Please select your home edition
Rooster 2023 - Aquafleece Robe - LEADERBOARD

Talk turns to weather for inaugural Sydney to Auckland Ocean Race

by Sydney to Auckland media 22 May 21:43 PDT

As interest builds in the inaugural Sydney to Auckland Ocean Race, to start Saturday 7 October 2023 on Sydney Harbour, talk has turned to likely weather patterns, so organisers at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) naturally turned to world-renowned meteorologist, Australia's own Roger 'Clouds' Badham.

Badham's report gives yacht owners' targets and benchmarks after looking at various scenarios; routes for a 100 foot maxi, a TP52 and a Beneteau First 40, which will pique interest of yachties. Ten years of wind data from the European Model have been used and a west Tasman Sea generic current - 10 days for each of the 10 years makes 100.

The years used are 2009 to 2018, with each route starting at 11am local (0000Z), starting early October each year.

"Current is a difficult one to include, so routes were run with and without current. In springtime, the East Australian Current main arm typically runs south, just east of the continental shelf, with return currents running back to the north around the major warm eddies. By October, there is usually a major warm eddy east of Seal Rocks," Badham says.

Routing results
(average, fastest and slowest elapsed times)

100' maxi is 3 days 7 hrs/1 day 23 hrs/5 days 4 hrs
TP52 is 4 days 17 hrs/3 days 0 hrs/7 days 4 hrs
Beneteau First 40 is 6 days 22 hrs/5 days 11 hrs/9 days 11 hrs

Model winds

The ECMWF model is the world leader for medium term forecast. However, the models still have some failings. In soft conditions, the model winds often tend to overestimate/calculate, so a wind of say 5-6 knots may, in fact, be less.

Also, in strong and gale force conditions, the model winds are sometimes below the observed wind. For example, 45 knots may be 45-50 knots and a wind of that speed will have gusts to 50-55 knots and more with passing showers.

Western Tasman Sea synoptic pattern October

The feature of springtime is the speed and movement of the weather systems. Fronts during winter produce offshore west/south-west winds on the NSW coast and the Tasman Sea. October and springtime continue to see mostly south-westerly wind regime following the passage of the fronts. However, by late October, the wind behind the front can be more south over the western Tasman Sea.

Tropical cyclones are rare for the Coral Sea during October and extremely rare for the Tasman Sea.

Tropical lows, or tropical trough lines, do frequently develop in the New Caledonia to Fiji region and can subsequently move south to south-east in response to approaching fronts from the west. Such a system can track south to pass close to the North Island of New Zealand track to the south-east and pass further offshore to the east of it.

East coast low pressure systems are most common over the southern Coral Sea and Tasman Sea in late autumn and winter. However, east coast lows have been observed in every calendar month. More common in October are frontal lows pressure systems to develop - small secondary low pressure systems developing on the front as it crosses the Tasman Sea.

Cyclonic winds around these lows can be gale force from the north-east to the north-west ahead and north-west to south-west and south behind. These frontal lows tend to move quickly with the front. It is rare for them to slow and be near stationary. High pressure systems tend to be pushed north by cold frontal systems.

The high pressure system frequently moves across the Tasman from west to east, between fronts - and with all the weather systems during springtime, they do tend to move quickly. Slow moving high pressure systems, strong high pressures and blocking patterns are not common during October - seen most frequently during autumn.

The main feature for weather systems across the Tasman Sea in October is the speed of the weather systems. Generally, the fronts and following high pressure systems are fast moving - quite the opposite to how the slower moving systems of Autumn Fronts may be associated with briefly strong and even gale force winds, but the spell of strong wind is generally short lived.

The Sydney to Auckland Ocean Race is open to fully crewed racing and cruising yachts, two-handed yachts, superyachts and ocean going multihulls. It is the longest race originating from Australia open to a variety of yacht classes.

Standard entries for the Category 1 Sydney to Auckland Ocean Race, to be held by Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Association with the Royal Akarana Yacht Club in New Zealand, close on 1 September 2023.

For enquiries regarding the race, please contact Race Director, Nick Elliott on +61 2 9998-3700 or email: .

For all information, including entry and Notice of Race, please visit:

Related Articles

Sail Melbourne Day 3
Wind and waves wreak havoc A traditional Melbourne south to southwesterly wind of 16 to 22 knots saw sailors battling whitecaps and an increased sea state of 1-meter waves at a wet and wild Sail Melbourne today. Posted today at 7:20 am
Cabbage Tree Island Race Video by Bow Caddy Media
Lights, camera action….. In fact lots of action heralded the start of the race Lights, camera action….. well it was certainly sunset, boats and lots of action heralded the start of the Cabbage Tree Island Race. andoo Comanche and Scallywag led the fleet of 66 boats through the Heads. Posted today at 4:00 am
Dauphin Telecom continues partnership
With the Caribbean Foiling Championships 2023 or the fourth consecutive year, Dauphin Telecom proudly joins forces with the Caribbean Foiling Championships as the official Communication Partner of the event. Posted on 1 Dec
New additions to US Sailing Board of Directors
Rey, Gallagher, and Grondin will each serve a four-year term US Sailing has named two new members of the US Sailing's Board of Directors, as well as one reelection, who were officially elected on Wednesday, November 8 at US Sailing's Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, CA. Posted on 1 Dec
Charal stepping on the gas in lead
After just over 24 hours of racing in Retour à La Base After just over 24 hours of racing since leaving Fort-de-France, Jéremie Beyou is proving his well optimised Charal is fastest on the northwards climb up the Atlantic for the Retour à La Base fleet of solo racers. Posted on 1 Dec
America's Cup Preliminary Regatta day 2
Dream conditions produce high action Jeddah was a magical venue today delivering outstanding, pitch-perfect conditions for Raceday Two of the America's Cup Preliminary Regatta Jeddah, presented by NEOM. Bang on cue, a 12-16 knot north westerly filtered across the racecourse. Posted on 1 Dec
Emirates Team New Zealand dominate on day 2
To qualify for match race final in Jeddah The story of the day was Emirates Team New Zealand again being dominant winning two races, as well as second place which was enough to secure their place in tomorrow's match race final with two fleet races yet to race at Jeddah. Posted on 1 Dec
SSL Gold Cup 1/4 Finals recap
We're down to the final 8 teams in Gran Canaria Just when you think the SSL Gold Cup can't get any more exciting, another round proves you wrong. The 1/4 Finals saw the introduction of the top 8 seeded teams, taking on the 8 qualifiers, so naturally the level of competition went up a notch. Posted on 1 Dec
OK Dinghy World Rankings updated
Thomas Hansson-Mild back on top Former world No 1, Thomas Hansson-Mild returns to the No.1 spot in the final OK Dinghy World Rankings of 2023. Germany's André Budzien climbs five places to second, while Denmark's Jens Eckhardt moves up to third, and into the top 10 for the first time. Posted on 1 Dec
America's Cup: Day 2 - Red Sea brawl
The Red Sea breeze arrived as the boats were heading to the race area for Day 2 The Red Sea breeze arrived as the boats were heading to the race area for Day 2 of the second Preliminary Regatta of the 37th America's Cup. Posted on 1 Dec
Vaikobi 2023 Gloves - FOOTERMarine Resources 2022 - FOOTERRooster 2023 - Aquafleece - FOOTER