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turn the tide?

big pimpin’

turn the tide?

Interesting things are happening off the Australian New South Wales’ coast ahead of the 2010 Sydney to Hobart. In a similar fashion to last year, a large eddy of warm water is forming offshore which indicates strong southerly surface currents.

The forecasts have been made by Australian-based company Tidetech that also provided similar data to the 2009 overall winner, Two True and 2008 winner Quest.

Tidetech director Penny Haire said over the past few days the currents to the northeast of Sydney had changed quite rapidly as a huge and powerful warm eddy was pushing its way south.

“We expect this eddy to continue moving south, which will have an immediate impact on tactics after the boats depart Sydney Heads,” Ms Haire said.

“Skippers will have to decide whether to be bold and go offshore to get maximum benefit, or be conservative and stick close to their competition. “It’s Tidetech’s job to provide navigators with the best possible information so they can make confident decisions.”

Here is an animation posted especially for sailinganarchy.com readers. The powerful eddy in the East Australian Current has been moving south towards Sydney over the last few days, which is likely to make an immediate impact on tactics for yachts racing in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart. The current speeds in the hottest part of the eddy are likely to be between 4 to 6kts. Click here for a look at the sea surface temerature around oz.

Tidetech’s data has been used in many other regattas and races including the Melges 32 World’s, Rolex Big Boat Series (San Francisco), Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race (the data was also used in the popular online game, Virtual Regatta, for the same race) and many others as far back as the 2008 Sydney to Hobart. Tidetech is also in the running to provide oceanographic data to the forthcoming Volvo Ocean Race and 34th America’s Cup.

Available as a subscription, Tidetech data is downloaded into onboard navigation software. With detailed graphical presentation users can select the information they want displayed including ocean current strength and direction, sea surface temperature and tidal streams. The data is presented in GRIB format which is compatible with the more popular race navigation and tactical software packages.

Within the next year, all Tidetech products will be developed for use on mobile devices such as the iPad and iPhone and will also be integrated with a growing number of navigation systems. The broader future for Tidetech’s data will encompass mainstream marine use including sailing, racing, cruising, superyachts, fishing and the commercial maritime sector. get in touch with Penny for more information.