Light winds made for extremely taxing conditions for the start of the second leg of race one in the Historical Seas Regatta late this afternoon.
Having left the anchorage on the Bosphorus in the centre of Istanbul at mid morning, the convoy of ships made its way 17 miles along the Strait towards the Black Sea and arrived at the start area off Turkeli – just to the west of mouth of the Bosphorus – by mid afternoon.
Once the start line was established, what wind there was from a northerly direction had disappeared leaving the race committee the difficulty in how best to deal with the situation. However, as time moved on during the afternoon the wind veered to the east and increased a couple of knots. Although it was still unsuitably light with no more than 4.5kts recorded, the wind backed as the ships gradually made their way to the line, making for a successful start of the final leg to Varna, Bulgaria.
The first Class A ship to ghost across the line into the sunset after the 1800 local time start (1500 UTC/GMT), and within the 15 minute window, was Dar Mlodziezy, Poland, followed by Mir, Russia and Kaliakra , Bulgaria in quick succession.
In Class C and D Mythos, Greece (Class D) made the best start close to the committee boat end of the line, with Hansa, Spain (Class D) following, and Akela, Russia (Class C) crossing in third position.
This 172nm leg to Varna, Bulgaria is a fairly straightforward sprint but there are three waypoints along the course. If the wind remains light, the passage will take a couple of days to complete but should the wind increase significantly the square riggers could start arriving in Varna by tomorrow or early Thursday morning.
A once daily position report will be published on the website fleet tracking each morning as the fleet sails the second leg of the race to Varna.
To view the current placings of the race click here
The Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta is organised by Sail Training International.