TR2015 Routing First Look

As you might have expected I have been watching the weather and playing with routes for some time now.  It has been mostly a mental exercise because the GFS grib file only extends 16 days out, so the files I have been getting didn't cover the entire race.  As we get closer to the start that is beginning to change.  So, here is a first look at the course and routing.

The main feature of the course is going to be the very southerly location of the ice gate at Point Alpha.  As a result of our long, cold winter the iceberg field extends a long way to the south.  While not exactly sure where Point Alpha will be, the RC will tell us the exact location on Friday, I have made an estimate based on the Canadian Ice Service mapping.  This point is almost 300 mile south of where it was for TR2011 and even further from the optimal great circle route.  It will add almost 200 miles to our race.

So, we in effect have two races.  The first from Newport to Point Alpha and the second from Point Alpha to the Lizard.  The routing solution based on today's 06z GFS is shown below.

This is really two routing solutions, one for each of the  two races described above.  I am not going to go to deep into the weather forecast, because it is going to change.  But, a low pressure system is forecast to push through New England on Sunday and Monday.  High pressure will fill in behind it and it appears we will start in lightish southwesterly breeze.  The winds are forecast to remain 10-15 knots and out of the southwest and west all the way to Point Alpha.  Sail selection is A0, A1 and A2 for this part of the course.  Based on the routing we get to Point Alpha in 4 days at mid afternoon on July 5th.

After passing Point Alpha we turn to the north.  Winds for this leg are forecast to be out of the west to northwest, starting out at 10-15 knots, building to 20-30 knots starting early in the morning of July 7th and staying there for the rest of the race.  Sail selection is A1, A2 and a whole lot of A6.  Based on the routing this part of the race takes 6 days 8 hours and we arrive at the finish on the night of July 11th.

Our finish at the Lizard will be our start of the feeder race to Cowes.  It is approximately 150 miles from the Lizard to Cowes.  That should put us in Cowes 18-24 hours after we reach the Lizard, or on our about July 13th.

More to come.