The final leg is an epic coastal challenge which takes the fleet from Les Sables d’Olonne around the Brittany coast, through the Alderney Race and east to Dieppe. Both Ille de Yeu and Belle Isle must be left to port which limits the option to head more offshore and keeps the fleet together close to the coast. Whilst the tides will be on neaps and therefore not such a strong influence as Leg 1, it is a very tidal course with passages through Raz de Sein, Chanal du Four and the Alderney Race to pass.
The islands and headlands create their own wind shadows and cushions, so it will be vital to use the topography of the coast to find where the light wind patches and acceleration zones are most effective. The early forecast is for a light to moderate north easterly flow for the start which should enable us to make good progress to the Northern Brittany coast.
The main decision will be when to leave the North Brittany coast to head offshore towards Alderney as the routeing suggests that the weather models are not in agreement. Once passed Cherboug, the approach to Dieppe can often be quite tricky with light winds featuring along this cliftop coast.
The Final Leg 4 Starts at 1200 on Sunday 21st August.
Here, the British share their thoughts on the weather conditions ahead of Leg 4: