At start time, a Low Pressure system is moving east across North Island − crossing the coast at Hokianga Harbour, about 100nm NW of Auckland. This weather system will determine the winds (TWS and TWD) for the fleet throughout the race.
An initial wind forecast of 6 kts out of the east dictates an on-the-wind start. The sail remains a beat to wind’ard until past the initial Motutapu S mark and into the Motuihe Channel.
At the north-east end of Long Island Sound a string of small islands extends from Point Orient on Long Island, past Race Point on Fishers Island, to Watch Hill Point above Little Narragansett Bay on the Rhode Island shore. Any skipper exiting LI Sound must decide how to pass through these islands. Often, the choice is to go through Plum Gut.
With less than 24 hours to go, the wind at the start is forecast to be out of the NE and under 5kts. Total time for the race looks to be about a day and a half. The wind is forecast to clock 90° in the first six hours, giving racers a port tack start, and then a long reach up Long Island Sound on starboard.
Slipping through Plum Gut, the starboard tack continues until the clocking wind forces a tack toward the sea. By that time, TWS is just over 6kts.