Last Wednesday the ARC Europe fleet set off on the longest leg of their transatlantic adventure. The boats left St George's in Bermuda under light and constant breeze. For different reasons, Moonstruck III and Summerwinds of Cuan left Bermuda a couple of days later, making part of the fleet with 28 boats, and are now on the rear of the group between a high and low pressure.
In terms of weather it has been an interesting passage for the fleet. Here is some commentary from WCC weatherman Chris Tibbs:
It is quite unusual in that a low has moved over the mid-Atlantic area and has stalled. Therefore where the boats are in relation to the low's centre determines the wind they have.
The faster, and boats following the weather, have gone south of the low in reasonably favourable winds and some are escaping to the east. These boats will have some heavy squalls with strong wind and some thunderstorms. The boats leaving later have been left behind between the low and high pressure in light variable winds.
It is interesting in that a couple of boats are trying to get north which will be very slow at first with headwinds. The low will eventually move away to the NNE and the fleet will get favourable winds however it will take a while and the fleet will be well spread out by Horta!
The first boat with 550NM ahead expected to arrive in Horta on Saturday 28th May is the Italian flagged Neel 47, Minimole. The others will follow shortly after in Faial, where a full programme of activities awaits the 115 participants from ARC Europe 2022.