Slow ride to Brixham

After the crash and burn of the weekend the leaders are now feeling the effects of the high pressure over the British Isles

Monday September 23rd 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Positions at 11.20 GMT
Class One
Boat  Lat  Lon Speed Course DTF DTL  Placing
Bobst Group Armor-Lux  48 43.920 N  20 31.840 W  10.11 kt  91°T 813.91 0 1
Solidaires  48 14.400 N  21 38.520 W  11.71 kt  88°T 857.64 43.73 2
Hexagon  50 03.920 N  28 33.280 W  13.34 kt  69°T 1130.2 316.26 3
Tiscali  49 15.520 N  28 35.400 W  14.50 kt  71°T 1131.4 317.53 4
Garnier  50 03.920 N  28 42.560 W  14.02 kt  71°T 1136.1 322.22 5
Ocean Planet  48 04.200 N  31 55.360 W  9.40 kt  79°T 1268.5 454.63 6
Pindar  47 25.760 N  32 00.120 W  13.76 kt  72°T 1277.3 463.34 7
Class Two
Tommy Hilfiger  47 04.040 N  34 11.480 W  11.00 kt  72°T 1368.9 0 1
Bayer Ascensia  44 41.120 N  44 23.600 W  6.48 kt  74°T 1817.3 448.38 2
Spirit of Canada  46 08.800 N  45 59.200 W  5.73 kt  71°T 1853.4 484.5 3
Everest Horizontal  43 17.680 N  46 57.030 W  5.01 kt  86°T 1950.2 581.32 4
BTC Velocity  44 42.520 N  50 20.160 W  3.16 kt  83°T 2054.7 685.76 5
Spirit of Yukoh  44 29.100 N  51 30.660 W  4.53 kt  48°T 2106.3 737.41 6

Update: Private battles seem to be developing in class one of Around Alone. At the front of the pack Thierry Dubois on Solidaires has been taking miles out of race leader, Bernard Stamm on Bobst Group/Armor Lux. This morning both Graham Dalton and Simone Bianchetti have outpaced Patrick de Radigues on Garner, who is the furthest north in the fleet. Meanwhile Emma Richards on Pindar has been catching Bruce Schwab and if the boat speeds are anything to go by should overhaul him this afternoon.

While the rich have been getting richer at the front end of Around Alone over the weekend, the rich are about to get poorer for a change. Currently the middle group in class one are are basking in the strongish westerly winds to the south of a depression, while Stamm and Dubois are in less pressure to the south west of it. And it gets worse.

Depending upon which forecast you believe over the course of this week there is a fairly robust-looking high pressure system due to be parked over the UK, which will only start being to be dislodged from the British Isles on Thursday and even then it is only forecast to shift showly south west. So the upshot of this is that the finish of leg one looks set to be a light weather beat or at best a fetch for the last few day before the boats pitch up in Brixham.

At least on this point of sail - provided that the wind doesn't get too light - the skippers should be able to get some much needed rest after the excitement of riding the strong westerlies of the past few days.

Speed-wise matters don't look good for the class two boats at present either. This morning there were feeling the effect of the high pressure system centred at 45degN 47degW, hence the low boat speeds for the tail enders. Only Brad van Liew in the powerful Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America is at present free of the clutches of this, but will soon be feeling the effects of the high presently giving us such fine weather in the UK.

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