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Team Britannia cooks up a storm with announcement that Gib’s top meteorologist is joining the crew

Team Britannia have announced a major new addition to their Team, top meteorologist and founder of MeteoGib Stephanie Ball.

Mrs Ball will provide vital real time data and guidance on emerging weather patterns, including conditions that will affect the speed of the boat, or force it to change direction.

Data will be refreshed and weather patterns remodelled on a regular basis, ensuring that the 80ft single hulled powerboat is always one step ahead of any potential trouble.

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Alan Priddy, the Captain of Team Britannia commented: “Stephanie is not only a hugely popular presenter and figure in Gibraltar, but also a top meteorologist who will provide real time updates on emerging weather fronts and systems, which could have a massive bearing on our speed and safety.”

A Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, Stephanie is a highly experienced weather forecaster with almost 30 years experience working for the UK Met Office.

Working in the Southampton Weather Centre, she became an expert in marine forecasting, providing information to vessels in some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes – the English Channel and Solent and for some of sailing’s most prestigious and high profile events such as Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race.

After moving to the Met Office in London she was part of the team that provided forecasts for the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

In 2009 she moved to the Met Offce at RAF Gibraltar providing forecasts on the Mediterranean for the RAF pilots and Royal Navy, before setting up MeteoGib.

Mrs Ball commented: “As Weather Consultant for the Team Britannia Challenge, MeteoGib’s main role will be to feed accurate and timely updates to the team on wind, weather, swell and sea state for each 24hrs of the route.

“While Team Britannia has a set route pre-planned, given the speed they will be travelling it will be imperative that the route ahead is constantly monitored so that ample forewarning is given of any inclement weather which falls beyond the limits that the boat is comfortable with. Of particular importance will be any developing hurricanes, or cyclones which may impact directly en route, giving information on any expected intensification and movement. To assist in the forecasting process, I will be using ‘Expedition’ Software which allows me to download a variety of global weather model data to compare forecasts as well as monitoring any nearby real-time surface date plus satellite imagery, along with any tropical updates from National Hurricane and Cyclone Warning Centres.

“MeteoGib is excited to have been asked to join the team on this record breaking attempt and will be the ‘weather eyes’ for the team throughout the challenge.”

Mr Priddy concluded: “The El Niño effect and its unusual weather patterns along our race route could have added nearly 10 per cent to our predicted time. In a record attempt that is all about averages and where we will be pushing our equipment and the crew, accurate and timely weather data could make all the difference between taking the record and not.”

For further Information on the Team Britannia Global Challenge visit www.teambritannia.co.uk