Over in Hong Kong they are having to carry a bit of technology in the boats. In the photo above you will see the hand-held radio. They are near busy shipping lanes, so the fleet can stay informed. Then what is that we can see in the little waterproof bag??
It’s a GPS Tacktracker. Having seen it at the Dragon Worlds in Weymouth, I was wondering if we could try it at the Parkstone Nationals next year. For anyone who was following the Americas Cup live as it happened, you’ll recognise the idea immediately. Using Tacktracker you can follow the racing live, or run a replay later (invaluable for protests!!)
In Hong Kong, though we haven’t seen it publicised, they seem to be piloting the idea for FFs by placing seven GPS trackers in the Hong Kong boats during their nationals. We can then follow it online at Tacktracker.
Try this link (you may be prompted to download ‘microsoft silverlight’ but just follow your way through this – it’s very quick) :-
The home page is here, and you can see the FF Racing appears in the contents list on the right hand side
I’ve just watched race 1 on here. If you want to try it, here are some early tips:-
- go to full screen mode by clicking the button bottom right
- you’ll need to zoom to be able to see it properly. I moved the slider 1/8-1/4 of the way across until I was comfortable with it.
- you may need to “drag” the screen with your mouse to get the fleet in the middle of the map
- the compeitors with a tracker on board are shown on the left. Once they are racing, their order changes dynamically to show who’s in the lead
- if you just want to follow two or three of the boats, then untick the rest in this panel
I haven’t tried any other features yet….. Lets us know what you think!!