April 1, 2015. Leg 5 to Itajai onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. Day 15.  Louis Sinclair wrestles a sailbag in the cockpit in the midst of a very wet sail peel in the Brazilian Current of the Atlantic Ocean.

April 1, 2015. Leg 5 to Itajai onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. Day 15. Louis Sinclair wrestles a sailbag in the cockpit in the midst of a very wet sail peel in the Brazilian Current of the Atlantic Ocean.

APRIL 5, 2015, 0400 UTC

Leader: ADOR
Wind speed: 17 knots
Boat speed SOG (15 mins): 13 knots
Wind direction: 0º – 38º
Lowest boat speed: SCA (6,4 knots)
Highest boat speed: ALVI (13,3 knots)
Lowest wind speed: SCA (2 knots)
Highest wind speed: ALVI, TBRU (19 knots)
Dongfeng Race Team DTF: 1,476nm

The leaders passed the 200 nautical miles (nm) to the finish around 0200 UTC. For them the past 12 hours of sailing have consisted in pointing the bows towards the Brazilian coast where they are heading upwind in starboard tack.

The leading pack is still within 5nm of each other,(

CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT BOAT POSITIONS) but Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has being making some small gains during the night, enough to keep MAPFRE under control.

They have gained 1.1nm in the last 12 hours.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s skipper Ian Walker said: “It is quite incredible that after racing 6,200nm through the Southern Ocean we have today been racing with four boats in sight of each other.

“The racing has the same intensity as an inshore race and boat-on-boat tactics rather than large scale navigational decisions will decide the final outcome.

“It is still possible that the weather gods may turn this leg inside out at the finish, but whatever the outcome I am really proud of how our team have stood up to the test so far. Roll on tomorrow and a huge Brazilian welcome in Itajaí!”

Team Alvimedica in second place after the latest position report, was the first boat to tack yesterday afternoon.

They are currently in the most westerly in the peloton and, together with Team Brunel, they have been sailing a lower angle (320º-325º) than Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and MAPFRE (330º-335º.)

“We fell on the wrong side of one particularly vicious cloud an hour ago that negated some big gains on Abu Dhabi and MAPFRE,” according to Amory Ross. “As the westernmost and southernmost boat in the pack, we’re going to be first to the coast.

“According to the weather models when the offshore breeze dies tomorrow afternoon, the new breeze will arrive from the south along the shore and it will fill our sails first.

“Hopefully, we’ll carry it all the way up to the leaders and we’ll finish this leg with a neck-and-neck, rainy gybing duel down to the line.

“Everyone’s trying to get plenty of good rest tonight as tomorrow promises to be pretty intense! A fitting finish to an amazing leg.”

Stay tuned for the arrivals today.

Synopsis

1) High pressure is now far off to the SE and E of the fleet

2) Front lie from 39s/40w to 37 30s/45w then to 35s/50w

– the front is lifting NE

3) Low pressure will develop along the front and move SE later today/tonight

4) Next front, a little S of Team SCA is also moving NE

– light air ahead of the front, with the flow shifting to the S and SSW following the front which will pass Team SCA this morning

– SSW flow increases to 20-30 kts

– few showers or a passing squall

5) Nearer Itajai, winds for the lead yachts will become lighter as they get closer

– NE winds will back and be more N or NNW

– a couple showers scattered about

– breeze will trend more NE again this afternoon

6) On Monday, cold front will stretch from 35s/38w to 30s/39 30w then to a small low around 25s/45w

– the front will move NE and the low will strengthen some as it heads SE

– SSE flow of 20-30 kts likely with the wind diminishing

7) Lighter SSW to S flow near Itajai Mon night/early Tuesday with the breeze becoming SE midday and afternoon

– flow increases to 8-13 kts in the afternoon

Today’s weather

1) NE winds for the lead boats will be diminishing and tending to back as they close in on Itajai

2) Winds will be very light, maybe under 5-6 kts within 15 miles of Itajai with what little wind there is being NNW

– the breeze will increase to 6-12 kts late morning and afternoon

3) Team SCA will have a front pass this morning

4) Very light winds ahead of the front will become S and SSW and increase

– winds of 20-30 kts later on today

– A few showers/squalls, mainly this morning

5) The wind backs to the S and SSE Sun night

6) Cold front will pass Itajaí, around 00utc Mon

– increasing chances of showers and some thundershowers this afternoon/tonight

Outlook: Variable clouds with a shower near Itajai, a few scattered showers/squalls for Team SCA, mainly this morning.

Team SCA will have SW-S seas 11-15 feet will slowly diminish overnight, seas 4-6 ft and diminishing closer to Itajai

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