Jersey has made a conscious move to the south just and as the main pack have moved north in a complete reversal of the position we have seen over the last four days
Jersey has made a conscious move to the south just and as the main pack have moved north. This has given a total reversal of the position we have seen over the last four days.
Glasgow, Bristol and Portsmouth have moved up to the north and the first two have passed Liverpool which has not been tempted by the higher latitudes. Bristol has eased into second place but is now one of the two boats exposed to the extremes of a flank. They are currently 15 miles north of Glasgow and a massive 75 miles north of Jersey. Meanwhile down in the south Leeds and Plymouth have fanned out to the north leaving Stuart Gibson and his crew loyal to their southerly crusade.
London’s approach would appear the most logical and conventional but the conditions are far from normal with a large high-pressure area so far north in the Atlantic. It is certainly not going to be a clear-cut passage for them even though they will get more advantage from riding the Gulf Stream. Bob Beggs in Bristol does not appear to trust the indecisive weather in the south and wants to get as far north and as close to some good depressions as he can. Bristol always seems to profit when they find stronger winds but there is a big element of gamble at leaving Jersey unmarked in the middle ground.
Yesterday saw a big change in the weather as the low pressure and associated front passed over the fleet. The wind veered from the SE to the WNW and picked up to 30 knots or more to give most boats some exciting sailing. For Matt Baker and the crew of Plymouth this was rather too exciting as they ripped part of the spinnaker pole track off the mast with the result that the pole went through the mainsail. Things always happen in threes and true to form they developed serious problems with their steering gear.
The centre of the depression passed right over Leeds, Plymouth and London giving them some spooky and frustrating calms before the wind filled in again. London came out worse and this, and along with her southerly position, means that she has dropped back. Leeds has been plugging away in a spirited fashion and has been rewarded with some good daily runs and is now back in the running.
The meteorological predictions show that the weather will not have any dramatic turns in the next few days and that the boats may be frustrated by some light tail winds. Simon Rowell presently reports the wind is 15 knots from the WNW, cloud is 4/8, visibility is good and there are some isolated showers.