Weather routing across oceans is often referred to as a Dark Art, full of mystery and intrigue.

In reality it is number crunching, which is done by some very clever and powerful computer software, with some experience thrown in for good measure. There are many different routing software packages out there. We use some of the very best, tried and tested first hand. Which program we use depends on what the challenge or project is, from a rowing boat crossing the Atlantic, right up to high tech Grand Prix yachts racing around the world.

Recent Atlantic rowing results:

TWAC 2021 – The MOTHERSHIP. 2nd Female team

TWAC 2022 – HMS OARDACIOUS. New Military record

TWAC 2023 – HMS OARDACIOUS. 1st overall and Military record

The  first, and most important, thing with any routing is to have an accurate Polar for the boat being routed. A polar is a numerical representation of a boats expected performance capability in any given conditions. Without accurate polars, weather routing is just simply weather forecasting – you cannot route effectively without polars. At Ocean Race Logistics we can work with teams and help them build their polars so that the routing we then offer actually means something.

The next most important thing after the polars, is the actual weather forecast used. At Ocean Race Logistics we have access to very high resolution models as well as the low resolution models readily accessible on the internet (such as The low res models are great for getting a large scale feel for what is happening, but the high res models give the real detail and can make the difference between winning or getting the record, or not. Typical low resolution files average the weather over a 100km x 100km grid and compute up to every 3 hours. The highest resolution files we use can show weather over a 1km x 1km grid and up to every 1 hour, which means there are up to 10,000 individual forecasts compared to just one low resolution one in a 100km x 100km area, giving unprecedented accuracy.

HOWEVER, weather forecasting is just that – a forecast. The skill comes in interpreting the weather locally and working with your weather router to get maximum effect out of the data.


Alex Alley’s Sailing Adventures


Discover More


Going knowingly into the unknown.


Discover More


Follow Alex’s Latest adventure.


Latest Adventure