Tahiti Pearl Regatta ninth edition is being held from 16th to 20th May 2012. Things get serious today with a warm up race scheduled early in the afternoon that will take all 38 entrants to a seven miles inshore lagoon race.
The trade winds have been steady and strong every day since the beginning of the week and all 250 international sailors should get a good taste of what sailing in Tahiti is like. Calm waters, emerald sea, breathtaking views… and some tricky course for those not familiar with coral reefs. Beside the passes of the lagoons, every one here agrees that sailing in French Polynesia offers no major navigational challenges. It really is all about fun and enjoying the wonderful landscape.
In Polynesia, the dominant winds blow from the east, with a northerly touch between novembre and march, with speeds between 5 to 15 knots. The dry season is between the months of April and October and the trade winds take an more south easterly course. The Tahitians called it Mara'amu and it has a very 'Mistral' look, with gusts up to 40 knots. The Mara'amu can blow for several days.
Another peculiar thing in French Polynesia is the tidal range. Fench Polynesia is known for its Amphidromic point, where tides have no lunar influence, only solar influence, with high tides at noon and midnight every day.
The tahiti Pearl regatta competitors will also keep an eye on Venturi effects caused by the high mountains, some of reach measure over 1 000 meters.
Tahiti Pearl Regatta website
by Denis van den Brink
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5:31 AM Wed 16 May 2012GMT
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