Morning update @0910
The fleet just entered the stealth mode induced by lack of GSM coverage around Jabuka.
The scenario from the last year seems to be repeating – at least in the first part of the race. Currently, boats are slowly making progress in southerlies – some with code sails some under jibs. Escapade seems to find the best line out of the Transition zone (see video from last year) with Ora Blue 2 and Fram on their heels. Petit Amie who had a near perfect start and kept the top 5 position in the overall fleet for the first hour, lost some ground after rounding of Komorica. Like last year it seems that the west was not best. They are close to Porta and Julia sticking to the Rhumb line (shortest route between waypoints).
Escapade currently has 12 miles to Jabuka staying few miles east of the Rhumb line. This seems to be a strong position against the fleet if we take in mind the forecasted southerly shift. It should allow them to keep better angles on their approach to Jabuka than Ora Blue 2 and particularly the group of Petit Amie, Jula and Porta. We don’t know the exact position of Fram, so let’s wait until the afternoon when they get back into the GSM coverage range for the trackers to get back on-line.
After rounding the SE – Jugo – is forecasted to keep filing in but it looks to be stronger on the east part of the field. That should induce the crews to sail a bit higher (closer to the wind) after rounding which would bring them few miles east of the rhumb line. Will see what the crews decide.
On the screenshot, you can see the weather situation, position of Jabuka (1) and projected the position of leading 27 (2) at the time of the forecast. Since the crews must be rested (fatigue is not an issue) the next phase of the race in the more stable wind will be down to active trimming. It doesn’t look that there will be any sail changes – the way back from Jabuka to Blitvenica should be all the way under big gennaker.