sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : 34th America's Cup and magic buttons

34th America's Cup and magic buttons

'34th America’s Cup'    Leighton O'Connor ©

Last Wednesday, I was invited to a press conference in New Zealand wrapping up the third day of testing the AC45's. Unfortunately, I had to journey down under via a conference call. The kick off time was 4PM their time - midnight my time. I figured what the heck. Conan is all repeats this week and Letterman has been pretty lame lately.

I was late in getting dialled in because my land-line didn't like the conference call software. I joined the press conference in mid sentence of Principal Race Officer John Craig as he described how protests will be handled, 'Boats will have magic buttons. Skippers can press a button for a black protest flag or a button for a red protest flag . That request goes to the umpire booth, they review it and they will declare if there is a penalty or not and text the offender.' What? It was late but did I hear that right? Magic buttons? Texting a skipper?

America's Cup CEO and the Regatta Director, Iain Murray and Craig took turns answering questions about the weird high tech gadgets on the AC45's. The skippers will have four buttons. Two for protests, one for room to tact and one for new tacks. So if James Spithill wants to protest Terry Hutchinson, he presses a button. The umpires are notified instantly in their cozy booth on land that there is a protest. They would then take a look at the possible protest on one of their many monitors. If they feel the protest is justified, they issue a penalty to the offending boat's black box via a text message making lights blink on and off on the box and the skipper needs to take the penalty. Not only do the umpires get cues from the magic buttons, all the teams get a text about other team's protests and penalties via their own black box with blinking lights.

'The boats can be tracked within two centimeters and are tracked ten times per a second. We are testing the tracking this week to see if it's accurate enough for calling the line over or early' Craig said. Imagine calling the line from a booth on land and not even seeing the boats? Just a little weird. Just in case the umpire's tracking software goes bad, their will be umpires on two jet skies watching the action the old fashion way and reporting back to the land locked umpires.

I chimed in eventually and of course I wanted to know what was on board for cameras. Murray said' 'Their will be four cameras on each boat with live feeds back to the mainland. One camera on the bowsprit, one in front of the wing and cameras on the port and starboard. Also, each crew member will be miked upped and there will be five other mics on each boat. Depending on the number of boats racing, there could be as many as 100 channels of audio and 40 channels of video. Spectators will have more information than the teams during a race but all that information will be available to the teams after the race.' TV testing will start next week in New Zealand.

34th America’s Cup -  Leighton O?nid=83071'Connor ©  

Over the last few years old time America's Cup fans seem to be very dismayed about the switch from monohulls. Until now I have been somewhat on the fence about high tech multihulls racing for the Cup and rather quiet about it. I lost interest in the 33rd after all the legal battles and the venue selection. I covered the last week of matches of the 32nd America's Cup in Valencia in June of 2007. AC32 was raced on what was then very 'high tech' IACC 82-foot monohulls with real mainsails. I don't even think the keels canted. I covered the matches from the sea and air and the action was 'somewhat' exciting but not totally riveting. Except for watching from a helicopter as Team New Zealand ripped through two spinnakers on one leg in a matter of a few minutes. But I wasn't in the cheap seats so the action was more than real and close.

Back then the press wasn't given a lot of access to the boats so I wasn't exposed to the any high tech gadgets they had on board. I saw some wireless tablets, a few cameras on board and saw that the foredeck guy was juiced into Skipper via a headset. But that was about all I saw for space gadgets. Based on what I have read and seen for videos over the last few weeks from the testing in New Zealand...I'm sold on these high tech wired-winged cat boats. These cats look a lot more interesting than what I have seen in the past Cups and look like a lot more fun. And I'm completely on board with the real time media coverage of what could be some very interesting footage. Especially if a boat heads down the mine with the cameras on and the sound cranked up.

I have photographed a lot of the old America's Cup 12 Metre vessels. They are beautiful sleek crafts but I have never had the chance to actually sail on one. If you gave me the choice to sail with Mr. Conner on a classic 12 or with Mr. Spithill on an AC45 at the World Series later this year, I'd be at the dock in a millisecond (with a helmet cam) waiting for James.

