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2 June 2000 Issue # 207

By Ike Stephenson


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Records in the 'STAR' Forecast?

For any of the 70+ entered boats to set a record, the weather either must be cooperative or they must read it just right.  Sailing speed records are dependent on weather.  Usually the better the record the more crucial the weather is.  A good example is the unbroken for 10 years west to east trans atlantic record.

The ultimate record for this race is 10 days 9 hours set by Phillipe Poupon in 1988.  That year Poupon was able to sail a nearly rhumb line course at great speed.  By being able to sail the shortest distance at speed Poupon's record is a tough one to break.  

Current forecasts for the British waters off Plymouth where the race starts show SW winds of force 3.  With a rhumb line course of 260 this would put the fleet on the wind.  However, the off is not until Sunday and by then a high pressure is supposed to bring moderate Northerly Breezes, which will put the fleet off the wind.  These moderate off wind conditions should help the progress and keep damage to a minimum.  It's doubtful that anyone will be able to set a record pace from the go.

Once the fleet leaves the coast they will have a major routing decision.  Weather charts show a 1028 millibar high located at 40 north and west or almost directly in the middle of the course from Plymouth to Newport.  This high stretches to 60 longitude.  Winds in this high are westerly which would put the fleet on a dead upwind course.  Not good for record setting.  

Ideally skippers will want to skirt this high.  There seem to be two options to skirt the high.  One is to dip down to the Azores Islands around 35 north latitude.  The other is to go north of the high and sail in cold and possibly icy waters.  In either case sailors can expect to add around 700 miles to the rhumb line distance.

With the high pressure currently covering from 30 to 50 latitude getting around it will add distance.  The added distance along with generally lite and moderate winds make new records unlikely

Report on Rainy Muskegon May Weather

The 31 days of May have ended.  Two words describe the weather they produced: rainy and warm.

May saw 7.45 inches of rain fall making May 2000 the wettest May on record.  The previous May rain record was 6.48 inches in May. Normal May precipitation is 2.6 inches. Rainiest day of the month was Thursday the 18th when 1.36 inches fell.  

Despite this record rain lake levels will not be much affected.  

May was also warmer than normal as have all other months of 2000.  Overall temperatures were 2.08 above normal.  Warmest was 83 on Saturday the 6th, coolest 38 on Sunday the 21st.

The warm weather was almost all blown in by Southerly winds as shown below:

Direction + Norm - Norm Total
North 2 3 5
East 1 2 3
West 1 3 4
South 14 5 19

Finally the average wind speed was 9.6 knots, with the windiest day on Saturday the 6th.  

Detroit NOODS Day 1 Outlook

Today is Day 1 of the first of the Great Lakes NOOD regattas.  Lake St. Clair will see 18 classes race on a one design basis.

Largest classes are expected to be: the Cal 25's with 19 entries and the Tartan 10's with 18 entries.

In addition to competing in the NOOD's the Express 27 and Hobie 33 class will be contesting their national championship.

Sailors and teams to include on a list of favorites include: the Cal 25 crew on Five Guys Named Moe, entered by Rob Boggs (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.); J/24 skipper Josh Kerst (Ann Arbor, Mich.) on Instant Karma; and Steve Tepel (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) on S2 7.9 Parrot Head.  All of these skippers are two time defending champions.

Day 1 of the regatta should be lively with west winds of 15-25 knots expected.  Thunderstorms could also play a role in the weather.

Look for a report on the racing in tomorrow's Sailing Daily.



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Weekly Water Level Update

Reference Point Inches
Chart Datum +1
May 2 2000 + 5
June 2 1999 - 10
Long Term Avg. -22
Record High -50
Record Low + 12
Forecast for July 2 + 1

Data Courtesy Detroit District Corps of Engineers



















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