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Operational current forecasting for the Volvo Ocean Race

Deltares is providing operational forecasting services to the Team AkzoNobel[1], during the 2017/2018 Volvo Ocean Race around-the-world sailing competition. As part of these services, near-surface current forecasts from the Deltares' GTSM and 3D North Sea models are provided, running from the GLOSSIS and MeteoDashboard Delft-FEWS systems hosted at Deltares.

The reliability and accuracy of the predictions by the Global Tide and Surge Model[2] (GTSM) is combined with NOAA's HYCOM results to provide the needed near-surface currents which will affect a sailing boat the most. Using the new Delft3D Flexible Mesh suite, the GTSM is efficiently able to capture both the detailed shelf circulation (with a fine resolution of 2.5 km), and entire oceans (with a coarse resolution of 25 km) in one single model. On top of this, Deltares' 3D North Sea model provides high resolution surface currents on the North Sea continental shelf. Both models are running from Delft-FEWS systems hosted in Deltares' iD-Lab, providing 10 day (GTSM) and 2 day (3D North Sea) forecasts at six hourly intervals. These forecasts are subsequently provided to the AkzoNobel team as data files, and are processed and shown in their navigational software.

With this detailed real-time information, the AkzoNobel navigators are able to make more informed routing decisions, everywhere on the World's Oceans. In turn, Deltares uses the feedback and experience from the team to improve the overall performance of the operational system and make it available to more users.

This Deltares project lasts between June 2017 and July 2018.

Results in FEWS viewer (currents)

GTSM grid, SE Asia

GTSM grid, near Hong Kong

[1] See

[2] See