Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Complete and Utter Lack of Entropy

There wasn't enough wind to get the boats to the racecourse today.
Entropy is the measure of energy in a system.  The more energy there is in a system, the higher the level of entropy.  There was no entropy whatsoever at Barrington today. Everything was calm, cool and collected. Especially calm and abnormally cool.  15 people showed up to race today, but the sun and the wind stayed in bed.  At race time the wind was 0 knots from the South, and the temperature never made it even within 10 degrees of the forecast 48.  So everyone packed up their boats, ate the post race soup, and went home.

After two weeks of extremely light (or in today's case, nonexistent) winds, everyone is hoping that the atmosphere will show up next with it's vigor restored.


  1. Fascinating. Most people don't have the grasp of how physics applies to sailboat racing that you do.

    However, it would be more accurate to say that entropy is the measure of the amount of disorder in a system. In my experience there is often a lot of disorder in sailboat races, which means they have very high entropy.

    On the other hand, if there is no disorder then entropy might be very low. Zero entropy is very hard to achieve but some sailors believe it can be achieved in a super-fluid at very low temperatures. But I very much doubt that the Warren River is cold enough this season yet to approach this state.

    However you also have to take into account the uncertainty principle and the possibility of quantum entanglement. There can be quite a lot of uncertainty and entanglement in sailboat racing sometimes.

    And when you also take into account the theory of relativity then the observations of different observers can be very different, as has often been the case at protest meetings.

    More research is indicated...

  2. Anyone who has seen me sail knows that there is plenty of entanglement, entropy and uncertainty in my sailing. As far as Relativity goes, it goes without saying that catamaran sailors have aged at a considerably slower rate than Sunfish sailors due to relativistic effects, both from the gravitational effects of their relative distances from the center of mass of the planet and from the difference in relative speeds.

  3. Is that why I always feel younger when I sail a cat?