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… they are often wrong!

So yesterday I talked about lighter winds around 15 knots at the start.

Hmmmm!! seems like Bertha is keeping her presence felt for longer than

predicted and the boats all shot off in 20-30 knot winds this morning.

They are now experiencing 30 knots plus along the South Coast.

I mentioned there would be a lot of 20-25 knots and this remains true but

for the time being until Bertha has moved further north and declined a bit

the wind looks set to stay stronger than this. The next sign of the wind

slackening for class 1-3 boats is around Tuesday morning with a brief

reduction to 20 knots, but then the wind builds again and will be back in

the 25+ knot area until Wednesday morning when winds could be down to 15

knots in places but may still be 30 knots depending on where they are in

the North Sea.

I also mentioned about the reach and windward leg up to Shetland and the

benefits of keeping to a shorter route and hanging on the left of the

fleet. This could well be wrong as well. (As you might expect for a

prediction for 3 days hence). Bertha is headed North and then NW and looks

to be centered over Shetland by Tuesday afternoon or early evening. After

that the centre of the low heads SE back to the southern tip of Norway. It

looks set to arrive off the SW coast of Norway just SW of Stavanger around

Thursday afternoon. Given the wind rotates clockwise round a low this

means that if the boats continue to make fast progress on Tuesday and

Wednesday and the low follows this track, there will be an opportunity to

go right and go to the east of the low pressure and then catch a SE flow

round the top of the low pressure that the boats can ride all the way to

Shetland. this looks quicker than fighting up the west side of the low

where the wind will be NW and N.

However if the boats are not as quick as I am expecting or the low pressure

comes SE earlier. Then boats would be best on the left hand side of the

track. So the navigators will be pondering this dilemma. They will be

tracking the weather systems and their own rate of progress. We could see

a divergence in the choices made by the skippers of different boats.

Either way we can expect the middle of the fleet to be rounding Muckle

Flugga on Thursday. The race is still looking like it will be fast in

first half of the course. These decisions will make a big difference.

N.B. The scenario for the fast Volvo boats will look different, from this

they will arrive in this area12- 24 hours earlier than class 1-3 boats.

They will be in a different race from IRC classes 1-3.


Kind regards

Chris Radford



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