I'm looking forward to seeing the sidelines of San Francisco bay filled with thousands of spectators like a drunken NASCAR track. I'm especially looking forward to seeing the live action footage from the AC70's and seeing peoples reaction to the coverage. Let's face it, if we want sailing to be a bigger/more popular sport in the States, we need to kick it up a notch and show a lot more action and maybe a little harmless carnage once and a while. Mr. Ellison has taken a lot of crap for turning the America's Cup upside down but I think he is on the right track and has been right all along. It's all for the good of sailing...magic buttons and all.

34th America’s Cup -  Leighton O?nid=83071'Connor ©  

34th America’s Cup -  Leighton O?nid=83071'Connor ©  

34th America’s Cup -  Leighton O?nid=83071'Connor ©  

34th America’s Cup -  Leighton O?nid=83071'Connor ©  

34th America’s Cup -  Leighton O?nid=83071'Connor ©  


Images supplied by Leighton O'Connor - website




by Leighton O'Connor

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=83071

12:03 PM Mon 2 May 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 America's Cup

Related News Stories:

09 Aug 2014  America's Cup: Former Artemis crew member says danger is being ignored
27 May 2014  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA under stress
23 May 2014  America's Cup: Oracle and Team NZ designers reveal AC72 secrets
22 May 2014  America's Cup: Artemis death verdict 'result of an human act'
10 May 2014  A year after the Artemis incident, the sailors tell of the pain
01 May 2014  America's Cup: Oracle and Team NZ tech insights - Free lecture tonight
16 Apr 2014  America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced
14 Apr 2014  America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess
12 Apr 2014  America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report
10 Apr 2014  America's Cup: Two Kiwis escape hometown action in AC45 rules ruckus
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World





ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Strong competition for RS:X fleets by Olga Maslivets, International RS:X Class Assoc.,


































470 Men and Women Worlds - Game on for Olympic Qualification by 470 International Association Class,












A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,




ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video by Luissa Smith, International 470 Class Association,












ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 4 images from Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Emerging Nations Program sailors shine
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Teasing winds play havoc on day 4
ISAF Sailing World Championships: Hot conditions in Santander on day 4
Santander ISAF Sailing World Championships joins Bart’s Bash
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - Grounded fishing boat creates problems
Marseille One Design - GC32 Armin Strom Sailing Team emerge victorious
Rolex Big Boat Series 2014 - Ready for another 50 years
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 4
2014 Rolex Swan Cup - Eleventh-hour victories
Extreme Sailing Series - Kiwis clinch Act win in Istanbul + Video
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Two long races today for the J70 fleet
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Impressive to sail out of the Golden Gate
Extreme Sailing Series - Istanbul delivers four days of great racing
ISAF Sailing Worlds Santander - Day 3 images by Sail-World.com
Extreme Sailing Series: Emirates Team NZ bounces back for series win
Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds - Light winds and current test six classes
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Solid Day 3 for US Sailing Team
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 3 images by Jesus Renedo
Marseille One Design 2014 - GC32 Armin Strom blitzes final day
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Una Etapa 0 complicada para todos   
Santander 49ers: Olympic Gold Medallist says two into 90 does not go!! *Feature   
GBR aiming for first ever Nacra 17 Games berth at Santander Worlds   
Volvo Ocean Race: Man and sail overboard as Leg 0 serves up drama   
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 – Images by Dan Ibsen   
Santander Worlds – already a spectator success   
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 - Day 3 morning report   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Tales from the extreme   
Volvo Ocean Race: Latest starter wins opening race   
2014 J/70 World Championship - Healy, Abdullah, Becker and Borges win   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Full-blown, once again   
ISAF Worlds - Americans jump up Laser and Laser Radial leaderboard   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 3   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 2 images from Sail-World.com   
America's Cup: Luna Rossa sailing with two foiling AC45's + Video   
Extreme Sailing: Emirates Team NZ retain second overall   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio Olympic Laser spots snapped up   
Rolex Swan Cup - All set for final showdown   
Upper Midwest sailors need help to take it to the next level   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - RS:X action begins in Santander   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT