WEATHER
Routing: kezako?

Appearing in the 1980s, routing revolutionized racing. A router - in fact a meteorologist part scientist and part racer – stayed on the land, and indicated by telex to the skipper the best route to follow. This way, the skipper did not have to worry about taking the weather forecast, or charting his route and could devote himself to the running of his boat. Today, in the Vendée Globe, the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Route du Rhum, the outside routing is forbidden for IMOCA 60. So now it is the sailor who ensures his own routing. Okay, but what exactly? Simply put, ‘an aid to strategic decisions in order to go faster from one point to another. Yet again, Jean-Yves Bernot dubbed "the sorcerer", is one of the best routers in the world. He will work with Eric Bellion to help prepare the route of the Vendée Globe. Here is what he said: "Imagine a very large steel ball that would drop from the top of a hill. The ball will choose only the best route and reach the bottom of the hill in a minimum time. Now imagine that the shape of the hill (the wind) varies over time, as do the size and weight of the ball (the boat's performance), but according to the relief ... and you get an idea of what is involved in the routing of a sailboat." Basically, the boat is looking for the optimal route in a terrain where the sea and wind changes all the time. And it is the routing —at least the software— that will help find the right path! But for the routing to work, you must feed it ! The sailor puts into the computer three parameters: the weather (wind) and oceanographic (wave and currents) that has been downloaded, and finally the boat's performance (co-ordinates) of various speeds depending on the wind force and the condition of the sea. You follow me? The routing software via a subtle algorithm mixes and digests all this information then calculates and proposes the best courses to steer while indicating the expected arriv al time. So, it offers several routes, and it’s up to the sailor to choose the most suitable: fastest, safest, comfortable ... So when you hear Eric say "my router is making me arrive in Itajai at 3:00 UTC" it will hold no mystery for you ! Even though, a good routing also depends on the elements that one mixess, and assembles and those that can be observed. A bit like in a business where diversity and differences give meaning and bring real added value.