by Dan Ibsen
Tracking has been used in sailing for quite some years now, and the prime function has been to show the growing audience and fans, what is happening at the race courses around the world. But safety is equally important in order to grow participation further.
Before the start of the Pantaenius Rund Skagen race, all boats are required to demonstrate ability to use their storm sails.
Pantaenius Yacht Insurance Group will this year be supporting two major offshore sailing events in 2014 in the Northern Hemisphere, 'Pantaenius Rund Skagen' and 'Newport Bermuda Race', and those two long distance races are also the hardest offshore regattas in Europe and North America.
Martin Baum, Managing Director for Pantaenius Yacht Insurance Group tells about the projects providing satellite based live tracking service to those major events.
What is the idea behind these projects and sponsorships of satellite based live tracking?
We are a sailing family and have always been involved in yacht racing. Therefore Pantaenius is keen to support events in order to develop and grow. Sailors are enjoying the races on board the boats, but with new technologies it will be possible to make sailing more enjoyable for people at home. Until now we could be away for racing for a week, and we are telling the best stories, when we get home. But now the development in the race can be shared realtime and 'exaggerations' can better be followed by family and friends that stay home.
At the same time sailing has not received the general interest in the public, as it deserves. With many of the new technologies during the past years, not least in the Americas Cup, we will be able to give sailing a much better promotion in the future, and it is good for the events to get the recognition they deserve.
In the 90's more and more yachts where build as pure racing boats with a focus on coastal races and not so much for long distance races, and consequently the numbers of participants for those events declined leaving the older cruiser racer yachts the main participants. This has luckily reversed in the last 10 years, as new and more effective cruiser/racers have entered the yachting scene.
Pantaenius has been supporting the Pantaenius Rund Skagen race for some years, where a growing participation has been achieved, and we are providing live satellite tracking for all the 60 participating boats as support for the event and the sailors. This gives the event more exposure and at the same time strengthens the safety for the sailors during the race.
Does this mean that there is tracking continuously and every minute during the whole regattas?
The satellite based Live Tracking Service provided by Yellowbrick makes it able to follow the race every minute, if you wish. You can ask for a sequence for example every hour or half hour, but in emergency situations it can be every second. It is a question of battery life.
All participating boats in Pantaenius Rund Skagen and Newport Bermuda Race will have satellite based tracking. We have supported the development of the technology, earlier only via GSM, but with companies like Yellowbrick it has now also become possible to develop tracking for the longer distance races.
Is this something which could be standard for longer distance races in the future?
Absolutely. It of course depends on sponsors, otherwise it could be difficult for the organizers to manage this within their budgets. On the other hand tracking is a platform the organizers have to provide, and it supports the event in three levels: the sponsors, safety and attraction for the event.
Is Pantaenius sponsoring other offshore events around the world now, or in the future?
Not at the moment, but we are constantly reviewing our involvement. For example Pantaenius would love to be involved in the Sydney Hobart Race in the future, as well as cross Atlantic races like ARC. RORC is also thinking of additional crossings of the Atlantic.
There are a few more rallies around the world which could have our interest. Not necessarily with tracking, but we are supporting rallies on certain stations helping the crews having the right paperwork in place for the immigrations offices and to give free policy check to yacht owners.
We have become a partner to the Newport Bermuda Race the first time this year. It is a historical and important yacht race, and we are proud to be linked to the Cruising Club of America, who normally not are involving with too many sponsors, and they appreciate that it is not only a sponsorship but also a help to improve the safety for the sailors.
As a family owned business, always eager to pass the passion for yachting on to the younger generations, Pantaenius are proud to take part in this year’s edition of the Newport Bermuda Race.
Race Tracking – Pantaenius Rund Skagen at first hand
On Whit Monday June 9th 2014, following up on the 'Nordseewoche', the starting signal for the legendary Pantaenius Rund Skagen will be fired. Its a tough race, with the reputation as one of Europe’s hardest offshore regattas.
510 nautical miles, spread out over three different estuaries, separate the start at Helgoland from the port of destination Kiel, and taking the boats around the most northern point of Denmark, the famous Skagen.
The space on Helgoland is limited, since the island is quite small. This is part of the unique attraction of this sailing event, people just happen to bump into each other several times. 'The Nordseewoche' is a mixture of party and racing, and is one of the major yacht racing events in Germany, hosting the only German offshore race series as well as opportunities for less experienced crews.
Visit: Pantaenius Rund Skagen or download the Yellowbrick App onto your Smartphone or Tablet.
Newport Bermuda Race - On course with Pantaenius Race Tracking
On the other side of the Atlantic, on June 30, Newport, Rhode Island will be the host for more than 200 seaworthy yachts and ambitious crews that are about to experience what some people call the Mount Everest of Offshore Racing. When the cannon blasts at ten minutes past noon and the Newport Bermuda Race begins, thousands of spectators, families, friends and sailing enthusiasts fill up the air with a crackling of excitement.
Newport Bermuda Race means 635 nautical miles of pure adrenaline across one of the most challenging stretches of the Atlantic Ocean. Completing the Newport Bermuda Race therefore definitely belongs to the high arts of sailing and is considered to be a feather in any sailor’s cap while winning the competition would equal a dream come true. The Newport Bermuda Race is also a family event. Many compete as a 'rite of passage,' having sailed the course with their fathers and are now reliving the experience with their sons and daughters on board.
Visit: Pantaenius Newport Bermuda Race 2014 Live Tracking or simply download the Yellowbrick App onto your Smartphone or Tablet.