Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Big brother is watching

The 2008-09 race will use a state-of-the-art race management tracking system to monitor the progress of the fleet on its 39,000 nautical mile voyage round the globe.

The system, known as Saffire, has been developed by Bluefinger , the maritime division of Cybit , the UK’s leading online telematics service provider. It will be used to track the position, direction and speed of each yacht.

The Saffire system uses the international maritime satellite (INMARSAT) network to give accurate position reports which will be refreshed every 15 minutes to monitor the safety of each yacht and allow accurate race scoring and leadership tables to be maintained.
Saffire will also feed data to the race’s website and 3D viewing platform enabling visitors to to follow the fleet’s progress online.

“The primary reason for the race management system is to ensure the safety of every competitor – if one of the boats stops unexpectedly, we need to know about it immediately,” Andy Hindley, Race Director of the Volvo Ocean Race, said.