Early in the year, the northern hemisphere winter is a time associated with the annual round of departures on Jules Verne Trophy attempts. With no set start time, this unique round the world race is a time trial for non-stop navigation round the world.
Every year a handful of the world's largest, most extreme ocean racers set off on a voyage that many are destined not to complete, each with the desire to break the current record of 64 days set by Bruno PEYRON (FRA) and his crew in the G-Class maxi catamaran in 2002.
The first to set off this year looks to be Steve FOSSETT (USA) and his crew aboard another G-Class maxi catamaran, the Former Playstation, now named Cheyenne. Skipper Fossett and Cheyenne's entire crew have spent 2 of the past 3 days in successful testing.
This morning Steve reported on weather prospects for an RTW start - perhaps as early as next week:
"It's a long way off for a wind forecast, but right now the weather pattern looks like what we want. Our meteorologists at Commanders Weather note that a fairly strong area of High Pressure forms west of our start line on the 14th. This would produce strong North-Northwest winds and also strengthen the Trade winds in the tropical latitudes. A start may be possible before the High Pressure moves too far east and chokes our route past Portugal with light winds."
Cheyenne's RTW Start Weather Code System:
Code Red - No start possible for the time period specified
Code Yellow - Start is being considered for the dates specified. Code Yellow can be made approx. 2 to 7 days in advance
Code Green - Start is planned for the time and date specified. Code Green can be expected 1 to 3 days in advance.
Further details are available on the Fossett Challenges website at the address below.