by Jamie Millar
Tactical racing oceanographic data specialist Tidetech is making its Solent and Isle of Wight tidal model available to all competitors in the JP Morgan Round the Island Race at no cost.
Isle of Wight tides flooding - taken from the Tidetech tidal model. - JP Morgan Round the Island Race
The Solent and Isle of Wight model is a ground-breaking hydrodynamic model using over half a million individually-calculated points to describe the tidal flow in the Solent and around the Isle of Wight in incredible detail. The model operates at 100m resolution in 15-minute time steps and is constructed using the same technology as Tidetech’s model of San Francisco which is to be used in the 2013 America’s Cup.
Tidetech’s models are available in GRIB format (used in conjunction with navigation software) and the company has recently developed an image player allowing users to view the data online on a PC, iPad or smartphone. Users can make a customised tidal atlas by selecting and downloading the images as a PDF for viewing offline and those such as dinghy and sportsboat sailors (who might worry about their electronics taking a swim) can print and laminate their customised tidal atlas for taking onboard.
Tidetech director and co-founder Penny Haire said the company had spent the past two-and-a-half years surveying key racing areas and developing accurate visualisation tools for navigators and competitors.
'Now we have the image player and custom tidal atlas generator in place, our data is available to anyone with an internet connection,' Ms Haire said.
'We’re hoping that competitors in the JP Morgan Round the Island Race will try the model and image player to get an idea of the accuracy of the data, but also to see how easy it is to use in the tools we have developed.'
The model will be available via general subscription from early July in both GRIB format and in the new image player/tidal atlas maker.
Tidal models are constructed using detailed bathymetric data (depths) and knowledge of local tidal constituents. Complex calculations are then used to calculate how water moves from one part of the model area to another. The team behind the data is made up of pre-eminent government research scientists specialising in coastal oceanography and tidal/storm-surge modelling.
Tidetech has developed models for many active racing locations worldwide including San Francisco Bay, Weymouth Harbour, Sydney Harbour and Bass Strait. The company is providing support to many future regattas and events including the Rolex Fastnet Race, the RORC calendar, Rolex Sydney to Hobart, San Francisco Big Boat series, and is in discussions with the Volvo Ocean Race.