New Zealand SailGP Team in action on Race Day 2 in Cadiz, Spain. Photo: Ricardo Pinto for SailGP. New Zealand SailGP Team co-helmed by Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in action on Race Day 2 at Spain SailGP, Event 6, Season 2 in Cadiz, Andalucia, Spain. 10th October 2021. Photo: Ricardo Pinto for SailGP. Handout image supplied by SailGP
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SailGP Season 2: Australia Sail Grand Prix tidal current outlook

As SailGP returns to Australian shores for the seventh event in Season 2, what tidal conditions can the world-class athletes expect to face during the race weekend?


SailGP is an international sail racing competition, featuring eight teams going head-to-head on high performance F50 foiling catamarans in short, intense races through nine events across the globe.

ABPmer is the official supplier of ocean intelligence to SailGP, providing race-day current data at 10-minute intervals for Season 2 race events through to March 2022, including Cadiz-Andalusia (Spain), Plymouth (UK) and San Francisco (US), where tides are the primary driver of surface currents.

Our high-resolution hydrodynamic (water motion) numerical model outputs give SailGP race management, and the world-class athletes, accurate representations of current speed and direction across the race areas which are used to inform decision-making.

With the SailGP teams flying the cutting-edge F50 wingsailed catamarans to electrifying speeds approaching up to 100 km/h, our tidal current information is a key data-feed used to optimise performance on race days.

Following back-to-back events across Europe, the Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney Presented by KPMG takes place on 17 and 18 December.

Tidal currents in the Sydney race area

Currents in Sydney Harbour are caused by the regular rise and fall of the tide, with two high water and two low water periods each day. The water moving into and out of the area interacts with the unique and detailed shape of the harbour, including the many bays, headlands and islands, and the local water depth.

Tidal current visualisations around the Sydney race area at peak ebb (left) and peak flood (right) tidal phases

Tidal current visualisations around the Sydney race area at peak ebb (left) and peak flood (right) tidal phases

Our modelling shows that this results in complex but predictable patterns of current speed and direction, that vary both over the course area and in time throughout the day. The sailors and their onboard systems will be using these bespoke data to inform their race strategy and optimise boat handling, to gain valuable advantage in each race.


We are a recognised provider of offshore, coastal and estuarine numerical modelling, and have supported TeamGBR, the British Sailing Team in the Olympics and Paralympics. Our sophisticated numerical models regularly support estuarine, coastal and offshore projects, including feasibility and design studies, impact assessments and operational planning.

Main photo: New Zealand SailGP Team co-helmed by Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in action on Race Day 2 at Spain SailGP, Event 6, Season 2 in Cadiz, Andalucia, Spain. 10th October 2021. Photo: Ricardo Pinto for SailGP. Handout image supplied by SailGP.