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Strategies for winning. Meteorology in a round the world regatta is a Course

Strategies for winning. Meteorology in a round the world regatta

Ended Apr 5, 2015

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Full course description

Starts November 17, 2014

You can also follow this course in Spanish or Catalan.

Meteorology is fundamental for sailing safety and is the very essence of strategy for winning any regatta. It is also the science most directly linked to ocean sailing.

Whether you are already a sailing fan or not, on this course you can learn about the mechanics of global weather and what knowledge of that sailors require. You will learn about the foundations of ocean meteorology, how digital files are generated based on prediction models and how sailors receive these via satellite and then integrate them into high-performance navigation software. This knowledge is useful both in sailing and in other activities conditioned by meteorology across the planet.

You will also learn how to analyse the meteorological characteristics of the Barcelona World Race course, which crosses up to 12 different climate zones, with the boats going up against some of the world's most extreme weather phenomena. The regatta takes the yachts through the Mediterranean Sea, the North and South Atlantic, the Indian and South Pacific Oceans. You will learn how to use the foundations of climate and meteorology strategy to win a regatta and you will gain insight into how the sailors experience this science first hand as they race across the oceans.

To follow the course it is recommended that you have some basic knowledge of meteorology.

When the course has been completed, students may request a certificate from the University of Barcelona (UB).

Presentation with Tomàs Molina (Instructor)

Presentation with Marcel van Triest (Instructor)


The course is structured around six modules. For more information about the course, please visit the website.

  • Module 1 Understanding maritime meteorology
    History. The four weather factors. The atmosphere and the mechanics of global weather.
  • Module 2 Meteorological prediction
    How prediction models are generated. Reliability and accuracy. Predictability. Forecasting structures. Basic prediction modelling at sea. The GRIB format.
  • Module 3 The sailor as meteorologist
    A general approach to meteorological routing. A navigator's tools. The VPP and polar curves. Route calculation. Short, medium and long term strategy and tactics. Daily routines on board. Routing in practice. Personal experience.
  • Module 4 Ocean regattas and meteorology
    Climatology and the design of ocean racing yachts. The IMOCA 60. Climatology and the planning of a round the world regatta. The Race Directors and meteorological updates.
  • Module 5 Barcelona World Race analysis: from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean
    An analysis of the legs of the regatta based on meteorological situations from the BWR 2010/11. The Gibraltar Strait passage, from east to west. Strategy for the trade winds. Passing the Canary Islands. The doldrums. The St Helena High and the approach to the Cape of Good Hope.
  • Module 6 Barcelona World Race analysis: from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea
    The Southern Ocean. The danger of ice. Tropical cyclones in the Pacific Ocean. Rounding Cape Horn. The Atlantic from south to north. The Levant storms in the Gibraltar Strait.


Strategies for winning. Meteorology in a round the world regatta is a Barcelona World Race Ocean Campus course.

The Barcelona World Race Ocean Campus is an initiative by the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB) and the University of Barcelona (UB).

Take this course in Catalan!
Take this course in Spanish!

Tomas Molina

Tomàs Molina

Instructor, Degree in Physics and a registered journalist.

Tomàs is a part-time lecturer at the University of Barcelona (Spain) and is the chief meteorologist at the Televisió de Catalunya TV channel (TV3). He is also president of the Catalan Council for Scientific Communication (C4) and a member of the advisory council for Science and Technology for the Catalan Parliament (CAPCIT) he is an advisor for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) a member of the executive board of the International Association of Broadcast Meteorology (IABM).

Tomàs is the instructor for the core subjects and theory for this course.

Marcel van Triest

Marcel van Triest

Instructor, Meteorologist and specialist in competitive ocean sailing.

As navigator, Marcel has five round the world regattas under his belt and ten transatlantic regattas. He holds the record for the North Atlantic (3d, 15h, 25m, 48s) and the 24 hour distance record at 908.2 nautical miles, both on Banque Populaire V. As shore-based router Marcel holds the current round the world Jules Verne Trophy (45d, 13h, 42m, 53s) and numerous transatlantic, trans-mediterranean and offshore records. Marcel has been involved in the Barcelona World Race meteorology since the first edition of the regatta.

For this course, Marcel teaches the practical application of meteorology in ocean sailing, strategy and tactics in a round the world regatta, and examines specific cases from previous editions of the Barcelona World Race.

Jordi Barinaga

Jordi Barinaga

Assistant Instructor, An engineer and expert in technology for top-flight regattas.

Jordi specialises in the design and installation of electric and electronic systems fitted to the IMOCA 60 yachts for the Barcelona World Race. He is also an expert in onboard sustainable energy systems for ocean yachts.

For this course, Jordi details the installation of meteorological sensors to the yachts and outlines how the onboard electronic systems work to receive information via satellite and how the onboard computer is used in a regatta.

Santi Serrat

Santi Serrat

Assistant Instructor, Editorial Director of the Barcelona World Race and the Barcelona World Race Ocean Campus.

Santi has followed two editions of the regatta (2007/08 and 2010/11) day by day and has been in charge of broadcasting meteorological information. He has published a number of books and encyclopedias on sailing technique and the history of sailing.

For this course, Santi explains how meteorology in sailing navigation has evolved over history, both generally and in ocean regattas. He has edited all of the texts for the course.