With the Round Ireland Race over, the focus for the winning boat Baraka GP plus four Irish boats is now on this weekend's Round the Island Race on the Solent and attention has turned to the weather forecast and, in particular, a low off Lands End.
As Afloat.ie previously reported there will be four Irish entries among a flurry of international entries to sign up for the 50nm sail round the Isle of Wight tomorrow.
Mayo Sailing Club's 'Xstatic', a regular WIORA competitor, skippered by Damien Cashin will be on the start line as will the Royal Irish Yacht Club's 'Jib and Tonic' from Dublin Bay skippered by Morgan Crowe. The latest entry is the top flight Quarter Tonner Quest, skippered by Barry Cunningham, also from the RIYC. Prof O'Connell, who was aboard Chris Power Smith's second overall Aurelia in the Round Ireland Race, is racing on Quest in a busy week for the sailing professional. Altair, a Beneteau 36.7, from Cove Sailing Club in Cork Harbour is also competing and Vendee Globe campaigner Nin O'Leary, who raced to success in last year's race is back again racing onboard Adam Gosling's new Yes! boat.
A high should move over the UK bringing a light N/NW gradient wind. It should be a hot & sunny day, allowing the heat low to develop again over the E of England. As it does so the breeze should back left WSW up the Channel, remaining quite light.
For Saturday the high should be firmly settled over the UK with its central ridge extending from S of Ireland to around Newcastle. This will bring a hot & sunny day with a light NNE/NE gradient wind to start. This is likely to be replaced by a developing sea breeze around 1100, light S/SSW around the back of the Island, light SSE/SSW through the E Solent. It will be a very tactical day.
Gusts are likely to be 1/3 as much again as the average wind speed. Squall-driven gusts may be higher still - the deeper the cloud, the stronger the gust.
RACE DAY - Saturday 7th
Light NE 4-7 kts to start, going very light & patchy then returning S/SSE 6-10 kts around noon veering right SSW 6-10 kts around the back of the Island. In the E Solent, this is likely to be SE/SSE 5-9 kts through the afternoon. It's going to be hot & sunny, with significant local thermal effects.
Met Office: NE 5-8 kts, dying around 1100, settling back in S/SSW 5-9 kts afternoon.
ECMWF: N 3-6 kts then SW 6-10 kts.
NOAA's GFS model: N 3-6 kts in the morning, then SW 6-10 kts.