Race day 1 Great Britain SailGP, E, Event 3, Season 2 in Plymouth17 July 2021 Photo Ricardo Pinto France, Spain, Japan and New Zealand SailGP Team in action on race day 1 of Great Britain SailGP, Event 3, Season 2 in Plymouth, UK 17 July 2021 Photo Ricardo Pinto for SailGP
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SailGP Season 3: Great Britain Sail Grand Prix tidal current outlook

As SailGP returns to Plymouth for the third event in Season 3, 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 eleven events across the globe.

ABPmer is the official supplier of ocean intelligence to SailGP, providing detailed real time race-day current predictions for Season 3 race events through to May 2023, including Spain, Singapore, and New Zealand, 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 SailGP Bermuda in May and T-Mobile U.S. SailGP in June, Event 3 of the SailGP Season 3 Championship marks the return to Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth on 30 and 31 July, with support from Associated British Ports.

Tidal currents in the Plymouth race area

Currents in Plymouth 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 iconic Plymouth breakwater and Drakes Island, as well as the natural bays, headlands and variable local water depth.

Tidal current visualisations around the Plymouth race area during ebb and flood tidal phases

Tidal current visualisations around the Plymouth race area during ebb (left) and 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.

Ready to discuss your requirements? Get in touch.

Main photo: France SailGP Team, Spain SailGP Team, Japan SailGP Team and New Zealand SailGP Team in action on race day 1 of Great Britain SailGP, Event 3, Season 2 in Plymouth, UK 17 July 2021. Photo: Ricardo Pinto for SailGP. Handout image supplied by SailGP