Volvo Ocean Race, Leg 1, 21 October 2008 @ 1600hrs - Actual Positions. The area of the ligher winds in the Doldrums can be clearly seen to the east of the fleet.
Ian Walker and the crew of Green Dragon will move into a commanding lead in the Volvo Ocean race in the next 24 hours, as the race leaders emerge from the Doldrums
By holding the most westerly course of the eight competitors, Walker and navigator Ian Moore have been able to hold onto slightly stronger breezes.
Now they are dropping across the front of the fleet to get onto the more direct course for the first rounding mark on leg 1 off the coast of Brazil.
Volvo Ocean Race, Leg 1, 21 October 2008 @ 1600hrs - Actual Positions Zoom view. Almost 256nm separate Green Dragon on the left (West) and Delta Lloyd on the right (East). TELA (Telefonica Blue and Ericsson 3 (ERT3) are closest to the rhumb line. Winds are stronger to the west.
Currently Green Dragon is sailing in winds of almost 7 kts from 133 or ESE, while here second placed rival Telefonica Black is in just 4.5kts of air from 150 degrees.
However it is likely to be PUMA racing (Ken Read), who ultimately takes second place behind Green Dragon, due to the fact that PUMA Racing is in the same segment of the course as Green Dragon and therefore in a stronger breeze.
Volvo Ocean Race, Leg 1, 21 October 2008 @ 1600hrs - Projected view by 24 hours. The westerly boats will have to turn towards the rhumb line, but will do so in stronger breezes.
The competitors are actually sailing through a narrow pass in the wind. East of Green Dragon, the winds lighten, but further of the eastern most yacht, Delta Lloyd, the winds lighten still further before strengthening.
Green Dragon is sailing in 7kt breezes however these are forecast to increase to 12 kts and then 15kts as the yachts near the rounding mark.
Volvo Ocean Race, Leg 1, 23 October 2008 @ 0100hrs - Projected view by 24 hours, the zoom in view shows that Green Dragon has got across closer to the Rhumb line and has a good lead of about 28 nm over the second placed PUMA racing which has also taken advantage of the stronger breezes.
Yacht positional data 21-10-2008.
How to read these images
The boats have four digit codes as follows: DLYD - Delta Lloyd; ERT3 - Ericsson 3; ERT4 - Ericsson 4; GDRA - Green Dragon; ILMO - PUMA Racing; TELA - Telefonica Blue; TELN - Telefonica Black; KOSA - Team Russia
The wind is shown in barbed arrow format. The longer line is the wind direction, if it has one longer barb at right angles to the tail, then the wind strength is 10 kts, if there is a half size barb, further up the shaft then the strength is 15kts, two full size barbs indicate 20kts and so on.
The images used in this story have been generated by www.iexpedition.org!Expedition which is a tactical and navigation software application which has been developed by veteran Volvo Ocean Race navigator and Whitbread winner, physicist Nick White, initially for his use in the 2001-2 Volvo Ocean Race with Team News Corp and the Stars & Stripes Americas Cup team.
Since then, www.iexpedition.org!Expedition has been continually refined by a core group of world-renowned navigators and two-time America’s Cup winning navigator Peter Isler has consulted closely in the development of the system. Expedition supports more instrument systems, is easier to use and has the most powerful and useful functions for the racing navigator.
To read an occasional analysis of the Volvo_navigation_options by Nick White www.iexpedition.org/VolvoVolvo.htm!click_here
Expedition is now has PredictWind integrated into the application as an option for PredictWind subscribers.
The wind data and prognosis used to produce these images also uses software developed by www.predictwind.com!PredictWind, an application developed by Jon Bilger a top NZ youth and Olympic sailor who turned his hand to wind and weather prediction, and helped Alinghi to their outstanding victories in the last two America's Cups.
Now that same technology is available to the weekend sailing and club racers, the cruising fraternity or professional sailors around the world. Select any region in the world of interest to you and www.predictwind.com!PredictWind will monitor the area for you and provide updated predictions on demand.
PredictWind is a subscription system, with a number of options. While some may feel the wind is free, the ability to get a five day detailed wind forecast for an area of interest creates great peace of mind, allowing forward planning and decision making to be made with some certainty. The time and money saved through being able to work with a high degree of confidence, is more than offset by the relatively small cost of the subscription.
You have until January 2009 to get your free subscription, and see for yourself.