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Frank

June 94 Storm.

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In the 2012 Round NZ race the question of a system developing into something was asked of a short, round, white haired weatherman at Mangonui prior to leg two from there to Stewart Is

He said that there was less than 1% chance of it being a problem

We were hit by a weather bomb 300nm west of cook straight (15m swells)

 

I now run Predictwind offshore app from my Irrid go

I still think a system could develop after departure but hopefully I could watch the raw data and change course if it was coming my way but that doesn't mean it wouldn't change to follow me.

 

Offshore sailing is still safer than driving on the motorway or even the retirement homes, people die in them every day believe it or not.

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Most of the radio traffic was with Jon Cullen at Kerikeri radio.

I recall that Fiji Met service was worried about the storm about a day ahead of New Zealand forecasters.

The chart of 50 knots plus in Farrington's book shows an area 250 miles across by 1000 miles long give or take.

Without a clear idea where it was going it would have taken a bit of luck to choose which way to run.

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In a nutshell, Yes. But being able to do so depends on the type of Storm. A Tropical cyclone is actually very small in physical area and they follow a path of reasonable accuracy. With current Weather info, it is very easy to lay a path that will take you to a particular side of a Tropical cyclone. Usually the East side, as the East of these storms tend to be a little more compact/Tidy. The West side is where all the rubbish spins off them. As they travel South though, they can start to fall apart as they find the colder waters and as they decrease to Tropical lows, they broaden in area.
It really depends on how much pre info the Weather maps give. If you can get days of advance warning, it is easy to sail well to the East of them and then use the Wind direction to swing around and above them. But if you are too close and can't get around it, you can be in trouble. The other thing to be weary of, is at certain times of the year, multiple storms can exist in the Tropics. You may avoid one only to be clouted by another. And also, when these things are very new and still generating, they can be rather unpredictable as to where they are going to head. They need to form and define a path. If they remain a Tropical Thunder Storm, they head off in a completely different direction.
For Storms that swing up from the Southern Ocean and across from Oz, it is a very different story. Often they can be nearly the entire Tasman Sea in size and they can be across the Tasman in just 1 or 2 days, so you don't always get a chance with those ones.
The fast Race boats use storms to give them a wind direction and speed they need to set big distance days. They will sit on the edge of something and get sucked along with it. But they have the beauty of speed to be able to such a thing.

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Think forecasts are a whole lot better but Not so good that offshore you will have the time and speed to get out of the way.

 

One or two day trips on the New Zealand coast, it's been a long time since actual weather has really surprised, certainly still possible to get 35-45kts when you're expecting 25-35 but pretty much gone are the days when the forecast says 25-30 and 50+ arrives.

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I never believe I can sail out of bad weather.

To make myself clear, I am not saying out sail anything. I am simply referring to seeing a Cyclone forming in the Tropics and steering a course (if wind allows) that will take you well off to the side of it. And I mean well off to the side of it.

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Sometimes speed isn't the tactic to miss the weather. On one trip back from Fiji I remember Des from Russell radio talking about a savage low crossing northern NZ. His advice was if you couldn't get in to Opua by a certain time to wait above 28S or some such. We got in before it but those that waited bobbed around for a few days and headed on in with better conditions.

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