Courses: Meteorology

Strategies for winning. Meteorology in a round the world regatta

This a course of Barcelona World Race Ocean Campus. Enroll the course in Canvas Network

General course content and objectives

Meteorology is the science most closely connected to ocean sailing. It's fundamental for sailing safety and is the very essence of strategy for winning any regatta.

In this course you will learn about the mechanics of weather on Earth and the knowledge of this needed by sailors. You will learn about the foundations of ocean meteorology, how digital files are generated based on prediction models and how sailors receive these via satellite and then integrate them into high-performance navigation software.

 You will also examine the meteorological characteristics of the Barcelona World Race course, which crosses up to 12 different climate zones where the boats go up against some of the world's most extreme weather phenomena. The regatta takes the yachts through the Mediterranean Sea, the North and South Atlantic, the Indian and South Pacific Oceans. You will learn how to use the foundations of climate and meteorology strategy to win a regatta and you will gain insight into how the sailors experience this science firsthand as they race across the oceans.


The teachers

Tomàs Molina

Degree in Physics and a registered journalist. Tomàs is a part-time lecturer at the University of Barcelona (Spain) and is the chief meteorologist at the Televisió de Catalunya TV channel (TV3). Tomàs teaches the core subjects and the theory for this course. (See video presentation of the course with Tomàs Molina at the teacher bio page)

Marcel Van Triest

A meteorologist specialising in top-flight ocean racing. Marcel has been a navigator for five round the world and transatlantic regattas. He has also been a router for world sailing speed records. He is the Barcelona World Race meteorologist. Marcel teaches the practical application of meteorology in ocean sailing, strategy and tactics in a round the world regatta, and examines specific cases from previous editions of the Barcelona World Race. (See video presentation of the course with Marcel Van Triest at the teacher bio page)

Other teachers

Jordi Barinaga
An engineer and expert in technology for top-flight regattas. Jordi specialises in the design and installation of electric and electronic systems fitted to the IMOCA 60 yachts for the Barcelona World Race. On this course, Jordi details the installation of meteorological sensors to the yachts and outlines how the onboard electronic systems work to receive information via satellite and how the onboard computer is used in a regatta.

Santi Serrat
Editorial Director of theBarcelona World Race. Santi has followed two editions of the regatta (2007/08 and 2010/11) day by day and has been in charge of the website meteorological information. Santi explains how meteorology in sailing navigation has evolved over history, both generally and in ocean regattas. He has edited all of texts for the course.

For more information about the teachers, visit the teacher bio page (under construction).

Course structure and work plan

The course is structured around six modules. You can access the content for each module directly as you wish, although we recommend you progress through the course in order, from modules 1 to 6, for an optimum learning experience.

 For each module the core content is outlined in a video featuring one or more of the teachers. Each video is accompanied by a synopsis (text) as well as a more detailed explanation of the key content points. The videos are in Spanish or English. Spanish videos offer English subtitles and English videos offer Spanish subtitles.

For each module you will also be given complementary content for the core subject. This content includes experiences of ocean sailors, opinions from other experts, graphics and other related studies. All of the content has been developed to help you to gain a full understanding of the core subject.

Module 1
Understanding maritime meteorology

Module 2
Meteorological prediction

Module 3
The sailor as meteorologist

Module 4
Ocean regattas and meteorology

Module 5
Climatology and meteorology in the Barcelona World Race: from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean

Module 6
Climatology and meteorology in the Barcelona World Race: from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea

To successfully complete the course, we recommend studying one module per week, with a study time of around 5 hours for each one.

For each module you will be given tests [quizzes] to help you revise the content and self-evaluate your learning.

Certification from the University of Barcelona

When you have completed the course you also have the option to obtain a certificate from the University of Barcelona.

To do this you must answer a further 30 questions correctly out of 40 in an exam featuring content from all of the course modules.

Access to this exam is subject to a 60$ fee, permitting two attempts at the exam in a seven day period.

If you pass the test first time (with a passmark of 30 correct answers out of a possible 40) you will be sent a certificate via email to the address you have requested.

If you do not reach the passmark, you may request to repeat the exam within seven days of the first exam attempt. After that time, if you have not completed the second exam attempt you will lose the option to do so.

You may access the certification process from the 26th of January 2015.

Course requirements

To follow and complete the course you do not need specialist knowledge of meteorology or sailing.

You do not need to purchase any additional material and nor will you be required to carry out any tasks on a daily basis.

Additional recommendations

As we will show you during the course, an abundance of further information is available by following the Barcelona World Race.

The third edition of the regatta starts on the 31st of December 2014. The first teams to finish are expected to complete the course towards the end of March 2015.

The boats will set off from Barcelona (Spain) and will return to Barcelona having circumnavigated the globe from west to east, putting the capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn to port and the Antarctic to starboard. You can follow the regatta at the website Barcelona World Race

If you need any help with the course content, please contact

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