Monday, October 10, 2016

Heading south

So this is just a short blog, more a reminder to people of whereas go, as I head out to the wedding of the year in Australia. Jo and Dale are getting married and the on-tour gang are getting back together.
Weddings are expensive they say but how can you turn down an invite Oz. A great excuse to go and see a bit more of a very large country, in surface area but small in population, as it would appear a large part of it is blinking hot and very barren. I am not sure where I am going to go or how but with a few pennies I am hoping couch surfing and hitch hiking will give me some interesting experiences.

But as always  despite knowing my departure time for at least a month the days ticked by and I found myself this morning hungover more than ever (Ellie D perhaps you can tell me how I got home) and holding onto the big white telephone (I am stealing that Abby) head throbbing thinking how am I going to pack and get to the airport! Nevermind leaving to house in some semblance for Els to return. I am going to say it was the cats while I was away!
In some haze I have made it to airport and am now on full food and water intake contemplating whether I should be concerned that my bag only weighs 9kg.
Guess 9kg of something is better than nothing, but travelling Libby is launched........

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

ACWS Portsmouth.....a look at the course area

The Americas Cup World Series 2015 starts in Portsmouth with 4 races that count in a fairly complex longer term scoring system. There will be another 2 events (Gothenburg and Bermuda) in 2015 and possibly 6 events next year,  before the AC45Fs are put away and the AC48s are used in the Louis Vuitton Qualifying Series.
These boats are fast and furious gone are the hydraulics and back is full physicality of getting the foils, sails in out up and down with pure man power. Then put 6 boats next to each other and confine them to a race area  that is not much bigger than a square nautical mile within spitting distance of the shoreline and you are sure to get a spectacular display of racing in high end machines at the highest level
Here, we take a look at the course area and what other interesting things the sailors maybe needing to consider outside of just trying to sail these wild machines!

First up the course area. They have publicised the proposed course area and the courses for the forthcoming weekend based on the historical average of a SW wind.
Two courses are proposed either 5 or 7 legs with a short reach to the finish along the shoreline for the spectators. But what is new is a reaching start in the middle of what is essentially aiming to be a windward-leeward course - there is most certainly going to be a lot of action as the boats accelerate towards each other and turning marks in fairly rapid succession. Good luck umpires!

Let's take a closer look at the course area and how the course might swing if the wind is not a SW....which my sources currently say is highly likely.
The black line shows the proposed course area for a SW wind the dashed line is a suggested area within which they will try and swing this windward-leeward keep in mind though they want to somehow finish along the spectator shoreline.
The course area in theory will always be restricted to a rectangular box around the windward-leeward to allow for spectators to get a good view and inevitably limiting where the AC45F can go keeping them closer together.

Taking a closer look at the chart there are a couple of interesting features about the course area. First of all the clear inclusion of Spit Sands Fort in the middle of the course area...surely the best place to really watch the racing from - you will most certainly feel like you can touch the boats from there. Also, there will definitely be some layline avoidance or judging to not be aiming for the fort. We all know what these things can be like........MAGNETS!
Then if you look at the red dotted line theses mark areas of notably shallower water. All races will be carried out on a rising tide (HW Portsmouth 1747 Fri to 1946 Sun) so lack of water will not be a problem with shallowest water being over these areas at 4.0M. However, it does mean that the tidal flow in the area is not all that straight forward. Fortunately, we are heading into neaps so it is unlikely that we will see anymore that 0.8KT in tidal strength across the course and this will be in the S and W of the course areas.
None-the-less it is likely to effect laylines, startlines and every 0.1KT matters so for interest below is a rough idea of how the tide will be moving in the proposed racing periods.

The question now is what will the wind be doing? Pop back tomorrow to see an outlook for the upcoming ACWS Portsmouth event or find me on twitter (@LibbyGreenhalgh) and instagram (@Greenhalghweather)

Monday, April 1, 2013

New year (2013), new goal (2016) and new classes (Nacra and the FX)

Many will argue that the racing season has never stopped (the frosbite warriors amongst us) or has already started (the lucky Caribbean sailors amongst us) for the Olympic Circuit today is start of the Princess Sofia Regatta held in Palma, Mallorca and for many in the Olympic Scene the start of the racing season and your 2016 campaign.

Weatherwhiz's Libby Greenhalgh has had a fantastic 4 years with the British Sailing Team culminating in her supporting both the Olymypic and Paralympic Sailing Teams to their 7 medal haul success and is back with a brief update from Palma for us.

After 2012, the Games year there is as you would expect some down time for many of the top athletes and 2013 is often called a quiet year where perhaps not everyone is back and racing or doing full campaigns. But with the introduction of 2 new classes and a whole stack of sailors behind the last Olympians champing at the bit for their turn, it does not feel that quiet.

