As the pack led by ABN AMRO ONE heads south it has already picked up the westerly conveyor belt that will accelerate them towards Melbourne.
The effect has been clearly seen in the leader's board, where movistar has dropped from first to fourth, its westerly route giving only a short term advantage.
And Moose (and his crew Skunk, Numbsy, Big Tone, Bob, Sid, Irish et al) must be pretty pleased - not just leaders but also well positioned to pick up the low building to their south-west, with strengthing winds just what their boat designers wanted.
Its a long way to Oz-land, and its already been shown how these boats can break. The figure to the right shows the wind forcecast by NOAA for the 7th, where the low builds into a storm with up to 50 knot of wind.
Black Betty will have to handle storms and ice to repeat the triumphs of the last leg. And icebergs have been spotted at 49S. The boats might be still up at 43S but no one wants to crash into a growler when charging through the night at 30 knots.
But the charge to Melbourne has begun!
Pictures from Virtual Spectator and NOAA
Naval Rowing at Beale
1 hour ago