Each year the Sydney-Hobart yacht race seems to get bigger and bigger, this year for the 75th anniversary 163 boats are registered to compete, the largest cohort since 1994. Who will get line honours? Which boats will win the different classifications? And which boat will claim overall victory? In all classifications the winner will be determined by a combination of skilled sailing, and a bit of luck.
How tricky currents play a part in the closing stages of the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race
The last few miles of a Sydney to Hobart race has often determined the ultimate winner. Capricious, shifty wind and 'bullets' - gusts that come screaming down the steep hillsides lining the course are often to blame. Not to mention the notorious night time 'shut-down' - where the wind disappears entirely.
The role of currents here has been overlooked - most likely because little information has been publicly available. This is set to change thanks to a new hydrodynamic model produced by the Coastal Environmental Modelling Team at CSIRO which Tidetech will be making available for the Sydney, Melbourne and Launceston to Hobart races this year as part of a package of Grib files and analyses.
Applied oceanography specialist Tidetech has formed a partnership with leading tactical racing software developer Adrena to integrate its GRIB data products into Adrena's navigation software platform.
The last 10 miles of the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race (from Iron Pot to the finish) has often been the graveyard of ambitions for many competitors. With the finish line in sight, fickle winds and tides make it a tactician’s nightmare, potentially wrecking an otherwise well-sailed race.
Tidetech has supported many races and regattas around the world over the past few years… but how does the data actually get used and how does it influence tactical decisions?