With each solution different for each boat type, this race then becomes an interesting chess game between teams who are seeking the optimal route based on their knowledge of the weather models, the polar performance predictions for their boat, and which route is predicted to be optimal.

A record ripe for the plucking

For 2012, Beau Geste finished in 14 days 5 hours to defeat Rage, but due to light winds could not get close to the course record of 11 days, 10 hours set by Doug Baker’s Andrews-designed Magnitude 80 in 2008. This record run cut three days off the previous record set in 1994 by Fred Kirschner’s Santa Cruz 70 Kathmandu.

For an average speed of 13 knots over the 3571-mile course, could Magnitude 80’s mark be an ocean race record that could be broken? Comanche’s 2017 race record in the LA-Honolulu Transpac was set for an average speed of 20.2 knots, so a Tahiti race record would seem ripe for the plucking.