I’m ending my SOL year with the Boxing Day Classic, the first half of the Tasman Double. A night start in Sydney, across Bass Strait and round Tasman Island, before steering into Hobart. Tasman Island is of course the relevant routing goal.
As a rule for the Southern Ocean in general, and the whole Tasman Sea / NZL area in particular, forecasts tend to be less then reliable. In last year’s edition I split from the main group in Bass Strait, and by sheer luck won the light air lottery. And then there’s my favorite, Sail Fiji. This year’s forecast was soooo bad. Anyway the forecast for this race is… amazingly stable. Ok.
Just before the start, I checked out the final Sprint race of the year, a quick downwind trip off California. The big pressure gradient looked interesting, and the Class 40 takes off with some wind… A good opportunity for some SOTP fun!
WOW! this was one of the best sailing I ever done in SOL.
And this thanks to the challenging and changing wx along the route and to all the person that enter in this crazy long leg with a boat.
And of course to the hard fight with Lolla, to nominate the biggest opponent.
Lolla sailed a superb legs, applying the sailing strategic manual to the letter, and giving me only one risky chance that turned well at the end.
So as I pick up him as my reference opponent I will mention him more than others.
Today I’ll put things in practice and route the Capetown – Abu Dabi race. As a handicap, I will only work with the COGOW prevailing winds charts. I have not run a software route of this course since May.
The first “winter” storm has already travelled south from the Gulf of Alaska and brought rain to the Pacific Northwest and down into Northern California. Three more storms are making their way west across the Pacific. But reaching those winds may take some doing. Continue reading 'Gray Whale Migration — pre-race'→
The third in the 2014 series of SSANZ races in the Hauraki Gulf began as a beat to wind’ard in light airs. It quickly turned into a match race. The forecast was for winds backing from 88°T to 84°T during the beat. That favored sailing the left side of the course. And that meant tacking along Rangitoto Island.
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.