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Sailing better with analytics

Nurdianah Md Nur | Feb. 6, 2015
SAP provides sailors competing at the Extreme Sailing Series with post-race insights to enable them to optimise their strategy for the future races.

Singapore skyscrapers may also reflect signals, causing SAP systems to receive the same information twice, added Lacher.  The systems must thus avoid recording and computing such duplications to ensure that the analysis provided to the teams are as accurate as possible.   

Fans and race committee benefit from tech tools used in ESS too
Besides sailors, SAP tools benefit ESS' race committee and fans too.

With the Race Committee app, ESS' race management team are able to schedule races, communicate at the start and end of races, register start violations, and update the status of each race from a mobile device. This is particularly important considering the demanding rhythm created by the 8 x 15 minutes race a day format.

Meanwhile, spectators and fans can decipher exactly what is happening on the water during a race through the use of the live leaderboards and 3D visualisations on ESS' website. These tools are similar to that offered to sailors. Infographics derived from race data and results will also be shared on ESS' social media platforms to engage with fans and enable new fans to better understand the sport.

Future developments
To allow sailors to be more competitive, SAP plans to add sensors or tech tools to measure the heeling angle of the catamarans during races in future, said Lacher. In sailing, heeling occurs when a boat leans or tips under the influence of the wind on sails. By having information on heeling angles and correlating it to other data, sailors will be able to better understand how to use heeling to achieve optimal speed or best manoeuvre a course, he claimed.

SAP boat heeling 
Catamaran heeling. Credit: SAP

Lacher added that there might be a possibility that SAP will use data from wearables — such as pulse rates and stress levels — to help optimise sailors' performance in future.

Singapore will host the first Act of this year's Extreme Sailing Series. It will be held at the Promontory at Marina Bay this weekend (6-8 February 2015). 


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