CYCA and RORC join forces for Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race
20 July, 2006 10:55:00 PM BST
Two of the world's leading organisers of offshore racing, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, have joined forces to bring a new era of race communications to RORC's race programme, including the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race starting 7 August 2006, and the 750 mile race to Cascais in Portugal starting on 1 September.
The 1,789 nautical mile Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland race, organised by the RORC, will be sailed clockwise around Britain and Ireland starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, and for the first time all competing yachts will be fitted with tracking devices to allow for greater viewer participation across the media channels.
Commodore of the RORC David Aisher, speaking ahead of the start on 7 August, commented: 'Embracing modern communication tools is vital to the ongoing success of RORC's classic offshore races and it's certainly something we have pursued and will continue to pursue vigorously. By fitting tracking devices to all the yachts competing in the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland we hope to achieve an even greater reach and interaction for audiences around the world.'
The CYCA launched its award winning website, incorporating the Yacht Tracker and a unique standings engine to allow for real time updates of predicted line honours and handicap outcomes, four years ago. The technology, implemented by Sydney interactive media specialists Massive Interactive in partnership with the CYCA, led to the 2003 Rolex Sydney Hobart web site being named Yahoo! Australia and New Zealand Web Site of the Year for that year.
The website has allowed audiences around the world to track every boat in the CYCA's major offshore events, including the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
'We spent thousands of hours developing this technology,' said CYCA Commodore Geoff Lavis. 'Part of the original concept was to create something that could be exported around the world for other yacht clubs to adopt for their offshore events.
'The joining together of the CYCA and RORC using the power of our technology will give those following the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race and Cascais Race and potentially, next year, the Rolex Fastnet, the same benefits enjoyed by the ever expanding international audience which tune into the CYCA's four most significant offshore events online,' Commodore Lavis added.
The satellite units for the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race have been provided by OC Technology, part of the Offshore Challenges Group, in partnership with RORC. The unit is a self-contained, battery-powered, lightweight, tracking device capable of reporting a boat's position, speed and course at predetermined intervals, and is programmable remotely. The device works on battery power alone and is capable of sending over 4,000 position reports on one battery ' the equivalent of every half-hour for 80 days at sea or almost 14 days at 5-minute intervals using the Iridium system.
The CYCA has created the race web site http://sevenstarrbi.cyca.com.au utilising the same design and functionality as the CYCA's four other dedicated race websites. CYCA will be responsible for the management of the website race systems during the race.
The site will feature a chart of Britain and Ireland provided by the UK Hydrographic Office, upon which each competing each yacht will appear with an instrument display showing their heading, boat speed and distance to the finish and race leader as at the time of each report from the satellite unit. Results will show progressive provisional handicap results across all divisions calculated from the satellite devices every hour.
In addition, yachts may be tracked by viewers on Google Earth.
Other features include Breaking News, a Gallery for photos, and the list of yachts entered including specifications and crew lists for each. So far 26 entries have been received for the race, which is open to IRC, IRM, Open 60s and multihulls and is designated as a Category 1 race under ISAF Special Regulations.