Tactical tidal data available for San Francisco racing series

A new tidal stream data model developed for San Francisco Bay is available for competitors racing in the forthcoming Rolex Big Boat Series and Farr 30 Worlds, hosted by the St Francis Yacht Club.

The model being made available for the series differs from the standard offering as it is set in 10-minute time-steps. The smaller time-step gives extra insight into the timing and structure of some quite pronounced eddies that will impact racing. The 10-minute time-step model will be available during the Rolex Big Boat Series for the first time.

Tidetech director Penny Haire said the San Francisco model would provide a significant benefit to both locals and visiting competitors.

“This will be the first time we’ve run the 10 minute time-step version outside of the AC45 trials,” Ms Haire said.

“The complexity of the bay is such that it’s impossible to know exactly what’s happening everywhere all of the time and to have advance knowledge through tactical software, or by having downloaded the data, can make a significant difference.”

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 through the exclusive online viewer and PDF generator.

“We ran the V4 San Francisco model for the Rolex Big Boat Series last year and many of the local sailors used it to good effect,” Ms Haire said.

“This year the smaller time steps and higher resolution around the city front areas will certainly add a greater dimension to tactical decision-making and should help make the racing closer than ever.”

Tidetech has mapped the San Francisco Bay area in exceptional detail over the last 15 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 in the future providing a lasting benefit to the San Francisco maritime sector.

Tidetech has seen significant success in recent offshore races, notably supporting the multihull and monohull record breakers in the Rolex Fastnet (Banque Populaire and Abu Dhabi respectively) as well as the overall IRC first, second and third placed yachts (Ran, ICAP Leopard and Vanquish respectively).

Competitors in the Rolex Big Boat Series and the Farr 30 Worlds can receive a 15 per cent discount on subscriptions via Tidetech’s Facebook page.