Left: Friday conditions as of Friday Right: Friday conditions as they were predicted on Sunday 7/8
Comparing these two pictures, I'd have to admit that the difference is not that drastic. The high pressure hole in the middle of the course is stretching north a little earlier than expected. The other hole just off the coast is pretty much right where we were thinking it would be.
Our Eliana decided to take a northerly route early on and then turn south in opposition to the other boats in their division. This puts them right in the middle of that hole and you can tell. The trail line on the tracker is wavering and their boat speed has dropped. They were once correcting out to be leading the pack, but now are behind all of their division mates. However, everyone else has to take a longer course to get to the finish line while Eliana has a shorter course. The hole that they are in will continue its way north giving them some breeze, where the others will still be stalled. Or at least that's what we hope.
The fleets that started on Thursday and Friday are suffering as well. These 60- and 70-foot boats are used to hitting 10 knots or more on a regular basis, but now are barely making it into the 5-knot range. Don't count them out -- when the breeze kicks in, they are fast. For now, it's golden boy Green Buffalo on top by corrected time.
The game isn't half over yet, so there is plenty of time for surprises. If nothing else, our team is having fun - and that's kind of the point of this, isn't it?