After a start in New York with an almost leaden calm and two extremely light wind days as a result, the race across the Atlantic should be exciting in the coming hours - finally. A severe storm is imminent.
Ken Campbell of Commanders Weather, the official meteo service for the regatta officers, warned yesterday of an approaching front system that is due to hit the US east coast today. The wind speed will reach storm strength. "The fleet is facing two very tough days," said Campbell. He advised the crews to move south as quickly as possible.
Most yachts have now followed this recommendation. The boats at the top are now making faster progress because they benefit from an albeit weak breeze. More than a little over eleven knots speed over the ground was not possible. Walking pace for the huge yachts. The taillights, on the other hand, were still in the slack this early morning, bobbing with five knots and less
Accordingly, the current positions of the participating ships are not very informative. Robert Miller's "Mari-ChIV" and "Maximus" by Charles Brown and Bill Buckley are ahead in the Grand Prix class. Both boats have taken the south-easterly course, also in order to be swept away by the Gulf Stream as quickly as possible.
Joe Dockery is bolder with his smaller, 81-foot yacht "Carrera". Regardless of what lies ahead, he steers stubbornly eastwards. However, it also stays closer to the Great Circle, the shortest route across the Atlantic to Europe. Accordingly, he is mathematically ahead in the ranking at the moment. His lead over the two 140-foot and 100-foot giants "Mari-ChIV" and "Maximus" was a good 30 miles this morning at 4:00 am. In view of the 2700 nautical miles to the English Channel still ahead, a lot can change.
The end of the field marks the "Stad Amsterdam". The tall ship's lag on the top is already more than 150 miles and will probably increase significantly in the coming weeks.
It is interesting to compare it with the record holder on the track, the "Atlantic" from 1905. The computer continuously compares the journey of the schooner with the data of today's race participants. According to this, the three-master is currently around 60 miles ahead of the Rolex fleet - even if only virtually.