South Bound

Leg 1 Kiel - Dùn Laoghaire 31.08.12

The first offshore leg of the MOD70 European Tour is shaping up to be a stark contrast to July’s KRYS OCEAN RACE. That was a direct, fast and furious dash across the Atlantic, this first leg from Kiel to Dun Laoghaire is looking like it will be more of a tactical chess game, more or less upwind all the way.

Race director Gilles Chiorri and his team had already anticipated that a northerly course around the top of Scotland might be too stormy and so there has always been a provision for a southerly course, through the Channel before turning NW at Land’s End for Dublin. With the prospect of an very strong low pressure system due to deliver between 45 and 50 knots in the very northern latitudes of that option, it is the southerly course of around 1238 miles which has been chosen.


That should see the five MOD70 trimarans tacking upwind a lot of the time, skirting Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium, the south coast of England and then up the Celtic Sea to Dublin.  Though the theoretical course distances differ by no more than 50 miles, the chosen course leaving England to starboard, will have to zig zag between oil rigs, sand bars, wind farms shipping and deal with the maritime and the traffic separation zones of the Channel and approaches. And while the north route is virtually barred by the low pressure systems, the south will be dominated by anti cyclonic conditions which will mean mostly light upwind conditions. Indeed the average windspeed and direction for most of the passage is forecast to be 10kts from the west.


And a further high pressure system is likely to install itself over the south of Ireland for the final stage of the passage.  Overall this first leg is expected to take around 3.5 days.

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