As excitement builds towards the Gold Cup in Helsinki, many sailors will also be planning for the Worlds next January.
One of the FAQs we get is IS FREMANTLE WINDY?
It has this reputation, and certainly can be windy but there are ways of managing it.
Perth is arguably one of the easiest places on the planet to predict the weather. These days they get it right most of the time. You have a North/South coastline, no mountains and a 3000nm stretch of ocean out to Africa to watch the weather systems approach uninterrupted by land.
The weather systems roll in pretty much like clockwork. As the high arrives you get morning South Easters that typically swing early around to the sea breeze direction of South West. This is when the Fremantle Doctor is strongest. As the high moves East the morning gradient breeze moves to a more Easterly direction and slows the development of the Doctor. In this case the Doctor comes in later and is usually weaker. At the back of the high the gradient is North East i.e. directly opposite the Doctor. The two fight it out which means that you either get a fairly light Doctor or none if the North Easter wins. The only thing that can throw a spanner in the works is if you get a sub tropical low deciding to move down from the North which quite frankly can lead to anything but is usually lighter by comparison. This is pretty rare. In Perth2011, the ISAF World held in December 2011, we only had one really windy day in the whole 16 days of competition. That was unusual but we still got the whole program of 650 plus races in 10 classes completed which is the first time that ever happened in the Events history.
So we can watch the state of the high and plan the racing accordingly. If the high is just arriving we certainly plan to race early so that we compete in the lighter South Easterlies before it goes South West and blows. On those days it may be that we don’t race at all in the afternoon.
in both other situations we can have morning racing in the Easterlies which is great fun. You have smooth seas and it can be quite shifty. We would typically then take a break for lunch and wait for the Doctor to develop which will be moderate in strength so we cam race both in the morning and afternoon.
So what we intend to do is look at the weather as it develops and pick the best times to race based on what will be an accurate forecast.
We hardly ever have no wind so we are pretty confident at getting the full program in for both Regattas,
Finally we should point out that we are not racing out on the old Americas Cup Course but straight out from the Yacht Club. This course is protected by a chain of Islands and reefs to weather so you do not get the huge swells like we experienced in Cascais.
P.S.Maybe we should have mentioned that the High is anti clockwise down here. But sailors know that don’t they?
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