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Sal’s Ocean Globe Race Analysis: A big high.

It has been an interesting few days for the fleet of the Ocean Globe Race, since they left Auckland last Sunday. After setting off into light headwinds they bore away into moderate downwind conditions. The breeze is from a big high pressure that is in the Pacific spinning anticlockwise; as they are West of it, they are in following breeze.
The danger is that although, ideally, the boats want to head South and East, if they go East in too quickly, they sail close to the centre of the High, into lighter winds. Some boats dived South and reaped the benefits of better winds. Maiden took a middle route and is sitting with the main pack, most likely within sight of boats, which always makes you push a bit harder.
Getting South takes them into the high 49s, 50 latitudes and the big breezes generated by the Lows that roll round the world unimpeded by land. However, there appears to be a big High which might cause issues if it parks up around the first waypoint at 50 degrees South. If that happens, it will mean everyone catches up and the race pretty much starts again.
Early days yet, things could change dramatically over the coming days. The navigators will be watching their barometers very carefully.
There is a change in pace for this leg. Previously there were 4 boats dominating the lead, Maiden being one of them. This time there is a different look about it, with no boats as yet taking a big lead and some, who were tail enders previously, going well. There could be a couple of reasons for this, maybe some crew changes with more ‘racey’ crews coming on board? Or, maybe the penny has finally dropped and they have realised that putting the effort in to make the boat go fast means that they get to the next stop over earlier, leaving more time for the parties that they so look forward to while at sea.
The crew of Maiden has always known this, as did her original crew, that’s one of the reasons the boat goes well! Sal
– Sally (Sal) Hunter was part of the original Maiden crew to sail around the world in the 89/90 Whitbread Race. Sal has joined the Maiden Shore Team for the duration of the Ocean Globe Race, tracking Maiden and keeping us updated with sailing analysis updates! Screenshot from YB Tracking