Doldrums ahead for Portimao racers

En route from Ilhabela, Brazil, to Charleston, South Carolina, competitors in the Portimao Global Ocean race are approaching the Intertropical Convergence Zone&mdashthe doldrums&mdashand considering their tactics for traversing the light conditions as swiftly as possible.

As the fleet climb into the North Atlantic, the formidable barrier of the Doldrums now blocks their path. Boris Herrmann explains the scene: “Here it is a meteorological No Man’s Land between the Trade Wind zones of the northern and southern hemispheres,”he wrote late yesterday. “Damp air ascends rapidly forming heavy clouds. These deliver strong squalls, then suddenly stop, dump huge amounts of rain before sending the breeze from every point of the compass.” Overnight the German team maintained the highest speeds in the fleet although at dawn their pace had dropped to just over nine knots with Desafio Cabo de Hornos chasing hard at 10.8 knots. “We just have to hope our patience holds out and we will have to sit here in the pouring rain with flapping sails waiting for the Chileans to catch us.”

By Ocean Navigator