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The Maiden Factor Blog

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Sal’s Ocean Globe Race Analysis: High pressure, heading south, poor weather information - Sal's Latest Update!

The second leg of the Ocean Globe Race is well into the first week now.

It is no surprise to see a gap starting to appear between the lead four boats and the rest of the pack. The weather has been mixed, and relatively kind to them so far.

There is currently a high pressure, which yesterday, slowed the boats down. Today the leaders are heading more south in an attempt to avoid the headwinds on the top of the high. The weather information that they got before the start has pretty much run its course, with poorer accuracy beyond 3 days.

Maiden has a very good HF radio and Heather is showing considerable skill in its use. They are sharing all their weather information with the rest of the fleet. They are under no obligation to do this but there is great camaraderie between the boats.

In the periods of decent breeze, some of the boats have been surfing at high speeds, including Maiden surfing at over 20 knots.

These vintage boats take quite a lot to get them going at that kind of speed. Unlike the modern generation boats that pop up and plane downwind, these boats are firmly stuck in the water, so the loads are much higher.

The one thing that will get them going is gravity. When they are in the properly big, house size waves of the Southern Ocean they will set off down the face of the wave and, with a bit of careful steering, will career at very high speeds down it, throwing a big rooster tail of spray out behind them. It can get a bit messy when they get to the bottom of course, with a rather sudden deceleration and a lot of water over the deck.

It does become quite addictive once you get used to it! -Sal