11th of September, 2013

Bomb Alley at its best

In fact ‘Bomb Alley’ as it is known colloquially, the rocky passage to the north of Porto Cervo through the La Madalena and Caprera archipelago, is one of the best known and most raced coastal passages. And so any idle talk of ‘local knowledge’ is quite misplaced, most world class navigators and tacticians know every rock an every gust pattern, every headland and bay as well as each other.

That is today’s scenic playground for the first of two scheduled coastal races of the Audi Settimana delle Bocche, the final event of the 2013 52 SUPER SERIES. The course is likely to be about 31Nm, a long beat up to the island of Spargi which is left to starboard and a long fast run back.

After the rain and cloud of yesterday today it is more classically Mistral conditions, clearer overhead with the strong winds slightly more north than yesterday WNW.

We are looking at a forecast for the wind to build pretty quickly. At start time we will have 25 and possibly up to 30kts on the coastal course. We will be up in bomb alley so it will be even windier up there as it funnels through the Straits of Bonifacio.

It is a very long beat up around Spargi and Spargiotta then hopefully a long, fast run in a lot of breeze the finish. Sardinia is the home of rocks so first and foremost you are keeping the boat off the bricks, and also just keep the boat on her feet. There will be lots of big puffs, possibly big variations in the breeze.
Says Ian Moore who has returned to Quantum Racing as navigator.

We have Mistral, typical of Sardinia 25knots with gusts to more, current in the channel. If we go in the channel it is a long beat and a long run. All navigators have spent so much time here that there is no such thing as local knowledge.
Bruno Zirilli, Azzurra

Azzurra lead the regatta but this is looking very much like a day during which breakdowns of all types are possible. Bomb Alley is so called as the wind whistles down from the Straits of Bonifacio to windward, turbo charged through the channel with big gusts and lulls. So it will certainly be a spectacular race for the 52’s.

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Audi Week of the Straits