The E/SE trade winds along the Brazilian coast are relatively firm and consistent down to 20S. The path to get south in order to pass west of the south Atlantic high is clear. Today and especially tomorrow, there will be some easing and increased unevenness in the wind field, especially around clouds and a few showers embedded within the flow.
The lead boats are now beginning their escape around the St. Helena High pressure and into the westerlies as they pass south of 30S. The mid-fleet is still in the Eíly trade winds, but may encounter some light winds around 20S-25S before intercepting the stronger NWílies further south.
This morning the leading duo of Cheminées Poujoulat and Neutrogena were divided by just 16.8 miles on the 0500 position update, although with a wider longitudinal separation than yesterday, of around 40 miles. Neutrogena has been posting fractionally faster speeds (around 14.8 knots at 0500am this morning) to chip around 4 miles from first-placed Cheminées Poujoulat’s advantage overnight.
It can be the most frustrating stage of non-stop round the world racing. After completing the difficult, stressful four or five weeks in the big south, there is an almost inbuilt expectation that, by comparison, after rounding Cape Horn and passing the Falklands milestong, racing up the Atlantic life should be a bowl of cherries. .