Weather plays crucial rolein The Ocean Race

The Ocean Race is an exciting sailing competition where weather plays a crucial role in determining the winner. The one that knows the best how to ride the wind and waves, taking the best possible weather information into account, will make the difference between winning or losing a tight race.

The Ocean Race is one of the longest and toughest sporting events in the world. It takes place every four years and the next edition will start in Alicante (Spain) in the autumn of 2022. After a journey along 10 international cities, the finish is expected in the summer of 2023 in Genoa, Italy.This year, a European edition will be sailed: The Ocean Race Europe. It will start on May 29 in Lorient (France) and finish on June 19 in Genoa. In between, stops will be made in Cascais (Portugal) and Alicante (Spain). This race is meant as an introduction and will be broadcast on Eurosport.

The Ocean Race Europe | Full Route | May-June 2021

Offshore and nearshore races bring different circumstances

There are stages wich are labelled 'offshore' and there are two 'nearshore' races. During each race, points can be collected and the sailor with the most points eventually wins the race. The different types of races forces the teams to be invested in both regimes.

Winds offshore are no longer hindered by buildings, trees or any other tall buildings and although the wind speed is usually higher, these winds are usually more predicatble. The same goes for the wave height the sailors encounter, although on open ocean they may encounter waves from a distant storm.

Nearshore, along a coastline, the winds are influenced by land and the waves by the shallows. Depending on the position, the winds become variable and the waves are no longer directly connected to the wind on site. At a nearshore site, the waves can come at a different angle than the wind. Imagine sailing past an island where you find different wind and wave directions due to the islands geography.

This image was extracted from the video The Ocean Race Europe | Full Route | May-June 2021 -

At Infoplaza Marine Weather, we deal with these kinds of forecasts for locations both above the open sea and near the coast, and there are therefore many different factors that play a role. The Ocean Race is an interesting event because both wind and waves play a crucial role there.

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