Australias Tidetech to supply tidal modelling for 34th Americas Cup

Australian-based tactical racing oceanographic data specialist Tidetech has been contracted to supply oceanographic data and tidal modelling to the 34th America’s Cup.

Tidetech has agreed to supply a licence to use its San Francisco 100m v5 model from June 2011 to September 2013. The tidal model created for the San Francisco Bay area has been developed with the America’s Cup in mind but is available to anyone who needs accurate tidal stream data for that location.

Tidal models are constructed using detailed bathymetric data (depths) and knowledge of local tidal harmonics. Complex calculations and mathematical analyses are then used to calculate how water moves from one part of the model area to another. The data is subsequently converted into a visual representation either in GRIB format, downloaded to onboard navigation software, or in a set of downloadable images.

As a direct consequence of preparing for the America’s Cup, Tidetech has mapped the San Francisco Bay area in exceptional detail over the last 12 months. The standard model data is already available to all bay users including yacht racers, cruising boats, shipping, port authority, safety agencies and fishermen. The data will continue to be developed up to and beyond the competition providing a lasting benefit to the San Francisco maritime sector.

The America’s Cup model differs from the standard offering as it is set in 10-minute time-steps. The benefit of this smaller time-step is that it gives extra insight into the timing and structure of the some quite pronounced eddies that will impact racing.

Tidetech director and co-founder Penny Haire said the company had spent the last two years mapping key racing areas around the world and developing accurate visualisation tools for navigators to use.

“Our scientific team [co-founder Dr Roger Proctor and Dr Roger Flather] has unrivalled expertise in tidal and storm-surge modelling from decades of scientific research and application,” Haire said.

“This combined expertise makes Tidetech’s models the most advanced currently available to the public.”

Tidetech has also been asked to look at further refinements to the model including constructing a 50m resolution model to better resolve the city-front area and its unique eddy structures. Other areas of interest also include developing a wave-current interaction model that will show areas of wave steepening and flattening – critical information for fast multi-hulls.

In addition to San Francisco, Tidetech has mapped other key racing areas around the world such as the Solent, the UK’s south coast and Sydney Harbour. Tidetech will be supporting future races including some on the San Francisco racing calendar, the Round the Island Race around the Isle of Wight and the 2011 Sydney to Hobart race.