According to wind forecasting website PredictWind.com, there is the potential for a record setting race in this Friday's PIC Insurance Brokers Coastal Classic.
With a rain front passing through on Thursday evening, it will become clear how strong the South-Wester left in its wake will be.
It's possibl that there will be enough breeze, coming from the right direction, for the fastest boats, including the trimaran Frank Racing (formerly TeamVodafone) to arrive in Russell during the mid afternoon, and to possibly even crack the race record of 5 hours, 13 minutes and 21 seconds.
That's if all goes according to plan with a good clean race and breeze that holds as forecast - it's also possible that the wind will not build significantly during the day, making the race a challenging game of guess work for boat owners.
According to PredictWind.com's weather router, in a reasonable breeze, smaller multihulls, including the 8.5m class, can also look forward to arriving in Russell before dinner time, while the top keelboats can expect a dusk finish, arriving in Russell on Friday evening. The bulk of the fleet, based on the performance of a Young 88, will be out well past midnight, but can expect to sail in a reasonably consistent breeze throughout.
"This is classic Coastal Classic stuff," says event director Matthew Flynn, who is also an entrant in the solo division. "There is something magic about sailing overnight into the Bay."
PredictWind utilises four weather models, which each predict a slightly different forecast. As the day gets closer, forecast will become more specific.
The race so far has 138 entries which include one all female crew, seven solo entrants, and five boats with just two crew.