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Day 3 - Who Stole the Wind

by Race Committee, July 3rd, 2018

After a day and half of blast reaching in conditions best described as “not martini weather”, the fleet has hit the wall. A low pressure zone (described in today’s The Weather Eye) has moved over the fleet substantially altering the weather and putting the brakes on the wind and boat speed.  

The relief from turbulent seas and stress on the boat is welcome – one boat reports that everyone is eating again and for a lucky few the daily constitutional has resumed. But having to fight their way through region of relative calm is not. 

At Roll Call, the boats are generally about 270 miles west of Tillamook, Oregon. If the wind stays light maybe they can go in for cheese.

The leaders in Racing 1 have slowed from 8 kts to 5 and the five boats in Racing 2 who are 40 miles behind have put the brakes on slowing to less than 2 kts. – OUCH.

In Racing 1 Bob Strong's Firefly still leads John Murkowski's Joy Ride. But while the lead had built overnight, it has now shrunk to 16 miles. The five boats in Racing 2 are essentially in a dead-heat with all within a few miles of each other. In Cruising Class, Geminis Dream plan to hold back is proving to work as they still have the wind and are closing on Serenite.

The next trick will be who is best positioned to get the wind first as the low pressure system moves toward the east and the prospect of wind filling in behind it. Will that be Firefly and Anjo who are positioned a bit to the east, or will be Joy Ride and the other Division 2 boats positioned well to the west of the rhumb line. And for the arm-chair sailors taking bets, it would be wise to consider that multiple winning navigator Brad Baker is calling the weather shots on Firefly.

The over-arching concern is what happens next with the experienced veterans knowing that the fastest route to Maui is not usually the straight line.

Oh and did we mention Hurricane Fabio? Fabio (who makes up these names) is churning away well south of Cabo San Lucas and is forecast to dissipate well before the fleet arrives. But big low pressure systems coming from the south usually disrupt the trade winds.

Whatever happens, the navigators and weather dudes aboard the boats are going to earn their keep this year.

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