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!

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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

The History of MaxSea Infographics 1984-2012

Many of you might have some questions regarding our company’s past and present. Well, this infographics is intended to help you understand our history through some key dates and facts.

The History of MaxSea1984-2012 - marine navigation software leader

Key Dates 

1984 – Brice Pryszo, naval architect and passionate about informatics, invents a revolutionary algorithm for automated sea routing

1985 – Creation of Informatique et Mer company and its first software for Mac, called MacSea

End of 80’s – After a huge success in the french market, MaxSea starts developping its distribution network. Iceland becomes its first distributor, followed by other scandinavian countries

1994 – Foundation of the electronic cartography company MapMedia

1999

  • Switch from Mac to PC
  • Company and software change their name to MaxSea
  • Launch of 3D PBG  module

1990-2000 – MaxSea’s distribution network covers Northern Europe

2000 – Setting-up of a US subsidiary company: MaxSea Inc.

2001 – SigNet Group was created to group together all companies: MaxSea International, MaxSea Naval and MapMedia

2000-2005 – Further expansion of MaxSea’s distribution to Southern Europe and Latin America

2004 – Technical and financial alliance with FURUNO, marine electronics leader

2007 – Foundation of MaxSea Naval, the Spanish subsidiary

2008 – Launch of TimeZero technology and first sailing software powered by it: MaxSea TimeZero Navigator and Explorer

2009 –

  • Purchase of Nobeltec, main rival and US leader
  • Launch of MaxSea Webstore

2010 – Launch of MaxSea TimeZero professional range: ECS and Plot

2011 – Launch of Nobeltec software powered by TimeZero technology

This is the first of a series, we will hopefully enhance the aesthetics of the next one!

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