Fickle winds expected for Volvo Ocean Race finish
Published on February 25th, 2015
Auckland, NZL (February 26, 2015) – The Volvo Ocean Race is approaching the end of Leg 4, with the leader about 600 nm from the finish in Auckland. The PredictWind.com forecasts show the wind increasing from 10knots to 15knots later Thursday afternoon (local time), with the wind direction consistently from the east. However, the wind speed will be slowly decreasing as they reach Cape Reinga, the top of New Zealand, about 400 nm away.
Heading down the coast of New Zealand, the teams will be nearing the centre of a large high pressure system and need to contend with light winds with the wind direction changing from the Easterly quarter to the South West. With the combination of the forecasted light winds, changeable wind directions, wind shadows of islands down the coast, and tidal currents, the entry into the Auckland harbour will be provide some challenging conditions.
The leading teams are expected to finish Saturday afternoon (local time) in Auckland, and we expect that the City Of Sails will be out on the water to welcome in the finishing teams. In previous races there have been lead changes heading into Auckland, and the conditions are set to provide the same exciting finish.
Background: The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race began in Alicante, Spain on Oct. 11 with the final finish on June 27 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Racing the new one design Volvo Ocean 65, seven teams will be scoring points in 9 offshore legs to determine the overall Volvo Ocean Race winner. Additionally, the teams will compete in 10 In-Port races at each stopover for a separate competition – the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Series. The fourth leg, from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand (5,264 nm), began Feb. 8 with an ETA of Feb. 27-28.