St. Francis YC Talk: Wind Forecasting in the SF Bay

By Mike Dvorak on August 18, 2014

Typical summertime flow entering the Golden Gate.

I was fortunate to be invited to give a talk for the St. Francis Yacht Club Wednesday Yachting Luncheon series on Aug 13th. The talks are open to anyone affiliated with a yacht club in the Bay Area. My talk was titled, “Wind Forecasting to Win Races on the San Francisco Bay” and I aimed to give an overview about the challenges of forecasting and all of the technology that we’ve developed to make our accurate forecasts. If you missed the talk, a subset of the slides can be found below and I will be giving a similar talk scheduled for Fri, Oct 10th at the Berkeley Yacht Club (details forthcoming).

Mike Dvorak of Sail Tactics speaking about the challenges of forecasting San Francisco Bay winds.

The resumes of the sailors in attendance was impressive and even Max Ebb of Latitude 38 showed up to ask some incredibly tough questions (Lee Helm was suspected to also be somewhere nearby). The discussion at the end went on for 20 minutes, covering everything from Jim Dewitt’s observations about non-uniform flow direction in Berkeley Circle to the cost of potentially instrumenting the entire Central Bay with a network of floating wind sensors. The venue, with a view of the Golden Gate right outside the window, was an incredibly awe inspiring place to talk about winds in the San Francisco Bay. A friendly gentleman named John even gave me some souvenir chunks of the Oracle AC72 that crashed and turned to flotsam last summer, a pretty unique gift and gesture. Thanks to everyone at the St. Francis for the invitation, hospitality, and all the great questions.

Originally published at on August 18, 2014.