Alternative Routing for the Vendée Globe starting

The 2012 Vendée Globe Race starts today and racers are already counting on their marine navigation software to find the best possible route according to weather forecasts and some other important factors.

We’ve launched our Routing Module in order to see what’s the best option at the start of the race and this is what we’ve obtained:

Route 1 - Vendée Globe Race

In the image, we can see that at 10am on the 12th, there will be poor wind, which is bad news for the 20 skippers…so we’ve decided to relaunch it using the Alternative Routing feature to see if there could be another more accurate route surrounding that area:

Alternative route feature launch - Vendée Globe Race

Route 2 - Vendée Globe Race

What we’ve got, is a route that goes further in the Ocean, avoiding the Spanish Coast as compared to the previous one:

Route 1 vs Route 2 - Vendée Globe Race

Here’s a reenactment of this second alternative route for the Vendée Globe racers:

We’ll see which one is taken by the skilled sailors…Good winds for all of them!

Refer-a-friend and get MaxSea’s Routing Module for Free

Refer-a-friend MaxSea Special Offer July to August 2012
Refer a friend and get our Routing Module for free

From July 2nd to August 31st 2012, refer a friend so you can both enjoy MaxSea Routing Module for free.

Here’s how it goes:


Refer your friends to MaxSea TimeZero Navigator.
Once a friend of yours buys a MaxSea TimeZero Navigator license, you will receive a free MaxSea Routing Module (cash-equivalent value of 299€).


  1. Buy a MaxSea Navigator TimeZero license from 749€ by calling (0033) (dial #2 to contact Sales Department directly).
  2. When completing the order, you must give your sponsor’s license number, name and email address to our representatives.

You will both automatically receive your gift upon receipt of your friend´s order.

If you want to know more about this module, read this article from Brice Pryszo explaining how MaxSea’s marine weather routing module functions.

Or watch our demo video:

TIMEZERO Weather Routing explained by founder Brice Pryszo

Here’s an explanation on TIMEZERO Routing Module given by the Group’s CEO and founder, Brice Pryszo.

In 1984, when I designed the “isochrones” routing algorithm method, the only existing routing solutions required the use of powerful shore-based computers which basically tested millions of routes to choose the best one. This required power and time then not available on board sail boats. The MaxSea routing algorithm was designed to be executed on a personal computer.

The very first time that I tested the TIMEZERO routing algorithm was during the Trans-Atlantic race “La Route de la Decouverte” with Philippe Jeantot onboard Credit Agricole. Philippe was late arriving at the Canary Islands due to equipment failure. The fleet leaders, 24 hours ahead, were sailing WSW in nice 10-15 Kt trade winds, south of a low pressure system (as any smart sailor would do).

Meanwhile, the TIMEZERO routing algorithm sent Credit Agricole NW, straight into unsettled weather and unstable wind, up to the cold front of a deep low pressure system. The first hours were not welcoming but behind the cold front, a 20 Kt North wind pushed the large catamaran at twice the speed of the remaining fleet fleet. Two days later, Credit Agricole was leading the race by several hundred miles. At that time no experienced navigator would have chosen such a solution!

Another astonishing example of the power of routing occurred when we tried to optimize an Atlantic passage West to East with regular high pressure mid Atlantic. As any good sailor knows, routing should begin by passing around the high pressure using a northerly course. Instead of following the quiet sailing to the east, the routing plunged the course to the south, straight into the low pressure center. Before reaching ineffective wind, the routing jibbed the boat port into an increasing breeze perfect for reaching, making her route much faster than if she had taken the northern route with a downwind slog.

These two incidents had a major effect on sail boat racing results. Today, using routing is absolutely necessary to be competitive in ocean and long distance races. Routing has also proven to be great tool for cruisers because it greatly enhances safety and comfort. Routing can exploit user-defined characteristics and create what we call “cruising” or “safety” polar curves. Utilizing such polar curves the routing will do all it can to find a path which avoids strong wind. This is beneficial because strong wind is generally surrounded by medium wind in which the boat is faster allowing her to “escape”.

Finally, I have to say that the weather prediction centers are becoming much more efficient, and increasingly accurate data is now available. Some data is very good for “Longer Offshore Races” such as the Fastnet race. The “Arpege-Aladin” model from the French Meteorological Office takes in account land influences, has a 8 km x 8 km resolution grid and is relatively accurate for 36 or 48 hours. This makes it especially useful for offshore races other than ocean passages. We can expect major improvements in the near future, while organizations such as NOAA continue to work with new technologies.

Brice Pryszo, Founder and CEO of TIMEZERO’s GROUP