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Preparing Weather Forecasts for Your Next Sailing Race

Preparing Weather Forecasts for Your Next Sailing Race

Ever wondered what kind of weather and communication services a winning boat uses in a competitive sailing race? Last year S/V Flyer crew used XGate satellite data services provided by GMN for downloading weather with PredictWind, connecting with email, and staying in contact with race managers, to win first in Class 3 and second overall in the Newport-Bermuda Race. Whether you’re racing or cruising you can get the same accuracy and ease of use with weather services from GMN.

S/V Flyer Wins Newport-Bermuda Class Using XGate Satellite Data Services

S/V Flyer Wins the 2016 Newport-Bermuda Class using XGate Satellite Data Services

Although most major races are reserved for weathered pilots the Newport Bermuda race welcomes 20-25% of the fleet under first-time skippers.

In order to prepare themselves and their crew proper planning, assessment and gear are crucial to success. To aid in this process the Newport Bermuda race organizing committee has established the Ambassador Program. First-time skippers can request an Ambassador to guide them through the entry process. CCA/RBYC members, the Ambassadors understand what it takes to compete and offer great insights into the race ahead.

At Global Marine Networks we helped the crew of the S/V Flyer, captained by Doug Abbott, win first in class and second overall in the 2016 Newport Bermuda race. S/V Flyer used hardware and services provided by GMN, including XGate satellite data services, Expedition for navigation and ocean current data, and PredictWind Offshore for downloading weather via RedPort hardware and Globalstar satellite service.

Eric Crawford, the navigator for Flyer, used multiple weather sources during the race. GMN provided Hycom ocean current data via Expedition that made a strategic difference for the win in the final hours. Crawford simultaneously used the XGate-integrated PredictWind Offshore app for weather data. XGate requested and compressed the necessary data, and Globalstar satellite data service completed downloads in less than a minute.

Said Crawford, “The system was spectacular! It did everything I wanted it to do.”

The heart of the winning system was XGate and the PredictWind: Marine Weather & Wind Forecasting Software. XGate encompasses all the services a sailor needs including optimized email, web compression, social media, pinpoint weather forecasts, GRIB file handling via PredictWind Offshore, and a robust ecosystem of compatible apps including Expedition and SailGRIB for navigation; WeatherTrack; Weather 4D; iNavX; and Xaxero GribPlot for weather. More about XGate can be found at

“Before, sailors cobbled together different apps that were challenging to make into a coherent system,” said Dr. Luis Soltero, CTO of Global Marine Networks. “Now, XGate’s seamless integration with the world’s leading racing and weather apps makes it simple to download critical data from many apps all within the highly optimized XGate system. This greatly eases frustration and adds significant airtime savings. This racing victory shows the success of XGate and its partners’ apps working together.”

XGate services include:

Accelerated Email

Email service offers up to 20 times acceleration versus uncompressed speeds, saving up to 85% on satellite airtime. Works with a dedicated email address or third-party services such as Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo! Mail or your corporate mail address.

GRIB Weather

XGate includes the PredictWind Offshore app with GRIB weather file requestor and viewer. XGate also works with a wide range of other weather and navigation applications from leading providers.

Accelerated Web Browsing

XWeb Compression uses a web proxy service to provide users with 3-5 times average web acceleration, while also blocking ads, checking for malicious sites and compressing images.

Text-based Mobile Weather Forecasts

XGate mobile weather forecasts deliver up to 7 days of text-based weather forecasts for iOS and Android users.

Social media

Users can post text and photos to Facebook and Twitter over satellite and cellular narrowband devices.


Users get free access to a Sailblogs Premium Basic account to help them share their adventures while traveling with their satphone.


XGate Compatible Operating Systems:

windows (1)

Microsoft Windows


Apple MacOS

apple (1)

Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch)

android (1)

Google Android smartphones and tablets

PredictWind services include:


Weather Routing

Identify the fastest and most comfortable route for your vessel using the high-resolution 1km-8km or the global 50km resolution forecasts. The comfortable route allows you to avoid sailing upwind in strong winds. You decide your tolerance level, and the PredictWind routing algorithm will do its best to avoid these areas. You simply need to select a polar curve that matches your boat or customize your own polar curve and the optimal route is calculated for all 4 forecasts

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Departure Planning

Wondering what the perfect day is to depart for your next race? This powerful tool will quickly summarize the wind conditions you will receive if you left on Day1, Day2, Day3, or Day4. Simply drag the start and destination waypoints on the map and the weather routing algorithm will summarize the forecast wind data for the next 4 days of departure.

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Forecast Alerts

Configure your perfect forecast conditions for your specific racing location. Receive push notifications or email notifications when you ideal conditions are forecasted for your race location.


Live Wind Observations

 Receive real-time wind and weather data from 20,000 live stations across the globe.

Additional PredictWind Functionality includes:

  • Forecast Tables
  • Forecast Graphs
  • Wind Maps – Arrows
  • Wind Maps – Wind Barbs 
  • Wind Maps – Black Arrows 
  • Swell Maps 
  • Rain Maps 
  • Cloud Maps
  • Isobar Maps 
  • Air Temperature Maps 
  • Sea Temperature Maps

However you chose to approach your preparation for the Newport Bermuda race don’t forget Global Marine Networks. Our team has years of cruising and race consulting experience. Call us today and discuss your Newport Bermuda race needs and one of our talented technical team members. We can help you and your crew get the tools you need to succeed in the 2017 Newport Bermuda race.

GMN has numerous awards and certifications for technical innovation. For more information on how GMN is Making Airtime Count™ – whether ship-to-shore or in remote or emergency communications environments visit

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