Last weekend, the ARC Europe fleet got underway on the next leg of their transatlantic adventure. The group of 14 boats left St Georges in Bermuda over a 24 hour window to provide flexibility to their departure plans.
The fleet have not had an easy passage so far so they will be looking forward to arriving in the Azores during next week.
In terms of weather it has been an interesting passage for the fleet. Here is some commentary from WCC weatherman Chris Tibbs:
Weather patterns have been rather unsettled over the last few weeks with the jet stream bringing unseasonable weather to Bermuda. It is however beginning to settle down with the Azores (Bermudan) high becoming settled mid-way between Bermuda and the Azores.
The boats initially taking a more northerly course had to contend with a cold front bringing strong easterly winds, whilst the boats heading quickly east managed to avoid the strong easterlies. Now close to the high pressure the more easterly boats are seeing lighter more variable winds as they now edge north around the high.
Over the next few days the fleet will be sailing on the north side of the high in good conditions and mainly following winds. The weather Gods have one last throw of the dice to upset the sailors as a cold front will sink south to disturb the weather patterns early next week. How far south it will get is uncertain but it may well give a period of easterly winds as high pressure becomes established north of the route.
The fleet has an enjoyable time to look forward to in the Azores visiting the islands of Faial (Horta Marina) and S. Miguel (Marina de Ponta Delgada). The programme will be different to previous years but we are sure participants will have a lovely time.