Vendee Globe 2020

climenuts

Anarchist
725
291
PNW
Would someone mind giving a layman weather synopsis/explanation for a weather novice or provide some recommended reading material?

I'm trying to understand what this trough they're trying to cross physically is and what crossing it would be like on the water. General info to help sharpen some weather understanding is also highly appreciated :)  

 

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
Would someone mind giving a layman weather synopsis/explanation for a weather novice or provide some recommended reading material?

I'm trying to understand what this trough they're trying to cross physically is and what crossing it would be like on the water. General info to help sharpen some weather understanding is also highly appreciated :)  
No different from what we are experiencing in the midwest today as the current front comes through. Strong warm winds from the S and SW today (I was out watching my buddies kitesurfing while nursing my injured shoulder), then later afternoon the front will pass and the wind will switch to W. For the sailors that means big quartering seas and big S wind tonight on the Atlantic as they sail directly west towards the front, crashing along on port tack, then as they cross the advancing front they can tack onto starboard and cruise south in moderate breeze with moderating seas, although I imagine initially the seas will be head on.

 

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
Alex worked hard the past two hours, no sleep for him till the front is through.

Screen Shot 2020-11-10 at 3.49.43 PM.png

 

stief

Super Anarchist
8,118
2,440
Sask Canada
https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/statistics

So are the "24 hrs" and "from start" sections here confused? I'm guessing the left is for the last 24 hours?
Spreadsheet shows Alex did 250.7 nm in the last 24 hrs, so that matches the 'left column'. The column next to it is a conversion, 464.3 KM.

The 'from start' section is for the best 24 hr record since the start

 
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Sailbydate

Super Anarchist
11,595
3,262
Kohimarama
Would someone mind giving a layman weather synopsis/explanation for a weather novice or provide some recommended reading material?

I'm trying to understand what this trough they're trying to cross physically is and what crossing it would be like on the water. General info to help sharpen some weather understanding is also highly appreciated :)  
High pressure warm air is displaced (pushed upwards) by cooler moist, low pressure air. A trough usually forms from a low pressure system and extends out into a long band rather than the normal circular formation of a low pressure system. The effect is much more wind velocity and consequently rougher sea states. The wind can also change general direction.

The attached screen grab gives you an excellent representation of this effect.

Screen Shot 2020-11-11 at 10.56.22 AM.png

 

Kenny Dumas

Super Anarchist
1,215
461
PDX
Climenuts?  I feel dirty typing that....

Anyway, read the “Developing” section on the Wiki. I’d add that from a sailors perspective that if you think about the wave trains generated by the Southerly being overrun by the Westerly, the seastate in the crosschop sucks. Also, super gusty, variable in the change. 

 

Roleur

Super Anarchist
2,947
646
Orcas Island
We should all be clear that we have seen basically nothing about the potential of the boats for whole of the race around.  None of the "fast" boats are optimized for the conditions they are seeing now and they will rarely if ever see these type of conditions again in the race.  Happens every 4 years, that they get the stink knocked out of them in the first few days, then as they approach the equator we actually see who has the wheels to win this race.  Until then, we are seeing who the great sailors are (many of them), but not much else.  We can see that many of the boats are really holding back right now as their only goal is to get through the next day or so in one piece.  Then they will resume "racing".  

 

Laurent

Super Anarchist
2,300
1,963
Houston
Arnaud Boissières had to climb his mast to fix his staysail hook problem. it is now fixed and he is back 100%.
More details on the French version: he climbed to the mast to "unlatch" (my interpretation) the hook of the small genaker, and then the sail dropped... and fell in the water and got tangled up on the outrigger. So he had to get down quickly and climb to the end of the outrigger this time, to get to the sail and retrieve it... "It was a day with a balance/equilibrium theme" as said Arnaud...

 

Herman

Super Anarchist
1,848
825
The Netherlands
Spreadsheet shows Alex did 250.7 nm in the last 24 hrs, so that matches the 'left column'. The column next to it is a conversion, 464.3 KM.

The 'from start' section is for the best 24 hr record since the start
Watch out with the spreadsheets, the timestamps for the positions do sometimes vary.

 

staysail

Super Anarchist
2,131
334
Would someone mind giving a layman weather synopsis/explanation for a weather novice or provide some recommended reading material?

I'm trying to understand what this trough they're trying to cross physically is and what crossing it would be like on the water. General info to help sharpen some weather understanding is also highly appreciated :)  
There are already some good replies to this above, technical and references etc. but I don't think anyone has answered the "what is it like crossing one on the water?" bit.

From my experience a few times, anything from "a bit rough" to "really horrible". When really horrible you can have pouring rain, wind increasing at an ever increasing pace until you wonder if it is possible for it to get any stronger, and it does. and the waves get huge and white. Then suddenly the wind can completely disappear and the sails go slack whilst the waves are bouncing the boat all over the place with the sails and boom banging about with no wind to hold them steady, threatening to break things and the sail, then suddenly the wind can come back from a totally different direction and at huge speed, so you don't know what tack to try and settle the boat, which can be completely stopped without steerage way at the time, onto, and you can also get hailstorms and sunshine at the same time. The big waves from different directions crash into each other so you can't really sense what direction they are coming from. After a short while, minutes to say half an hour, the wind usually settles down from a completely new direction and with reduced strength but it will still noy have a settled direction and may still have very strong gusts. Things then get better. It will be colder but the horrible confused state will gradually improve and the waves gradually settle down with a consistent new direction and a longer distance from peak to peak even though they can stay big for a long while. Sailing upwind into and through a strong cold front is not pleasant (at least not for me!) , but sailing across the wind in the conditions after I know I am through it are usually very good fun, with sunshine, white clouds with squalls under them, and fast sailing..

 

Hitchhiker

Hoopy Frood
4,517
1,206
Saquo-Pilia Hensha
Good idea to up certain polars for high performing boats. Are the newer boats a third quicker than the 2016 versions?
Can’t be sure at the moment. I’ve been playing with percentages to try and closely match as best as possible. But, there is also a spread across TWA where the percentage can make a drastic shift.

 

SCARECROW

Super Anarchist
5,998
684
Melbourne, Aus
There are already some good replies to this above, technical and references etc. but I don't think anyone has answered the "what is it like crossing one on the water?" bit.

From my experience a few times, anything from "a bit rough" to "really horrible". When really horrible you can have pouring rain, wind increasing at an ever increasing pace until you wonder if it is possible for it to get any stronger, and it does. and the waves get huge and white. Then suddenly the wind can completely disappear and the sails go slack whilst the waves are bouncing the boat all over the place with the sails and boom banging about with no wind to hold them steady, threatening to break things and the sail, then suddenly the wind can come back from a totally different direction and at huge speed, so you don't know what tack to try and settle the boat, which can be completely stopped without steerage way at the time, onto, and you can also get hailstorms and sunshine at the same time. The big waves from different directions crash into each other so you can't really sense what direction they are coming from. After a short while, minutes to say half an hour, the wind usually settles down from a completely new direction and with reduced strength but it will still noy have a settled direction and may still have very strong gusts. Things then get better. It will be colder but the horrible confused state will gradually improve and the waves gradually settle down with a consistent new direction and a longer distance from peak to peak even though they can stay big for a long while. Sailing upwind into and through a strong cold front is not pleasant (at least not for me!) , but sailing across the wind in the conditions after I know I am through it are usually very good fun, with sunshine, white clouds with squalls under them, and fast sailing..
and of course they're going to be doing it all at midnight on their own

 

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