Light, fickle winds are making life difficult for the Global Challenge crews as they head down the east coast of South America on the second leg of the race
Light, fickle winds are making life difficult for the Global Challenge crews as they head down the east coast of South America on the second leg of the race.
The forming high-pressure system to the east of South America has moved inshore and developed, now centred around 600nm east of Buenos Aires. As a result, the fleet is experiencing warmer winds from the north-north-west, instead of the stronger and colder westerlies expected by this stage.
Along with the landmass of South America, the high-pressure system has impeded the progress of the low-pressure frontal system, causing it to fill in. Looking ahead, Samsung’s bold move east does not look to be a winner – if the winds do increase as predicted, they will pick up from the west, so teams further west will benefit first.
At present, BG SPIRIT, skippered by Australian Andy Forbes, commands the lead with a 7nm over 2nd place Spirit of Sark, led by Scotsman Duggie Gillespie. David Melville’s BP Explorer is a further 2nm off the pace and the first 10 yachts are all within 32nm of the lead, continuing the pattern of close racing demonstrated in the 1st leg from Portsmouth to Buenos Aires.
Eero Lehtinen skipper of Saic la Jolla chatted about the conditions: “A night and morning of hell! Wind from everywhere and nowhere. Shifts of 180 degrees and wind drops from 15 knots to 3 knots in 3 minutes, then up to 23 knots again just to drop back down to 6 knots again. Trying to stay out of the cold current flowing to the north, and hoping to get the new winds from the west.”
Further down the fleet in 11th place Paul Kelly – skipper of Team Save the Children added: “Back on the rhumb line and heading just slightly to the west. Wind looks better on the western side for the next 48 hours so the plan is to stick to the rhumb line.”
1. BG SPIRIT 5,242 miles to go
2. Spirit of Sark 5,249 miles to go
3. BP Explorer 5,251 miles to go
4. Barclays Adventurer 5,252 miles to go
5. VAIO (picutred left) 5,254 miles to go
6. Team Stelmar 5,259 miles to go
7. Me to You 5,264 miles to go
8. SAIC La Jolla 5,269 miles to go
9. Samsung 5,272 miles to go
10. Imagine It. Done 5,274 miles to go
11. Team Save the Children 5,292 miles to go
12. Pindar 5,312 miles to go