Charlie Barr’s record
Yike! Above is the OPC’s prediction for 8 pm tomorrow night, my time. Today, 20 of the mightiest sailing yachts on the planet will set off from New York in a Transatlantic Challenge meant to celebrate, and smash, the 12 day, 4 hour race record set by Charlie Barr 100 years ago (also well explained by Josh Adams here). Somewhere the famously hard-driving skipper may be chuckling. If I’d been invited to join the fascinating mix of swells, enthusiasts, and pros (some apparently obnoxious) making the crossing, I’d be feeling a bit like a squirrel in front of a truck. That low looks like a lot more weather than is normal this time of year. I’ll bet the onboard weather guys and routers like Commander’s are quite focused right now. It seems like communications and forecasting technology will play a big role in whether these boats get a sleigh ride or a pounding. I’ll be following the race with interest this week (and hoping to learn more about the electronics used).
Monday, 11 am update: the Grand Prix boats have headed way south and are now making 18 knots. Meanwhile the big low may stall right over Cape Cod, which is where I was supposed to go boating later this week. Drat!
Tuesday, 12 am update: the gale warnings here in Maine and on the Cape have been upgraded to storm warnings, NE gusts up to 50k tonight, but it’s still not clear how the racers will fare, though the ones who went way south are looking pretty smart right now.