15 December, 2015
To the disappointment of the entire fleet, the race start has been delayed due to bad weather, now scheduled for Sunday, with the possibility of going as early as Friday evening should a break in the conditions appear.
All 26 crews are now kicking their heels, checking and rechecking, packing and repacking, making sure that our boats and equipment are in the best possible shape for the off.
Atlantic Campaigns, race organisers had this to say;
Thanks to the race start weather delay we have all been glued to our screens trying to see when the weather will shift. As you can see from the image to the right, there is a strong low pressure front in the North Atlantic (the purple area) which is pulling the wind northwards along the western seaboard of Europe, and to the west of La Gomera (which is partially responsible for the current disruptive weather in the UK). This means that if the teams went out now they would be at risk of being pulled too far northwards by the strong winds to be able to get back down south to catch the trade winds.
This wind pattern is set to continue and get even stronger (Wednesday through to Friday) as the front moves northwards. The current indications are that by the weekend it may reduce in strength at which point the winds are more likely to turn in a southerly direction enabling the race start, delivering the boats into the Atlantic and the trade winds they need to speed them towards Antigua. However the weather and wind direction continues to be very changeable so we are all keeping fingers and toes crossed that the winds change in the fleet’s favour in the next few days.
In the meantime the crews are taking the opportunity of an extra few days to continue training, to lighten their boats and make any improvements necessary with the help of the Atlantic Campaigns team.