There have been a changes in classes with the Match Racing in the Elliot 6M going and the Star Class no more, this has made way for a Mixed multihull- (the Nacra) and a Female Skiff (the FX -basically a 49er with a smaller rig). This event will be the first serious racing with decent numbers on the start line for those classes and really  the start of serious campaigns that are going at max speed on and off the water to achieve the GOLD at Rio 2016.

For me this sees the balance tip to 5 years of Met Support versus 4 years of Regatta racing and still we seeing new weather set ups, probably why I love the job!

Weatherwhiz is pleased to say that Libby Greenhalgh will have the envious role of supporting the British Sailing Team in hopefully another highly successful campaign for Gold in Rio at 2016. Some early venue research is already being carried out by most teams in what will no doubt prove to be a most challenging venue both wind and tide wise in the Guanabarra Bay in Rio

The format of the racing is also changing trying to keep the medal options open for longer. They are currently trialling more medal races on the final day. So rather than one double points race it is likely there will be between 2 (slow boats) and 4 (fast boats and windsurfers) on the final day with the top 10 to decide the medals.

There was resistance to the medal race initially and there is some resistance to some of the formats being tabled understandably so. These new formats do not allow people to build a big points lead that means they have all but won on the medal race day or guaranteed a medal, which for spectators may be great but perhaps for the sailor something is lost.....or the better way to look at it....the game has changed again.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

WOKC Weather

General Synopsis
High pressure dominates the area maintaining a light WNW backing W airflow. Overnight clear skies have seen temperatures drop and an initially chilly, 10-12 Celsius, will quickly warm up.
The increasing temperatures will provide some thermally influenced conditions

Air temperature: 18-19 Celsius
Sea temperature: 17 Celsius
Weather: Clear skies with small amounts of cumulus developing from 1030-1100 indicating larger left shifts

Wind direction
Wind speed
Light offshore conditions patchy slow moving pressure
Small cumulus developing
280-310 becoming 260-290
04-08 building 06-11
Thermal influence dragging wind left – but split breeze
260-290 becoming 250-270
06-11 becoming 10-12
Clouds clearing to the west and wind building
Little change

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ainslie GOLD, Perce and Bart SILVER but there is still plenty of racing going on

Situation normal.

Despite the historic victory of Ben Ainslie gaining, his 4th Gold medal and for me becoming my greatest Olympic hero. The incredibly close finish for Iain and Bart who perhaps a little disappointed, came home with silver to an incredibly proud team. We all have the utmost respect for 3 of our inspirational British and it is incredible to think I may have helped them along the way - if to make sure they took their coats with them!

So, were we celebrating, it is situation normal here.
While we have the first of our team medallists we still have several more to decide and we continue to keep the routine the same...up bright and breezy at 0530 to classic Weymouth conditions

Princess Royal however, did visit us yesterday so not entirely no celebrating and business as usual. We toasted a drink to her and the medallists and some of our support staff were fortunate enough to go to the Trinity House boat Patricia to have dinner with her

Today we are again visited by further royalty with Princess Catherine out watching the racing and expected to pop in and say hi- which has got most of the boys a very very excited. Keep an eye on twitter later no doubt there will be a few comments

Weather conditions were unbelievably tricky yesterday making life very hard for the best sailors in the world to have a fair race on the Nothe course. No doubt there will be some questions asked of that course but no one can deny that the crowd on the Nothe headland has been phenomenal and the support has lifted some of our sailors through what so far has been a nail biting regatta.

Lets hear a cheer Nothe!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Images of the morning and evening entertainment

Here are a selection of  photos from behind the scenes of what my mornings and evenings typically look like.
Including a video of some superb bowling skills by one of our team
Evening stretch after sailing
Watching the opening ceremony

Get the Union Flag war paint on

Cheering the swimmer on


My busy desk and wall

Chesney Hawkes concert at the Bayside Festival

French boule on our lawn

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Games begins

Wow- what an opening ceremony- that is what everyone is talking about and rightly so. My highlights
Queen and Bond
Mr Bean
Amazing torch lighting
Well done Mr Boyle a great story told and in a truly British fashion

All a bit different down here in Weymouth. A few of our team members made the trip to London while the rest are remaining focused for their racing starts today.
Instead we had the alternative opening ceremony fully clad in our kit.

For me yesterday was a fairly busy day - up forecasting as usual and then sorting out radios followed by heading off to pre-record something for Meridian and then do a live interview. Sadly the link broke and the rest off the team were unable to work out how to change the channel to itv so missed my ridiculously small claim to fame!!!

Anyway we had an amazing turn out on Weymouth beach to greet the sailors - must have been 3000+ people - just another example of this country really getting behind the team.

Mood in our camp is high with winds looking moderate to fresh tomorrow for the start of racing. Finn, Stars and Match Racers will be up tomorrow. Fingers, toes and everything else is crossed - but the skill, the hard wok and the knowledge will get this team the results they deserve.