In the last 24-hours there’s been a massive consolidation in the fleet essentially causing a restart off the coast of Maryland. The last look at the fleeted showed the boats sailing north fast and furiously, divided into three strategic camps – east, center and west. Overnight, 145- Eärendil decided to change camps and headed west across the top of the fleet, extending their lead as they settled to the center. 107- Angola Cables seemed to stretch out to the east, but the move hasn’t paid dividends yet.
The leaderboard shuffled through the night as the boats sailed into lighter breeze left by converging winds from two different weather patterns giving a chance for the boats further back to consolidate their position. As morning arrived, 95- Talanta and 81- Esprit Scout moved up nicely into the top half the fleet.
With the winds forecasted to be light approaching New York Harbor, the sailing intensity will increase. Full concentration is required to keep the boat’s momentum up, and constant attention to the weather gribs and current information can make the difference. In this area of the race course, the Gulf Stream moves off to the north east and back eddies and swirls appear. A boat just a mile away can easily slip past in a hurry.
Watch the tracker overlaid with Predict Wind to get another layer of the puzzle. A wind shift of a few degrees can mix up the leaderboard instantly.