8am this morning saw skippers and navigators gathered for the compulsory pre race briefing. Nick McGuigan and Donald Fraser took the participants through the all important safety briefing before Fraser revealed the up to date weather forecast.
Whilst there are current strong wind warnings for the south coast of Tasmania these should have abated by the time the fleet reaches that latitude. The rest of the forecast is benign, in fact the first 24 hours will be a bit light and fluky making the task of picking the wind even more important. Fraser assured crews that there is ‘nothing spooky’ in the forecast.
For the start today we will have westerlies at 10 -15 knots meaning the fleet will have to beat to Queenscliff from the start at Portsea pier before exiting the Heads. The winds will shift to the South in the next 24 hours before going around to the East. They will predominantly be light and variable requiring navigators and tacticians to earn their keep.
The predict wind models for both the East and West Coast races have the boats arriving in Hobart in roughly the same amount of time, 2 days 10 hours so the competition for the Red Wine Cup of first to Hobart will be hotly contested.