sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Melbourne to Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race - A weather perspective
Melbourne to Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race - A weather perspective


'Melbourne to Osaka Race Veteran Robin Hewitt'   
Melbourne to Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race 2013. A two-time Melbourne to Osaka veteran and with 29 Melbourne to Hobart Westcoasters under his belt, sailed on his beloved Yoko, Robin Hewitt knows a thing or two about the weather. In this article he explains why this race is so challenging and so special.

This race is unique because it crosses the weather climate systems of the world. Basically it starts from Melbourne in the Autumn Westerlies wind belt. Next as the yachts move North, they must cross through the centre of the southern belt of high pressure systems which is basically light winds or calms. Here there are two strategies possible-aim for ocean eddies and currents for a lift North or stick close to shore to hopefully avoid the Eastern Australian south flowing current and gamble on coastal breezes.

These are individual decisions which require knowledge of the individual boat and it's performance characteristics combined with a personal interpretation of the current weather situation. Hopefully the cyclone zone of Latitude 20 deg. to 10 deg. South is quiescent.

After breaking out of the light weather the equator side of the highs gives rise to the South-East trade winds and glorious spinnaker runs until meeting the Tropical Convergence Zone of light winds and calms often termed 'The Doldrums' . This lies roughly in the Solomon Seas area at this time of the year and the yachts must also squeeze through the 'Gate' between Islands and New Guinea- a navigational challenge. In the tropical areas, convection storms plague the yachts with blasts of high winds and tactical challenges to produce the best directional gains. Battling exhaustion combines with these difficulties to test the sailors further. Ocean currents and wind effects are further decision points in this area perhaps illustrated by New Ireland which is a narrow, razor backed, yet very high island with many influences. Also there is the Northern Typhoon area between 10deg and 20deg. N.

Breaking through this frustrating zone, yachts next enter the southern side of the Northern High Pressure belt otherwise known as the 'North-East Trades' . Here the miles and passage to Japan quickly mount with a series of tremendous daily runs before once again having to get through the light winds of the high pressure systems centre and preparing for the strategic approach to Japan in the fringe of the Northern Westerlies zone. By now the much fabled North Pole Star will have been visible in the night sky for some time. Usually somewhere around here, a vigorous low pressure system will bring strong winds. For southern hemisphere sailors, the weather systems now operate in the opposite directions requiring interpretation skills and unusual (to them) weather planning.

Japan lies not only in the fringe of the northern Westerlies, but it's weather is highly influenced by the continental land mass of Asia and Siberia particularly. In addition it has it's own version of the East-Australian Current termed the 'Kuroshio' which has to be negotiated carefully in order not to be swept away from Osaka.

Fortunately, the Japanese weather bureau produces excellent information and mapping to enable good decision making. Negotiating a crowded shipping route to Osaka Bay brings the final challenge of traversing an area filled with vessels of all kinds and differing shorelines unusual to first time visitors. Winds here can be strong but more usually very light and the finish is near a river mouth which after heavy rain can result in adverse currents requiring persistence and determination so close to finishing after so long at sea and so many obstacles.

The elation of accomplishment and the wonderful welcome at Hokko Yacht Club completes this 'Yachtsmans Everest'

Melbourne to Osaka Race 2013


by Robin Hewitt

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=108045

8:08 AM Tue 2 Apr 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World





























Audi Melges 20 U.S. Nationals - Oleander takes early lead by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,






2014 Detroit Cup - Sam Gilmour leads by Dobbs Davis, Detroit, Michigan








Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Riding the AC45 - VIDEO by Crosbie Lorimer, Hamilton Island










America's Cup: Five Challengers sign-on for 35th Match by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,


Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad talks Time and Money (Part II) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,












International Cadet World Championship – Day 4 at Weymouth, England
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Light wind plagues Lake Jinniu
2014 Formula Kite World Championships - Bridges strike back on day 2
AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos
SAP 505 World Championship - Holt and Woelfel on top
2014 IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship - Day 2
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; MC38s Lindeman Island Race VIDEO
2014 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship - Ready to rock
IFDS Worlds - Wind delays, but racing continues in Halifax
IFDS World Championships - Day 2 images by Jude Robertson
MS Cup - Three days until the start
America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature
ISAF seeking hosting bids for Nations Cup
Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds - Luvisetto and Alexadr Boite victorious +Video
IFDS World Championships - Action shots by Tim Wilkes
Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia
World Yacht Racing Forum 2014: 'Growing the business of Yacht Racing'
Clipper Race: 2015-16 edition of world's longest ocean race 70% full
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland - Swish smash 5th World Record
Leaderboards take shape at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games 2014
IFDS Worlds - Hot competition on first day of racing   
Challenging Conditions - CORK OCR   
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 for the US Sailing Team   
2014 Melges 20 World Championship - Countdown begins   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 3   
America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature   
Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3   
Roble and Wilson still number one match racers in the U.S.   
2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1   
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson   
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled   
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed   
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium   
IFDS Worlds - Former president presented with ISAF awards medal   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Improvements aplenty in Byte CII fleets   
America's Cup: New Zealand loses top coach to Artemis Racing   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Day 9 - Swish on record pace   
2014 CORK Olympic Classes Regatta - Day 3   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 2   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT