Vendee Globe weather

Brisk start for the Vendee Globe fleet
The Vendee Globe fleet is set to have a brisk start out of Les Sables d’Olonne on France’s Atlantic coast today, when the gun for the seventh running of the singlehanded non-stop around the world race fires at 1302 local time. With a cold front passing over the Bay of Biscay this morning, so the wind is expected to be in the process of veering into the WNW by start time, having dropped to around 20 knots. The breeze is forecast to remain in the northwesterly quadrant over the next 24 hours. This will mean it is blowing along the rise in the continental shelf, where the seabed drops from 200m to 2km, around 90 miles down the course. Overnight the wind is forecast to veer into the NNW, where it will remain into tomorrow morning as the boats reach Cape Finisterre. We can expect that the more powerful reaching machines will be putting in a good showing over the first 24 hours. The significant meteorological feature of the first few days is the Azores high which is slowing easing east. This looks set to properly take hold tomorrow afternoon with the wind backing due west at Cape Finisterre but with favourable northerlies remaining immediately off the west coast of Spain and Portugal. The boats will need to scoot through this section as quickly as possible before the high evolves into a ridge on Tuesday its reach extending into the Iberian peninsula. Any boats that turn back to Les Sables d’Olonne tonight and are expecting to restart, will be stuffed. It will also turn firmly into a ‘rich get richer’ scenario as the leaders stay in the breeze while it gets increasingly light for those astern thanks to the onset of the high... Images courtesy of Expedition with GRIB files from Predictwind