Athens Training

Got up today and went and bought a new stove/oven. The second knob in as many nights broke off our stove last night and I had it with that thing. They have the equivalent of Home Depot here so I got a new stove for $250. Charged the owner of the apartment. Phil went for run while I did that with Austin, then Phil and Austin went to get Andy Lovell and the airport. Andy is here for two weeks as a tuning partner. Andy finished second in the USA trials this March after breaking his mast on the first day. He is good and he will push us hard.

After they got Andy, we went down to the sailing club and Phil and I went out while Austin and Andy rigged up the the boat we have chartered for them.

We had another good day on the water. First we tuned with Freddy Loof and Anders Ekstrom from (SWE) for about 2 miles up wind. Not much difference in speed between us in about 7-8 knots of wind. Then we had about 5 races with Loof (SWE), Percy (GBR), Beashal (AUS), MacDonnald (CAN). We did ok..not as well as yesterday. But another good day of training with intense short races.

I got dropped off to start the bar-b-q and the potato’s while Phil, Austin and Andy went to the store to get food and the Vodafone store to get Andy sorted out with his phone. We ate a nice dinner of Pork Tenderloin, potatoes and salad and watermelon for desert. Andy did not make dinner..he crashed hard at 2000.

Phil and Austin went to the internet caffe, I am writing up the reports on today’s weather and our rig and sails set up, and this report. The electrician showed up at 2130 and hooked up the new stove while I wrote this. Looks pretty good for $250. I’ll have to ask my wife why the one we got at home cost a bit more than that.

I am enclosing today’s forecast just to give you an idea of how tricky it is. Our meteorologist, Chris Bedford, has his hands full with this place.

Sailing Weather Forecast

Sailing Venue: Athens, GREECE

Forecast for Thursday, 15 July 2004

YESTERDAY: Yesterday seemed to pan out about as forecast, although the buoys indicated a late day change to the E which was not forecast.

The following are buoy observations from course areas yesterday:

LT North Central South

0900 – 305/10G14 305/10G14 305/09G13

1200 – 220/03G06 270/07G09 280/05G07

1500 – 180/11G14 —/—– 165/10G13

1800 – 110/02G04 075/03G10 100/11G15

It appears the late change was the sea breeze arriving from the Aegean Sea side of the Attiki Peninsula, although the strength of this chance on the South Course suggest some other (additional) mechanism – possibly gradient – was involved. This was not picked up by ANY forecast model.

Synopsis: A more unsettled weather picture today than we have seen in quite some time across SE’ern Greece. Residual humidity, a passing upper level disturbance, and converging air between opposing Meltemi and sea breeze gradients are forecast to lead to more cloud and scattered showers and thunderstorms today. While most of the shower/thunderstorm action is forecast to be over the land areas surrounding the courses, there is a risk of something moving offshore and into the course area – especially this afternoon.

This morning’s weather map is showing a mild Meltemi set up across the region. The thermal low is getting re-established to the east over SW Turkey and while high pressure is ridging in across Croatia and north of Greece. At first glance this is a Meltemi pattern, however the ridging high is rather weak and so the Meltemi is not expected to be strong enough to overcome the thermal entirely. Instead, a battle between offshore and onshore breezes will set up over the courses.

This morning’s early balloon flight out of the airport shows the weak Meltemi flow at 500m and above:

100m – 270 deg at 04 knots

500m – 340 deg at 10 knots

1000m – 005 deg at 12 knots.

Forecast Summary: NW off and N/NE onshore from mid- through late-morning. Wind speeds generally between 5 and 10 knots, although a puff to 15 is possible. Winds decreasing through late morning to become light and variable with possible weak sea breeze around mid-day. Light SW/S tending SE winds early afternoon, increasing to near 10 for a time.

Winds will likely continue backing to SE through the afternoon, however possible showers/thunderstorms approaching course could lead to variable winds. A late day return of the N-E Meltemi gradient is possible.

Weather: A few scattered clouds at first light, then increasing clouds later this morning through afternoon. Good chance of cumulus building to support showers and thunderstorms from mid-day through about mid-afternoon. Some clearing by late afternoon or evening.

Temperature Range: Low-70sF this morning warming to upper 80s-lower 90sF this afternoon.

Seas: Rough up to 3ft early this morning, easing quickly to 1ft or less for a time through mid-day. Chance of seas building to 1 ft again in the afternoon.

Detailed Wind Forecast for Today (07/15/2004):

Wind Speed Wind Direction (True) Time(LT) Mean Range Mean Range

09 09 06-14 360 330-025 .NW offshore, N/NE onshore

10 06 04-11 360 330-020

11 03 00-05 Variable 290-360 .offshore dies/sea breeze tries

12 03 00-05 Variable .sea breeze fills

13 05 03-07 180 160-210 .watch for possible showers/tstorms

14 08 06-10 175 165-185 .variable winds around showers/tstorms

15 10 07-12 170 150-180

16 10 08-12 165 140-180 .possibly more left Southern course area

17 10 07-12 160 120-180

18 08 06-11 170 150-185 .possible late return of Meltemi gradient


THU-Unsettled/pos tstorms: 9 09 360/10 06 360/11 03 VAR/12 03 VAR/13 05 180/14 08 175/15 10 170/16 10 165/17 10 160/18 08 170 FRI-Melt 2 sea brz

Hedge: 1) Forecast confidence is BELOW AVERAGE. Unfortunately, the model indicators are all over the place today reflecting the complex nature of the competing flows around Athens. I opted to got with the typical transition to sea breeze since the Meltemi winds are not particularly impressive on the morning observations and I expect some enhanced rising air onshore from late morning through early afternoon with cloud and possible shower/thunderstorm development.

2) And sea breeze will hold until showers/thunderstorms effect courses. Should be normal left trending sea breeze if develops as expected. Could be shiftier than normal as it supports individual cloud systems developing inland.

3) Be on the lookout for major forecast failures. The possible development of showers and thunderstorms adds a significant wildcard to the forecast. Watch for wind shifting to flow out of any shower/thunderstorms cloud. If any showers/storms influence the course area, they are likely to be followed by a period of calm before winds return 60-120 minutes later.

4) Outside risk of a late day Meltemi surge. Left it out of the forecast table, but there is a chance that N/NE (or even E) winds could surge back onto the courses late afternoon or especially evening.

Outlook for Friday (07/16/2003): A morning hit of Meltemi gradient followed by a SW trending S sea breeze. Sea breeze wind will be modest, but could build to moderate speeds in the afternoon. More sun, drier, warmer.

Wind Speed Wind Direction Time(LT) Mean Range Mean Range

09 12 10-16 340 320-010 .perhaps stronger at times

12 04 00-06 VAR 210-300

15 11 08-13 200 180-215

18 10 08-12 180 165-195

Chris Bedford, CCM

Sailing Weather Services

Paul Cayard