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Leaderboard FD July August September 2023

One Instrument, Any Class

by Vakaros 11 Oct 2022 07:00 PDT
Racing with the Atlas 2 © Douglas Wake/Vakaros.

One instrument. Every class?

For sailors who race in classes with rules that restrict the permitted capabilities of instruments, this may sound impossible.

Do you race in a class like the ILCA that permits only a compass and a timer? That's one instrument. Need to add shift tracking to sail a Dragon or Thistle? That's a different instrument. Starting features for sailing a J/70? Wind? Speed-through-water and depth? Keep adding to your collection. Want to record data while training so that you can learn and improve? A single function compass can't do that either.

Instruments are expensive: we know that, and we also know that having to own multiple devices with significant overlap between them is frustrating.

So, how can we get away from the limitations of single-purpose instruments without changing the character of racing in classes with rules limitations? At Vakaros, we've been thinking about this a lot, and we're thrilled to introduce Class Compliance for the Atlas 2!

Class compliance enables sailors to apply feature restrictions to their Atlas 2 so that it complies with the rules of their class. If you're sailing a Melges 15 where distance-to-line isn't permitted, create a profile with distance-to-line disabled. While racing an RS Aero or ILCA, lock down your Atlas 2 to show just a compass and timer, while leaving data logging enabled so you'll have a full session to analyze when you get back to the dock.

Creating a class compliant profile takes just a few minutes within Vakaros Connect- select the class, check the rule compliance box, and only the features permitted by that class rule will be enabled. The best part? When training or sailing in a different class, the full capabilities of the instrument can be unlocked by simply switching to a different profile.

How do we know that sailors won't use this as an opportunity to cheat?

Our answer to this comes in two parts. First, sailing is built on a long and proud honor code tradition. From voluntarily taking penalty turns after committing a foul to aiding a competitor in distress, sailors know that how you compete is as important as whether you win or lose, and this carries through to every aspect of our sport.

That said, we know the "carbon practice rudder" crowd is out there, so we've also built a verification capability into the class compliance feature. Simply download the data log for the session to see a time-stamped record of what features were enabled. This log cannot be edited or altered by the user, allowing a race officer or class measurer an easy way to verify the rule compliance of an Atlas 2 when required.

As with any change to your boat, we always recommend checking with your class measurer prior to racing. If they have questions about how the class compliance feature works, please put them in touch with us and we'll be happy to walk them through the details. Don't see your class on the list in Vakaros Connect? Let us know and we'll add it for you.

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