Africans News – Monday 26 November

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A few comments on the conditions in Maputo. For the last two days the wind has been 18-20 knots NE. Sailing has been on an incoming tide. The water depth is between 1.5-4m. As the wind builds a short steep chop develops. Current / drift is around 2 knots in the direction of the wind. Sailing upwind takes great skill to keep the boats moving through the chop. For each wave the sailor needs to find the right combination of hiking, moving the body back and forth, sheeting and steering. All while thinking about their position relative to other boats and the wind. Great skill building!

Downwind is a blast, ride the waves one to the next. Again skill is needed to catch and stay on the waves and to move quickly from one wave to the next. Miss a wave and the boat next to you shoots passed. Physical and mental fitness and strength will be tested this week if the conditions persist. Low tide at 12:23 today with a tidal height of 0.53m. High tide 18:28, 3.48m. As we move through the week towards neaps, tidal range will fall. Morning sailing will be on an outgoing tide, early afternoon slack and late afternoon on an incoming tide.

A parting comment on conditions is that it was very difficult to drive a RIB upwind at anything more than fast idle yesterday due to the steep short chop. Hope this puts all the virtual sailors in the picture.

Michael Kavanagh