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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2021: Where is the EAC?

Posted by Penny Haire on 26 November 2021 3:06:14 PM
Penny Haire

The Course to Hobart has distinct stages. 

The famous Rolex Sydney Hobart Race is now only a month away. It wont be long before navigators and skippers start seeking data to optimise routing for the great race south and competitors who have the most accurate data on hand will be able to make the best possible decisions for the fastest route. 

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The weather can be challenging for all competitors in this 630mile race down the NSW coast, crossing the notorious Bass Strait, continuing south along the Tasmanian East Coast then around the corner across Storm Bay and up the  final 10 miles of The Derwent. It is not only the potential of ferocious winds for sailors, there is also the powerful East Australian Current (EAC) to be considered which can vary between 15km and 100km wide and flow at speeds up to 4knots. The EAC is like a meandering river generally flowing southwards along the course however eddies and interesting twists and turns necessitate careful analysis, making course optimisation a challenge for even the most experienced navigators. At times the EAC can even flow in a northerly direction!

Fortunately the Team at Tidetech can help identify the location, speed and direction of the EAC to compliment your Sydney Hobart race strategy. 

The Coast of New South Wales. 

This coastal stretch from Sydney south can present some interesting back eddies in the current. Negotiating these most efficiently versus your closest competitors may be the difference between a podium or not. Who knows what the EAC will look like for this section of the Race? We will know, and you can too. 

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If you want to know what the EAC is doing on December 26th, ensure you get the best data available from Tidetech. 

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The notorious Bass Strait

This can be a tough stretch of water to cross. Winds can be extreme, sea state can be large, confused and challenging, the water temperatures can cool down dramatically, and crews begin to struggle with fatigue. Getting across this stretch of water as quickly as possible whilst setting yourself up for the Tassie East Coast is vital for a high overall race position. 

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The final run into Hobart

The run down the Tasmanian coast can be beautifully stunning if the weather allows, if not it can be a challenge. Either way turning the corner at Tasman Island always comes with the knowledge the finish line is nearing but Storm Bay still needs to be crossed. As the name suggests the weather here can make this 30mile stretch to the Iron Pot challenging for tired cold crew members and fatigued navigators. Questions to answer are how close to Tasman Island or Cape Raoul do we get? Does anyone know if there is currents around these important landmarks?

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As you round the Iron Pot light and can almost see the finish line off Battery Point the questions keep coming. Imagine you have a narrow lead over your closest competitor, you cannot make a mistake this close to the end of such an epic Race. The weary Navigator and Tactician take another look at the data and make their decisions knowing they have done everything possible. 

Thankfully here again at Tidetech we have a high resolution Storm Bay, Derwent River model from Cape Raoul extending up the Derwent past the finish line. You can read more about the Derwent currents here

Give yourself every chance of bragging rights over your closest competitors along with the earliest opportunity to enjoy the fabulous welcoming hospitality from the southern most capital city in Australia, Hobart.

Welcome to Hobart, our town, Tidetech Town. 

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If you would like to talk with a member of our Tidetech team to discuss your data needs drop us a line, include your contact details we will endeavour to meet your needs. 

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Topics: Sydney to Hobart, sailing, East Australian Current, tides, optimised route, Tidemap, grib, yacht race, yacht racing

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