Race Insight from OSTAR Veteran Jerry Freeman

The Ostar fleet has split into three distinct groups based on getting the best from each boat’s strengths and the skipper’s individual ambitions;

To the north is the ‘great circle’ group consisting of Pathway to Children, Spirit and Tamarind all aiming to sail the shortest distance to Newfoundland along fifty north latitude for the first week or so.

To the south is the ‘line honours’ group of the biggest boats Branec, Vento, Hayai and Cabrio 2 all hoping that their higher speeds will compensate for the much great distances to be sailed.

The rhumb line group currently 65 miles to the south of the great circlers consists of Jereboam, British Beagle Sunrise and Wind of Lorne.

The third day is generally recognised as the peak of accumulated fatigue and sleep deprivation, The sailor’s resolve will be severly tested as they have yet to become fully acclimatised and the conditions have been very testing from the start. The skipper’s priority as they move off the continental shelf and the hazard of fishing boats is reduced will be sleep, warmth and food.

The strong north west breeze that has dominated the race since Tuesday morning is forecast to decrease and back to the west and south west as a ridge of high pressure extends from the Azores to the UK. The rhum line boats will probably get the most benefit from this change as the southern fleet risk being blocked by the light winds in the centre of the ridge and the northern boats will be on the wrong side of the shift. A warming and light south westerly will be welcomed by all the sailors as they gear up for the wide expanse open ocean ahead.