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Fastnet 2021 preparation & navigation


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Can the Portland Bill race be navigated?

Sailing from Cowes to Lands-End in the Fastnet race 2021 it is not an unlikely scenario to face wind (west to east) against tide (east to west) at Portland Bill and other heads. The Shell pilot strongly advises to avoid the race of Portland. In the race however one would be enjoying strong favorable currents.

Up to what (wind) conditions would it be ok to navigate the race in a Class40?

Portland bill race.JPG

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9 hours ago, European Bloke said:

You can usually go inside it. Bold move in the dark in a blow, but it should be light when you get there.

On the inside we would only enjoy marginal favorite current. It's the 7 kn in de race that I am after... 

 

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3 hours ago, European Bloke said:

The tide still goes out quite fast outside of the race.

Exactly. There's also an annoying northerly set starting on the W side if you are too close in, which is unhelpful for the usual strategy of "stay the fuck out of Lyme Bay"

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23 hours ago, Ruud said:

Can the Portland Bill race be navigated?

Sailing from Cowes to Lands-End in the Fastnet race 2021 it is not an unlikely scenario to face wind (west to east) against tide (east to west) at Portland Bill and other heads. The Shell pilot strongly advises to avoid the race of Portland. In the race however one would be enjoying strong favorable currents.

Up to what (wind) conditions would it be ok to navigate the race in a Class40?

Portland bill race.JPG

Gotta ask why that boat didn’t go to the left or the right a little bit ?  They’ve gone straight into the jaws of hell 

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I guess it depends what way the tide is running, along with strength and direction of the wind. In the right conditions it could be a great slingshot in the right direction. In the worst case it could ruin your race results

image.thumb.png.a46d36f879ce0a4cfafe36825404d6e4.png

Don't just worry about Portland Bill though.

Every headland needs respect and consideration from a wind and tide perspective. 

What about when everyone is getting tired closer to the finish and you need to navigate the Alderney race near Cherbourg!

image.thumb.png.5cad0e075d32210952ceaecf76e77c1c.png

My suggestion - get the best information you can find. 

Images courtesy of www.tidetechmarinedata.com

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