Race 2 of Leg 1 from Portimao, Portugal to Punta del Este in Uruguay starts in just a little under 20 minutes time. 5,195 nautical miles across the Atlantic, across the equator for the first time (and the crossing the line ceremony where King Neptune visits and Pollywogs become Shellbacks – “obviously” I can hear you say …. more about that in a future blog!) and through the doldrums, this race is expected to take about 30 days with the yachts expected into Punta del Este in the window 14-16 October and Ruth and I fly to South America on the 7th😀 The first tactical decision is likely to be in the vicinity of the Canary Islands. Do you route east, west or straight through? Pick the wrong route and you can get caught in the lee of the land. The Doldrums, are both a physical and a mental challenge with unpredictable conditions, big wind holes, squalls, and high temperatures.
With a further 11 race points available for the first yacht across the line, bonus points are again available via a Scoring Gate to port of the rhumb line track, this time off the coast of Mauritania and north of the Cape Verde Islands and an Ocean Sprint off the NE coast of Brazil between 5 degrees and 10 degrees south of the equator. To cope with the doldrums, a doldrums corridor also exists – more about the tactics of the Doldrums Corridor in a future blog. The Scoring Gate, Doldrums corridor and Ocean Sprint positions are available on the Race Viewer (See Blog 75: The Race Viewer – and a health warning. This can be addictive, published 2 September) for those following the Race (and who, like me, are already addicted). If you haven’t taken a look then I would recommend it.
And in “breaking news” Qingdao and Punta del Este have both elected to play their joker on this race, thus potentially doubling their race points. So there is much up for grabs.
Please take a look. Thank you.