Volvo Ocean Race: What Happens Next?
Published on October 28th, 2014
Mark Chisnell reports on the second week of action in the Volvo Ocean Race as one big play finishes and another begins. In this excerpt, we offer Mark’s observation of the challenges that lie ahead for the seven teams…
A small low pressure is spinning up just off the coast of Argentina and heading east from the mouth of the River Plate. It’s going to push the high pressure east with it, creating a band of wind between the two opposing pressure centers (shown on this chart). It’s this band of wind that will provide an escape route to the south and into the path of a much bigger low pressure that will allow them to finally head east.
It’s all going to be about the timing and the speed of passage of the low. The new, stronger breeze will come from the west, that will give the initial advantage to Team Vestas Wind and they should start to close the gap. Aboard Team Brunel, they are relying on the low pressure moving faster than Team Vestas Wind, so the new breeze gets to them before the chasing boats do. Once they are in the same wind, they should hold any lead that they still have as everyone heads south-east.
I think the leading pack will compress again, but I think that fast-moving low means that Team Brunel will still hang onto the #1 spot, chased by the Emirates, and then Team Vestas Wind. And none of that may count for a hill of beans in the long run, as the forecast shows high pressure locked down over Cape Town for the foreseeable future. There’s no simple route into the finish. This one is a long way from over.
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