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A tipping point has been reached in sailing. Everybody, even  the middle-packers now GRIB.

Technically, a GRIB is a computer file composed of GRIdded Binary information. In the sailing world, it refers to various digital weather, sea and temperature forcasts. These files, when viewed with an appropriate tool (such as Expedition), provide a forcast of future wind. Who wouldn't want that.

The nay-sayers complain that these forcasts are
  • Always wrong.
  • Don't take into account local effects like sea breeze.
  • Don't have enough detail.
  • Are against the spirit of corinthian yachting.
And they are mostly right. However, they beat the hell out of not having a clue. As to the spirit argument, Kevlar and carbon fiber are more so. There is no reason not to investigate this potentially invaluable tool. If you clean your bottom before a race, you should also GRIB. It's a lot less messy.

Getting started:

Weather GRIBs are free and simple to look at. Go to, register and download the viewer. Drag an area of interest, and you have it. There are buttons to advance the time of the prediction, so you can get an idea of what the big picture weather is going to be doing.

Getting further in

The thing about GRIBs is that they let your computer know about the weather too. This leads to the world of optimal routing, which is where the offshore world is already. If you do use a real sailing tool that includes GRIB viewing, you also get a lot of other tools to improve your performance, even around the buoys. Expedition even takes care of the downloading.

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