The fleet continues to head south, currently at S54º 30, and things are getting cold! Dongfeng Race Team’s Onboard Reporter Yann Riou quoted Wolf saying: “When I have to remove my gloves, after two minutes I cannot feel my hands any more.”
Although they still have to get to around S56º 03 and the water temperature has to decrease another 4ºC down to 3ºC, they are travelling through time zones at quite a pace.
Take leg 3 for example from Abu Dhabi to Sanya close to the Equator, which is a 4670nm leg, with 25 days and only four time zones. In this leg, at 6770nm (approx. 20-21 days), they will sail through nine time zones due to how far south they are.
With Auckland at E174º and Itajaí at W48º, they will have sailed 138º around the world in one leg.
After six hours of rest after another intense day of gybing every hour, the peloton have a left shift in the wind and are all gybing south back in line with both weather models (routing and the orthodromic line).
Team SCA look to have fallen out of the band of wind the rest of the fleet are just holding on to. However, as the next southwesterly system approaches from behind, it looks like it will catch Team SCA, carrying them back towards the pack.
1) Really full on weather, wind, and sea conditions through Cape Horn and beyond
– looks very rough for at least the next 4-5 days
2) Weakening low pressure near 53-54s/87-88w at 1200utc on Saturday will pass Cape Horn on Sunday morning
– this weather system will have no direct influence on the fleet’s weather conditions
3) Cold front near 57s/96 45w to 55s/97 20w to 51s/100w at 1200utc Saturday will be the first in a series of strong, fast moving cold fronts to impact the fleet
– W and WSW winds 20-30 kts with gusts/squalls 40 kts just behind the cold front, but
– further to the west, W winds will be WNW winds and increase to 25-35 kts with gusts over 40 kts
– these may be the lightest winds of the next 4-5 days
4) W and WNW winds ahead of the next cold front on Sunday will reach at least 30-40 kts with gusts to 50
– the winds on Monday may be even stronger from the W
5) This will lead to westerly seas of at least 18-26 feet and occasionally up to 30
1) 991mb low will be near 53-54s/87-88w
– the low will be weakening and moving ESE
– this low and its cold front will pass Cape Horn on Sunday
2) Cold front near 57s/96 45w to 55s/97 20w to 51s/100w at 1200utc on Saturday
– W and WNW winds 30+ kts preceding this cold front will become W and WSW at 20-30 kts and gusts to 40, just after the front passes by
3) Next cold front at 1200utc on Saturday will be near 55s/127w
– this means the winds behind the leading yachts will become W and WNW, increasing to at least 25-35 kts with gusts to 45 later this afternoon and tonight
– the whole fleet will see these increasing winds and seas tonight
Outlook: Mostly cloudy with a scattering of squally showers. W-SW seas 14-20 feet and increasing
Wind speed: 21 knots
Boat speed SOG (15 mins): 20 knots
Wind direction: 274º – 284º
Lowest boat speed: SCA (17 knots)
Highest boat speed: MAPF (21 knots)
Lowest wind speed: SCA (18 knots)
Highest wind speed: TBRU, ADOR (25 knots)