Day 5 – Ah… the Ridge

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7-7-16 P_24hrww

Well here we are at the end of Day 5 and most of the boats are decending into the ridge, basically the weather spinning off the bottom of the Great Pacific High, and recognized as the point at which the northwesterlies begin a transition into the northeasterly tradewinds.  Some boats have reported throwing up chutes (spinnakers) meaning the wind is backing aft to come more from behind the stern than from the beam or side of the boat.   This is traditionally known as the tricky part of the course, because the air closer to the center of the Great Pacific High pressure system (usually north) is lighter than the air further away from it (usually south).   This part of the race is a balance between keeping wind, but not sailing too far south out of the way to Hawaii.  This year’s High is pretty far north and east, but you can see from trackers that speeds have slowed down a little as boats hit an area of lighter air below the High and to the west.  Possibly a welcome break from the pounding most of these guys and gal were doing previously.  Fish on anyone?

The race chair has sent out some information on Hurricane Blas to the fleet, which is currently expected to weaken as it begins to track into colder waters.   We are also keeping an eye on the next tropical depression, Four-E.

Temperatures should warm up a bit and the sailing ought be pleasant for now, if not too light for some.  🙂  Hoping they all have a great night!