Please select your home edition
PredictWind - Routing 728x90 TOP

Global Solo Challenge: What is the most dangerous sector in a low pressure system?

by Global Solo Challenge 13 Aug 2022 06:41 PDT
A deep low by Cape Horn. GOR 2011/2012 © Global Solo Challenge

Perhaps one of the worst circumstances that a sailboat can face on the high seas is to find itself immersed in a tropical cyclone.

These phenomena normally have fairly defined seasons; occur in latitudes or areas that are well marked in the nautical bibliography, and their evolutions and directions are usually marked by relatively well-known patterns. But they can always surprise us with formations of severe intensity where they have not normally occurred or they can behave with "strange" behavior.

Sailors and their boats, and even more so those who sign up for events such as the Global Solo Challenge (GSC), must be prepared to be able to withstand all kinds of storms on the high seas, whatever their nature. Squalls, deep low pressure associated with fronts creating very strong and sudden stormy showers in calm areas can be as damaging, for the boat and the skipper, as a cyclone. Additionally, the sea can always surprise us with more power, more wind, and more waves than anticipated. When one finds oneself in the middle of storms of any kind, one never knows for sure how long they will last and to what extent the power with which they are going to express themselves will reach. For those sailing, it always seems that it blows with more intensity than what the forecasts predicted.

An interesting phenomenon happens to us as conditions go from extreme to less extreme. You start sailing with a 35-knot wind and rough sea and it seems rough. Then conditions increase to a 50-knot wind and rough sea and that seems rough. But then, as when you sail in those conditions for a time and it starts to die down, the 35 knots, that seemed rough before, seem like a gift and give you the feeling of sailing in "normal" conditions...

Tactics and foresight will always be the first tool we have in order to be able to minimize the harshest or most dangerous situations of any storm at sea, to the extent possible. All different storms require their tactics; their ways of anticipating and following them; how to prepare the ship and get things ready. Although it is difficult for us to completely eliminate getting a thrashing from the storm; the best prevention is to be as fully prepared as possible for the moment it reaches us. The boat is prepared both inside and outside for when the storm will hit. There can be different preparations depending on the situation in which we find ourselves. It is not the same on the high seas, far from nearby land, compared with a nearby coast especially if it is downwind. Each situation will determine the decisions to be made.

In the case of tropical cyclones, and following the information that reaches us on board the meteorological stations, it is usually possible to follow the trajectory of the storm. This information and the position of our ship will allow us to evaluate the risks we face and will help us to know what situation we are in with respect to the storm and the tactics that we must adopt.

Continue reading the full article here...

Related Articles

Waiting for the “second winner” of the GSC
Ready to welcome Cole Brauer on First Light After the first to cross the finish line of the Global Solo Challenge, French Philippe Delamare on Mowgli, we're getting ready to welcome the second winner, the young Ms. Cole Brauer on First Light. Let me explain. Posted on 1 Mar
Philippe Delamare wins Global Solo Challenge
Crossing the finish line by the breakwater of the Galician city of A Coruña on Saturday On Saturday February 24th at 3 minutes past 3 pm, local time, Philippe Delamare crossed the finish line by the breakwater of the Galician city of A Coruña winning the first edition of the Global Solo Challenge on Mowgli. Posted on 26 Feb
Global Solo Challenge update
The war of attrition has not come to an end yet A circumnavigation by sail is one of the most extreme and difficult sporting feats to bring to a successful conclusion and less than 200 people ever managed to do it solo and non stop. Posted on 22 Feb
Global Solo Challenge update
Winter storm on Philippe Delamare's route to finish Philippe Delamare is charging on towards A Coruña and the end is in sight. His distance to finish is now approximately the same as a Fastnet, Sydney to Hobart or Middle Sea Race, just over 600 nautical miles. Posted on 20 Feb
Global Solo Challenge update
William MacBrien rescued after 46 hours adrift semi-submerged in South Pacific William was over 1300 nautical miles west of Cape Horn, over 3000 miles from New Zealand, 1600 miles south of the tiny remote Island of Mataroa with a population of just 90 people. William had sailed past Point Nemo just a few days before. Posted on 16 Feb
Global Solo Challenge update
Live to fight another day The skippers of the Global Solo Challenge have to endure months of navigation in the roaring forties and screaming fifties to reach Cape Horn. Posted on 13 Feb
Global Solo Challenge update
Cape Horn lives up to expectations for Andrea Mura and Francois Gouin What an incredible week it has been in the Global Solo Challenge, with storms, apprehension, big seas and strong winds and with the legendary Cape Horn in the background like a trophy to pick up in victory. Posted on 8 Feb
Global Solo Challenge update
Difficult times around Cape Horn Cape Horn has been the primary focus of attention for quite a few days now in the Global Solo Challenge, starting from the successful rounding by Ronnie Simpson to a trio of competitors on their approach to the dreaded cape. Posted on 5 Feb
Global Solo Challenge update
Ronnie Simpson's farewell storm before Cape Horn and other challenges Ronnie Simpson is approaching Cape Horn with less than 200 miles to go to the summit of his "Everest of the Seas", a metaphor we've been using to try to convey what an incredible achievement it is to reach this milestone in a solo circumnavigation. Posted on 1 Feb
Global Solo Challenge update
Cole Brauer rounds Cape Horn, Ronnie Simpson next In the dynamic and challenging realm of solo sailing, few feats are as awe-inspiring as navigating the treacherous waters of Cape Horn. Posted on 29 Jan
Armstrong 728x90 - Wing FG Board Range - BOTTOMLloyd Stevenson - Equilibrium 728x90px BOTTOMZhik 2024 February Outlet - FOOTER