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Broad Reach Radio: Roger 'Clouds' Badham - on two decades of Cup forecasting

by Michael Brown/Yachting NZ 15 Nov 10:53 GMT 15 November 2021
Meteorologist Roger 'Clouds' Badham at his desk in Team NZ's Viaduct base. © Emirates Team New Zealand

Roger ‘Clouds’ Badham is one of the world’s pre-eminent meteorologists and was also the first person to forecast for yachties and boaties on a fulltime basis.

His 50-year involvement in the sport has seen him work on 10 America's Cup, nine Olympics Games, more than 40 Sydney to Hobart races and countless world championships and big events.

He’s been a critical member of Team New Zealand for 20 years, helping them firstly win the Cup in Bermuda in 2017 and then retain it earlier this year in Auckland, and has also worked with New Zealand’s top Olympic campaigners for the last five Games.

Clouds has described weather forecasting as like short-term futures trading - either selling or buying left or right – but his accuracy is something he’s renowned for it and it earned him a job working with the Ferrari Formula 1 team.

Roger talks about his career in this episode of Broad Reach Radio, how he got into the industry, what forecasting was like in the early days before computer modelling and then the arms race as teams tried to get the edge, what impact he’s had on various campaigns and the pressure he can sometimes come under to get it right. He also touches on the world of Formula 1 and how it differs to high-level sailing.

For the full Broad Reach Radio series of 40 podcasts www.yachtingnz.org.nz/news/podcast

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