvo fleet might have turned the corner up by the currently mild mannered Cape Wrath, but there is a long way to go and no signs of the longed for big winds.

It’s always been the problem with the Round Britain Race for me – there are few over-taking lanes, and few big tactical decisions. Most of the ones I’ve followed (never having done one) the winners have been those with the right sails and the best trimmers.

This leg of the Volvo Ocean Race is looking like it will be no different. There has been talk of a radical eastern track down the North Sea. You can sort of see the logic in this forecast for this evening.The centre of the high is the middle of the North Sea, so there are southerlies by the British coastline and northerlies by the Norwegian. In theory that would mean a nice downwind run on the right hand side of the course.

However not only is the distance much greater but there's a patch of bad wind between the fleets and the far side. So its a big risk, and I’d guess the boats would rather be tacking upwind on the left hand side and getting the increased apparent wind than risking the far side of the course.

Either way, better keep tightening those belts chaps, it’s a long way yet till the bars of Rotterdam.

Figures from Virtual Spectator and

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