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Darby Update - O Dark Hundred - Saturday

by Race Committee, July 23rd, 2016

The good people at Commander’s Weather, a pre-eminent provider of offshore weather and routing advice to racing and cruising sailors have been very kind to share their views of Tropical Storm Darby.

“At 2:30 PDT Saturday, Darby was centered near 18.8N 153.5w, about 335 miles ESE of Honolulu ,Hawaii, moving 280 degrees at 8 kts. Top winds are 50 kts mostly in squalls now near and S of the center.

Expect Darby to turn more NW next 24 hours and pass just about right over the Big Island Sat evening and likely just S of Honolulu  midday Sunday and then exit to the NW of the Islands on Monday. Darby continues to keep a significant circulation but the cluster of strong squalls has shifted to the S of the center early today.

Darby will begin to weaken further Saturday night as it crosses the Big Island and will be just a minimal tropical storm when it passes S of Honolulu midday Sunday.

Boats continuing to Hawaii will get into increasing NE-E winds to 22-30 kts later Saturday and there could be some squally showers to 35 kts for boats arriving  Sat evening and potential winds to 30-40+kts after midnight tonight thru Sunday.”

Most of the remaining boats still racing are well north or northeast of the storm track. Still racing to get into Lahaina in advance of the front are Kraken who is expected early Saturday afternoon, and Alegria X who is cutting it close, but may be adjusting strategy to let storm pass to south of them, just a Expresso did overnight.

While Lahaina is usually one of the better anchorages in Hawaii, it is still exposed to winds from the wrong direction. So boats that have finished are thinking about their strategies in case conditions at Lahaina get difficult. Westerly left for Oahu Friday night and is safety in Honolulu. Valkyrie was planning to leave a first light on Saturday (a hour of so from now). Longboard has battened everything down and will ride out the conditions, while Kinetic and Atalanta will review their plans today with the latest weather updates. Equus, String Theory and just now, Rain Drop are behind the breakwater in Lahaina harbour.

While Darby might weaken significantly as it hits the mountains of the Big Island, nobody is taking things for granted. “Plan for the worst and hope for the best”


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