Fast data to boost SailGP's second season
Australia's defence of the Sail GP global league title will be different thanks to the mind-boggling amounts of data available to help both the crews and viewers.
Starting with the opener of the pandemic-delayed season on April 24-25 in Bermuda, SailGP will use Oracle Stream Analytics to provide real-time race metrics as the foiling, wing-sailed catamarans representing eight countries skim above the waves at close to freeway speeds.
SailGP includes Tom Slingsby's Australiam outfit as well as teams from the United States, Britain, France, New Zealand, Denmark, Spain and Japan.
Each of the 50-foot catamarans will send 30,000 data points per second to the Oracle Cloud. Oracle Stream Analytics will blend and transform disparate data into one stream, down from the 10 streams SailGP shared in its first season in 2019.
That will allow teams to customise their data dashboards with relevant tactical information, including open-source data from rival teams, and determine in-race strategies in an instant.
The technology is also expected to help TV viewers better understand what can be a confusing sport.
"It's absolutely massive," said Sail GP CEO Russell Coutts, a five-time America's Cup winner who along with Oracle bllionaire Larry Ellison cofounded the competition. "The young people today are growing up with this."
Because all the teams' data is centralised, "It's not only used as tool for the sailors to analyse why there's a difference in performance between boats, it can also be used for the fans watching it to get a much better understanding about why Great Britain's sailing faster than the French, for example, in perfectly identical boats," Coutts said.
Coutts said each SailGP catamaran will have 800 sensors that will provide the 30,000 data points. The wingsails alone will have at least 10,000 data points. Other data points will be in the foils, rudder and any other part of the boat that moves or has a load on it.
People will even be able to know how many times each button in each control system has been pushed.
SailGP will no longer have to ship servers to each regatta around the world. The new system will allow for remote operations in broadcasting, umpiring and race management, saving significant money and cutting down on the carbon footprint by not having to fly people from regatta to regatta.
The broadcast will be produced remotely from London. For the opening regatta, umpires will work from London, but after that will be able to work from their homes around the world, giving sailors instant feedback on whether they've drawn a penalty.
Coutts said regatta director Iain Murray will be able to work from his home in Australia.
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