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30 March 2005, 05:10 pm
Warmer Winds As Teams Battle On To Cape Town
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2004/2005 Global Challenge
Sydney, AUS - Cape Town, RSA

Right now the fleet are experiencing warmer northerly winds prior to the arrival of a mild cold front (approximately 6 hours away). As the front passes over the fleet the wind will back to the north west and then west.
Cal TOMLINSON, Challenge Business' Sailing Manger told us: "This will probably be the last 'real' westerly blow for the leg and they will soon be influenced by a high pressure system forming to the west of Cape Town, which will generate south westerly and then south easterly breeze which Cape Town is famous for. But, until then there is the small hurdle of this last strong westerly."

Stuart JACKSON, skipper of Barclays Adventurer explained how the weather was looking like from one of the sailor's perspectives. He explained: "Things are looking pretty good on the weather front for the next few days too. We have another low heading in our direction, which is due to pass to the south of us.

"Therefore currently the winds we are experiencing are northerly, these are due to continue for around 12 hours, when the cold front is due to pass over us. The characteristics of this will mean we'll experience squally showers with winds around 30 - 40 knots, we will then have a large wind shift resulting in south westerly winds for the next couple of days. This will hopefully herald the end of our heavy weather sailing for this leg."

Onboard SAIC La Jolla there's been some report on sail damage as Jim WALKER expands: "We've had some repeat damage to the staysail in gusty conditions and it was back on the saloon table for repairs at breakfast yesterday. Luckily the damage was minor and the sail is now flying again. We're continuing our pursuit of Barclays Adventurer who are currently 16 miles ahead, but with variable conditions forecast it should create some opportunity for us to claw back some of those miles."

Sailing a completely different wind pattern is VAIO who are negotiating the eastern band of a small high-pressure system. They will encounter the same conditions as the remainder of the fleet but with a 24-hour delay.
Rachel Anning
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