Latitude Ocean Race, What are your Navigation Options?
For those of you have not experienced the Latitude ocean race, it is a handicap race were each boat races to a latitude and the unique part is you can turn at any longitude. So this gives you many options, what is the least distance and fastest point of sail. With the advent of technology and software it can make the job easier.
If you look below we have used the PredictWind Weather Routing (https://www.predictwind.com/) to look at a number of options. These options are using the Polars from a Beneteau First 40 so if you look at the three options you can see Option 2 has the boat sailing an extra 1.5 miles for a time saving of 16 minutes, which is how you win races. Option 2 is also likely to be a more comfortable sailing angle with sprung sheets rather than hard on the breeze.
At the bottom of this article you will see that Expedition software it can compare many models and options at the same time. Thanks to Rod Smallman for providing his Expedition Navigation software (https://www.expeditionmarine.com/) Ensemble Routing options using Predict Wind Weather GRIBs.
So for our sailors sailing tomorrow what will the weather do and what will be the fastest option?
Option 1 - Due South
Option 2 - Further East
Option 3 - More East
Much easier if you have Expedition