The Volvo fleet will need to use the Atlantic Lows and Highs like stepping stones on their way to leg 7 finish in La Rochelle

The aim of the tacticians on the boats on the 7th leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, due to start from Annapolis on Sunday 28 April, will be to pick up on the south westerly winds below the Lows tracking across the Atlantic and carry them as far as possible before hitching a ride off the next. At the same time they will attempt to keep clear of any Highs and keep in the Gulf Stream or North Atlantic Drift. In addition to this, ice has been reported as far south as 40 degrees north, roughly the same latitude as the Azores. In all a nautical chess game with tactics playing as important a role as on any one of the previous legs.

As this synoptic chart for 26 April shows, the Azores High is well established with two more Highs to the north, with the new Low of 1012 beginning to deepen, though this one should be well out of the way before the fleet reaches the area off Newfoundland.

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