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ISAF Sailing World Cup, Melbourne- Fresh breeze, flat water for Day 1

by Richard Gladwell on 2 Dec 2013
ISAF Sailing World Cup, Melbourne - Day 1 Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

The first day of racing in the ISAF Sailing World Cup, Melbourne looks set to get underway in very testing conditions.

First starts of the day are the Mens and Womens 470, along with the Laser class. They are scheduled to get underway at noon.

The other fleets start at 3.00pm with the Finn, Paralympic classes, and Laser competing.

Already the breeze is up from a northerly direction, which is a hot inland breeze blowing down Port Phillip Bay.

According to Predictwind.com the breeze is forecast to be around 15-16kts, based on an observation point at Melbourne Airport. But at 1000hrs at the same location winds were recorded at speeds of 21kts, indicating that the breeze may well exceed the forecasts. At 10.30am a real time weather forecasting station close to the race venue was recording winds averaging 19 kts and gusting 22kts - with the readings showing a drop from the peak of 21kts average gusting 25kts at 9.00am.

A key driver in the windstrength is the temperature which at 1000hrs was predicted at 28degrees, at the Airport and will peak at around 35-36 degrees this afternoon. Tomorrow the temperature is predicted to be higher at the Airport to the north of Melbourne City, with a peak of 38C expected.

The regatta venue is directly downwind from the Airport, meaning that wind predictions and observations will translate directly onto the race area. Being an offshore breeze the competitors should have flatter seas given the protection from the land with some variation from the Melbourne cityscape.

There is only a slight swing predicted in the wind, which will move from a northerly direction to a NW direction, later in the morning and stay that way for the afternoon. Around 6.00pm the breeze is expected to swing to the south, which is a seabreeze, and although only 10kts is expected the temperature will drop to a more comfortable 19C.
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