movistar navigator Andrew CAPE (AUS) and ABN AMRO TWO navigator Simon FISHER (GBR) today each agreed there were prospects of a very fast passage across the Tasman courtesy of the front.
CAPE said that although it was early days, the predicted passage of the cold front would virtually match the speed of the boats so they would ride it, or the back of it, for most of the passage to New Zealand.
FISHER said the situation was still dynamic, but predicted much the same weather as Cape, 'Even if the front goes through, there should be fast, broad reaching conditions behind it as we close on Cook Strait and Wellington,' FISHER said.
He said there would be three phases in the race:
CAPE said the fleet could well be on a starboard gybe all the way there, about 1,400 nautical miles once the boats had cleared the promontory and set course for Wellington.
'That would put the fleet on the top of the South Island by midday on the 15th [Wednesday],' he said.
You would not want to be on the last plane out of Melbourne bound for Wellington next Wednesday.
The fleet sets sail from Melbourne at 1300 hours local time (0200 UTC) on Sunday on this, the third leg of the round the world race.
An international jury will sit in Melbourne on Thursday at 1000 local time to hear a protest from Ericsson, which is seeking redress for allegedly being wrongly recalled at the start for crossing too early.
Around the race village, aerial photographs of the start are being studied closely and everyone has a theory.
(Up to and including Leg 3 In Port race)
|1||ABN AMRO ONE||NED||Mike SANDERSON (NZL)||32.5|
|2||ABN AMRO TWO||NED||Sebastien JOSSE (FRA)||25|
|3||movistar||ESP||Bouwe BEKKING (NED)||18|
|4||Pirates of the Caribbean||USA||Paul CAYARD (USA)||16.5|
|5||Brasil 1||BRA||Torben GRAEL (BRA)||16|
|6||Ericsson Racing Team||SWE||Neal MCDONALD (GBR)||14.5|
|7||Brunel||AUS||Grant WHARINGTON (AUS)||11.5|
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