Volvo Ocean Race: How close to get to the Azores High?

Published on May 21st, 2015

San Diego, CA (May 21, 2015) – Now the Volvo Teams have cleared the Ice Gate, the boats are clear to sail North around the top of the Azores high. If you sail too close to the Azores high, you will run out of wind. The further North the boats sail, they will have more wind but will have extra distance to sail. This is the trade-off that all navigators will be deliberating.

There is some uncertainty in the four optimal routes displayed by the PredictWind routing around the Azores high. For the next 24hrs all optimal routes are similar, heading North East. The decision then gets tougher for the navigators with the movement of the Azores high.

All the boats are bunched together at present, but we may see a difference of opinion as the navigators make their decision of how close to get to the Azores high.

In terms of sailing conditions the boats will be in 10-15 knots for the next two days reaching/running, then as they get close to the Azores high the wind speed will drop to less than 10 knots. After the frustration of the light winds near the Azores high, the wind will steadily increase to 20-25 knots providing exciting sailing conditions on their approach to Lisbon.


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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 seventh leg, from Newport, USA to Lisbon, Portugal (2,800 nm), began May 17 with an ETA between May 27 and 28.

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