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The Cape to St Helena 2018 race started in a light Westerly breeze in the loose grip of a weak passing cold front, with wind fluctuating from about 12 kn down to lulls of 6 kn. The bumpy confused sea, together with the need to beat or fetch to get offshore fast, made the going difficult for the cruising catamarans and the heavy displacement monohulls.

At the other end of the fleet, the cruiser racers Rocket, Naledi and Yolo were in good shape, with the light 31’ tri Banjo making good progress as they currently fetch up the Cape west coast. The transom of one of the leading boats was already decorated with the results of some bodily disagreements with the seastate – but I suspect a great deal more of that will flow across the fleet in the opening day.

The wind is predicted to build and move south over the next day, and by mid to late Thursday, the fleet should be in champagne bluewater downwind sailing conditions, which should last for the next week, in a narrow band up the Southern African coast, between the South Atlantic high which is ridged out wide over a thousand miles, which is pushing the frontal systems below the African continent.

Thereafter, the wind looks to moderate, and understanding positioning relative to pressure will decide the race.

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Cape to St Helena 2018 is a sister race to the#Cape2Rio2020, which is supporting the race with a daily race update. Like|Love|Share!


– Luke Scott