Neck and neck
At present a warm front is passing over the western end of the English Channel associated with a complex sets of low pressure systems located directly to the west of the British Isles. In these relatively light conditions the boats will be working to establish whether it is better to be north or south to be first to get into the westerlies on the other side of the front while at the same time playing the tides - the favourable tide turns first by the coast before it does in the main flow.
The longer term forecast looks horrible. The low pressure system looks set to organise bringing with it powerful westerlies over the next 48 hours.
It is interesting to note that the winning routes from the last two races have taken a major zigzag across the Atlantic - heading due west first, the south southwest and then due west again.
1200GMT Sunday (today) - showing the cold front running south west from the UK, bring with it a favourable northwesterly shift
1200 GMT Monday
1200 GMT Tuesday