Sailors taking part in this year’s Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Auckland to Musket Cove Ocean Race can look forward to a new level of security with tracking specialists TracPlus Global, RUSH digital and Satamatics coming onboard for the event.
The event involves a fleet of 23 high-tech racing yachts pounding their way through around 2,000kms of open sea between Auckland and Fiji’s Musket Cove, and TracPlus Global CEO Chris Hinch says keeping close tabs on their progress is a challenge tailor-made for their systems.
'With the majority of yachts carrying portable units to be tracking almost an entire racing fleet in real time is a New Zealand first,' he says.
'Conditions could range from millpond to mountainous whitecaps so we want to make sure our systems keep tabs on these yachts and their crews no matter what conditions they face.
'Knowing where they are at any given time and being able to share that information easily with race organizers and rescue authorities will add hugely to the safety margins and peace of mind.
Anyone who wants to will be able to go on line via the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s website and watch the progress of the yachts during the race, which is expected to last between five and eight days, depending on the weather.
'This easy access to tracking information means family members, supporters and casual armchair sports fans can log-in anytime and see what the yachts are doing in real time. They can go along for the ride without getting wet,' says Hinch.
The site will provide a snail trail of each yacht’s course and provide daily markers of their progress. It will also provide information such as average daily speed, average overall speed and estimated time of arrival.
'Our job won’t finish at the end of the race – we want to follow them home safely too,' says Hinch.
'We will also provide tracking for the yachts on their return journey when they will not have full race crews onboard
'If anything goes wrong, during the race or on the way home, our system combined with the satamatics hardware allows us to quickly put our tracking information onto the screens of rescue groups.'
TracPlus is an innovative system that provides global tracking of assets in all transport environments, be it aviation, maritime or land – all within a single system.
One of its key points of difference is the way it is able to seamlessly integrate a wide-range of different tracking hardware, communications networks and software packages, giving operators, agencies and authorities alike a clear view of the ‘big picture’.
Each racing boat in the race will be fitted with a Satamatics global position satellite terminal which will send positioning information every 15 minutes, via satellite to TracPlus Global. Australian action media company RUSH Digital will provide the analysis and put the package on the Internet for everyone.
The Auckland to Musket Cove Ocean Race is organized by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. The race starts from Auckland’s Viaduct at mid-day on Saturday 31st May with yachts expected to arrive in Fiji from Saturday, 7th June. Ongoing reports and tracking of the yachts will be available on the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s website (www.rnzys.org.nz
) from 31st May.
The current race record is four days and eight hours held by 65ft Davidson racing yacht, Antaeus. With a larger fleet of high tech racing yachts competing and subject to favourable weather conditions it is likely this record will be broken.
TracPlus is used in twelve countries as well as Antarctica, and is used by St John Ambulance Emergency Coordination Centres (ECC), Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand (RCCNZ), New York Air National Guard and Coastguard New Zealand.
RUSH is the internationally acclaimed action media group responsible for some of the world's most compelling, dynamic and interactive projects. We create compelling media productions, build global brands and commercialise high-risk high-speed projects.
Satamatics' worldwide telematics services, provide the critical enabling technology for fleet management, asset tracking and tracing, controlling and monitoring remote sites, security applications and personnel safety. Headquartered in the UK, Satamatics works with Application Service Providers around the world to develop and deploy end-to-end service solutions across the world's ocean regions and landmasses.