Friday, August 21, 2009

Another tricky day ahead in Portimao?

[Source: AUDI Medcup] Coastal race day for the TP52's and the weather forecast has a very similar look to yesterday.

The thermal breeze will kill off most of the early northerly gradient again before the race start time of 1300hrs. The problem, such as it is, will be that around that time the westerly component will just be starting to drag the breeze back to the right, and so the chances are that there will be a delay to the starts for both classes, possibly around one hour. That it is this morning’s theory but the plan is certainly until the wind is more settled.

During the afternoon the breeze will then pick up more quickly and there could even be a little bit more breeze than yesterday, up to 20 knots.

The course distance is expected to be around 27 miles following the usual format with a windward-leeward loop to start then a long reach out to an offshore mark at Piedad, then a beat back in to the west corner of the bay at Lagos, run or broad reach back out to Piedade, long reach to a variable mark and then a final beat or close reach back in to the finish which will be in the river Arade, just short of the entrance to the Marina of Portimao.

Last year’s coastal race was lost to the lack of breeze, but in 2007 the wind was very split and it proved a very complex race with big splits developing after the top mark in the Lagos Bay. The pressure differential was much more than we have seen in the past two days in that area, so other than the start and first beat, these long runs could be decisive today.

Meantime the GP42 Series will contest probably two windward-leeward races.

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