Round the Island race is coming up (this coming weekend indeed) though alas I'm not taking part. It was always going to be difficult to plan ahead when a family member is seriously ill, but no doubt the Isle of Wight will still be there next year.
With nearly 2,000 yachts sailing altogether it is one of Britain's biggest sporting events and so its not surprising its cropping up more and more in the papers and conversations. There was this interesting piece recently in the Telegraph and at the lunch after the memorial service last week I had several sailing relating chats, one ending up with a call for "good luck in the race".
Over on the YW site I was most impressed by some brilliant simulations of the tide conditions that competitors will experience from TideTech, which sort of blows my rarely used copy of Winning Tides out the ...er... water.
Of course it begs the question how accurate simulations can be compared - say - to local knowledge? Coincidently had a similar discussion today with an Australian client who was seeing big differences between measurements and results generated using one of our competitor's simulation tool. I ran a simulation using our tool with inputs 10 times higher resolution and got close to the measurements (yeh!) - so yes, I think with the right data it can be.
As well as sailing faster these simulations should make for safer sailing: in the video above of the Needles Channel you can see how there's a strong flow that could drag boats dangerously onto the Shingles banks.
And with the sad news over the weekend safety should be on everyone's mind.