At 0900 hours on Monday 6th June at Raoul Island (200 nm due east of the fleet) the wind direction was 90 degreed with at a speed of 13 knots.

Both the of most used models on the boats GFS and GEM show a similar wind direction (102 deg and 105 deg), but higher wind speeds. More importantly both models and the observations line up with the driving force of the atmosphere – pressure. So at the east side of the course it looks like the models are pretty good!

A lonely ship is at 24.3 S 175.6 E just west of the rhumb line and just north of Giacomo is recording 25 knots average from 90 deg. This direction is more favorable than that modeled (60 deg), meaning better reaching conditions and faster times.

Blink remains the second fastest monohull – with a speed over the ground of 12.4 knots, and 6.3nm run from 0930 to 1000 this morning. They remain the boat furthest east, the Raoul Island obs indicate that the wind may drop where they are, so only time will see.

Ran Tan II has made a clear change of course over the last little while to push further west. However, as the wind will at some stage clock from east to north east, this position could be tenuous.

Optimal routing suggests Ran Tan II should head east, so it will be interesting over the next little while to see if the computer or the sea dogs are correct.

By Sally Garrett

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