gulls flying over a foggy ocean surf

Chris Bedford: Empowering Sailors with Precision Marine Weather Forecasts

By: Weather

Chris Bedford is the host of our next online class in the Advanced Cruising and Seamanship series. This special session with Marine Weather University founder Chris Bedford will help you select the best sources for your needs and teach you how to combine your own observations with forecast information to create a local forecast and plan your passages.


In the world of sailing, weather plays a pivotal role in determining the success and safety of every voyage. For sailors, mariners, and offshore racers, having access to accurate and specialized weather forecasts is indispensable. Enter Chris Bedford, a highly regarded meteorologist and the founder of Sailing Weather Service Inc. With an exceptional understanding of meteorology and a passion for sailing, Chris has become a prominent figure in the sailing community, providing tailored weather forecasts that empower mariners to navigate the seas with confidence.

Tailored Marine Forecasts for Sailors

Chris Bedford’s meteorological expertise is evident through his company, Sailing Weather Service Inc. He has made a significant impact by providing personalized weather forecasts for professional competitive sailors. Understanding the unique needs and challenges faced by racers, Chris tailors his predictions to help sailors make informed decisions about their competitions. His marine forecasts are invaluable tools that optimize route planning, avoid adverse weather conditions, and enhance the overall safety and efficiency of maritime ventures.

Adding Value to Marine Forecasts

One of the key takeaways from Chris Bedford’s approach to meteorology is the importance of understanding the models and the underlying science. A marine weather forecast is not merely a set of numbers or predictions.

“A weather forecast is not merely a set of numbers or predictions; it is how you communicate with the weather forecast that I like to touch on in my lectures.”

CHRIS BEDFORD

Chris emphasizes the significance of comprehending the meteorology behind the forecast, and as a sailor, developing your own relationship with the data. By understanding the weather patterns and atmospheric conditions, sailors can better interpret the information provided and make better-informed decisions.

Beyond Weather Apps: The Meteorologist’s Perspective

In the digital age, marine forecast apps have become a common tool for sailors to check the forecast before setting sail. However, Chris reminds us that these apps are not instantaneous or foolproof. Relying solely on these apps can lead to oversights and complacency. He encourages sailors to go beyond the convenience of apps and gain a deeper understanding of the weather models. By doing so, sailors become more attuned to the nuances of weather shifts, wind patterns, and other crucial meteorological elements.

The Weather Coach

Chris Bedford, Weather Coach

Chris Bedford describes himself as a “weather coach,” emphasizing the importance of guiding sailors in their understanding and usage of marine weather forecast information. He believes that adding value to weather forecasting comes from how the information is used and interpreted, by empowering sailors with meteorological knowledge. Chris is a veteran of 10 America’s Cup cycles (1987 through 2021), and has been with more winning AC efforts than any other meteorologist. Working with 5 Volvo Ocean Race/Whitbread teams, he provided close support to the winning teams in 2001/02 (Illbruck), 2008/09 (Ericsson), 2014/15 (Abu Dhabi) and 2023 (11th Hour Racing). In addition to direct team support, Bedford is sought out for his weather advice and guidance in assessing weather impacts related to critical events and operational decisions at Fortune 100 companies such as Apple, Home Depot, SC Johnson, and Oracle. ​

Learn from Chris

Are you ready to take the next step in your weather forecasting knowledge? Learn directly from Chris in our Advanced Cruising & Seamanship online course.

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