At Tidetech, our roots are in sailing and we are passionate participants and fans of the Sport. We know from experience that obtaining accurate weather data is only part of the story when it comes to your race strategy. Currents matter too – they are often overlooked, but can make a huge difference to the outcome of a yacht race.
Tidetech is the leading supplier of oceanographic data to the elite yacht racing community, supplying competitors in the 36th America’s Cup, The Ocean Race and Olympic Games, plus many more world class events such as the Sydney to Hobart, Fastnet and Newport to Bermuda Races.
What we do is:
- Construct models of tidal / coastal currents in great detail for race venues worldwide
- Obtain third party models to supplement our own models
- Make everything available in GRIB format or online in Tidemap, our web map service
But wait, there’s more, and just for SA readers!
Like many sailing fans, we can’t wait for the action to begin in the 36th Americas Cup in Auckland. Wind speed and direction, as you’d expect, will be the main factor that determines sail and foil choices, and of course, tactics on the course. What about tidal currents? With the speeds that these boats go, you’d be forgiven for thinking that current will be irrelevant. That’s not the case though. Here’s why:
Tidal current changes the true wind that the boats ‘feel’. So if the current is ‘lee bow’ i.e. running at 2kts from the start line towards the top mark on an upwind leg, it will result in an increase in true wind speed of 2kts – which will result in a substantial different in boat speed – perhaps the difference between foiling and non-foiling in light winds?
The reverse is true with current behind the boats on a downwind leg – it will reduce the true wind speed. Check out this video to see what we mean!
At some states of the tide, there is a differential in tide between different sides of the course, so picking the right side for tide could become very important. Watch our for courses B and C, where the strongest tides are to be found. Get Your Free Trial Here