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Newport to Bermuda Race

Oct 19, 2017
6,321
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH

Good wind direction for a planing boat or a foil. This looks like the year for new record times. Just no pink sand at the end. ;)

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
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Likes: Whatfiero1
May 17, 2004
2,525
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Last year during La Vagabonde's crossing @JamesG161 and I and some others had some good discussions about weather routing tools. I'm taking some of what we talked about there and playing with it to look at the routes for this race. As of this morning, OpenCPN's Weather Routing Plugin looks like this -

With the SailOnline GFS based GRIB file -
1592563753675.png


With PredictWind's Euro based "PWE" model -
1592563910160.png


Last night both models looked much closer to the rhumb line. Will be interesting to see how it pans out.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,904
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Last year during La Vagabonde's crossing @JamesG161 and I and some others had some good discussions about weather routing tools. I'm taking some of what we talked about there and playing with it to look at the routes for this race. As of this morning, OpenCPN's Weather Routing Plugin looks like this -

With the SailOnline GFS based GRIB file -
View attachment 181149

With PredictWind's Euro based "PWE" model -
View attachment 181151

Last night both models looked much closer to the rhumb line. Will be interesting to see how it pans out.
Indeed. Unless there is a MAJOR weather system (or semi-permanent weather feature) that comes into play, staying close to the rhumb line almost always wins. Its hard to make up extra distance sailed when you're moving at 8 miles per hour.
 
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Likes: jon hansen
Nov 8, 2010
10,904
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Indeed. Unless there is a MAJOR weather system (or semi-permanent weather feature) that comes into play, staying close to the rhumb line almost always wins. Its hard to make up extra distance sailed when you're moving at 8 miles per hour.
N.B. - This is particularly true for pure displacement boats. Offwind planing boats it CAN be a different story, if you are presented with a clear situation where can sail into breeze where you can plane vs staying where you cannot. A weather router will point this out of course.
 
May 17, 2004
2,525
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Prep flag is up. We'll see what the new weather forecast shows soon. For now I plan on taking the Euro model route closer to the rhumb line. The models seem to diverge starting midday tomorrow, with GFS showing a low pressure system soutwest of the course starting to make strange things happen. Both models show a big high pressure system right over the rhumb line with light winds for a while. Just a matter of where to be and what happens after that.
 
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Likes: Jackdaw

PaulK

.
Dec 1, 2009
474
Tillotson Pearson J/36 Southport, CT
We caught an eddy one year that the navigator figured gave us a 40 mile push towards St. David's Light. It involved us beating into an 8' chop at 8 knots, falling off the top of every third or fourth wave. Won our division. What's the Gulf Stream doing in the Internet version?
 
May 17, 2004
2,525
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
We caught an eddy one year that the navigator figured gave us a 40 mile push towards St. David's Light. It involved us beating into an 8' chop at 8 knots, falling off the top of every third or fourth wave. Won our division. What's the Gulf Stream doing in the Internet version?
Sadly there's no current or sea state in the SailOnline version.

I've been hanging toward the western edge of the fleet, sticking to the PredictWind Euro based model's routing. So far I'm pretty happy with it. I've sailed more miles and a little slower than the bulk of the pack staying just a little east of the rhumb line. GFS says that's the better place, but it sure does look like they'll be sitting in dead air for at least as long, probably longer, than the boats on the edges. Some boats are taking big turns out to the east to avoid the dead area, but that looks like a whole lot of extra miles. I'm hopeful that the western edge will keep OK windspeed without going too far out of the way.

The current Dehler 46 fleet -
1592619763123.png



The route I'm sticking to for now -
1592619924496.png
 
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Likes: Will Gilmore
May 17, 2004
2,525
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
One day in. The plan to get west of the calm spot isn't working out yet. The leaders are just a little east of the rhumb line. The fleet spent most of the morning approaching the center of the High. We're all there now, sitting in 1-2 knots of wind. The few who took the flier out to the east still have 3-5 knots, but have a lot of distance to make up. Current models don't really show anything extra filling in from the west. Just generally spotty winds ongoing.

1592673709716.png
 
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Likes: Will Gilmore
May 17, 2004
2,525
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Two days in now. The current weather forecast suggests a finish sometime Tuesday morning. We’re all past yesterday’s high pressure system now, making meter time. There’s now a small low centered in the middle of the fleet, with stronger winds, but also some wind shifts and calm spots to contend with.

My plan to be on the western edge has worked out a little better today. I’ve moved up about 60 places since this morning, as the wind filled in on the west and left the rhumb line in a bit of a hole. The boats that took the early flier out to the East have mostly converged back in, and generally didn’t come out any better. Unfortunately the current forecast model suggests I’ll be in a bad spot later today; hoping the model changes on its next run in a few hours.

100C5795-F31C-4C75-BD41-643543FFEA22.png
 
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Likes: Will Gilmore
May 17, 2004
2,525
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Under one day to go, and It's pretty much a drag race to the finish now. Just making small adjustments to maximize VMG. Over the last day I've lost some ground as the western side of the course was in lower wind overnight, but made some back sailing a slightly hotter angle during the day.
1592858406995.png



I've started looking at qtVlm for weather routing now. It's very purpose build for routing, and seems to have tons of features that I haven't learned yet. One thing I definitely like is that it converts a route into a set of waypoints, suggesting exactly what heading to take and when. It seems like OpenCPN is a little easier to see the big picture, but qtVLM helps with the small higher precision tweaks.
1592858337620.png
 
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Likes: Will Gilmore
May 17, 2004
2,525
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Well I made it to the finish. Came in 33rd in the Dehler 46 fleet out of about 87 competitors (plus some DNS boats). 206 out of 530 boats in all.

It was a pretty fun time. Definitely a good way to learn about weather routing. It lacks water currents or any of the real life challenges like sail handling, but from a weather standpoint it was pretty interesting. Maybe I'll do more over the winter to see what else I can learn about weather patterns and interpreting different model guidance.
 
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Likes: Will Gilmore