Sunday, August 22, 2010

Internet Mothing - the Bar is Raised

For the past few days I have been mesmerized by the TracTrac link for the Euros. I fire up the computer and while the Java link prompts me to fetch my coffee I eagerly wait while the data is loaded.

The ability to vacariously participate is really cool. What's happening ashore before the RC leaves? Highlight via the selection tab various players and take a look!
By the selection process I can foresee lots of stories to tell with data to back them up. Like when before the gun in race #13 when Amac came screaming down for a dip start:
Or how Chris seemed to consistently nail his starts (here's race #7):
Or when Amac blew over Arnaud at the top mark to beat the whole fleet on the first leg of race #12:
Of course the epic battle between Bora and Nate was the focus of much of my time. The leader line and the distance behind was monitored at each tack, and how in some conditions the speed indicated dropping off the foils for one and executing a fully foiling tack for the other (for example approaching the top mark in race #13 where Nate was 130 meters ahead at 13:19 but after three excruciating slow tacks where his speed dropped below 5 kts each time, Bora needed only two tacks to round and kept foiling the entire time to build a lead of 367 meters.) After this rounding, Bora went on to handlily win the race. These lead changes of 500 meters in just three minutes will be the source of bar tales in years to come.
Now everything wasn't perfect. I suppose the best presentation would be to superimpose the GPS data with a live helicopter feed a la America's Cup coverage. Maybe in Belmont??


Graham Simmonds said...

Hi Joe - the thing you don't mention about the Trac Trac is when people suddenly disappear off the screen - Simon Payne on the second day - left in mid air doing 23.2 knots - spooky! Or when Tim Penfold collides with Geoff Carveth (or vice versa) later that day - apparently he broke off one wing bar and needed stitches underneath his eye. Nasty. I would prefer Mr Clean's film and commentary any day however!

Joe Bousquet said...

Graham you're right, real time commentary would be great. From my perspective in the US, I couldn't understand what happened to Bora near the end of the third beat in race #14. His speed dropped to less than 4 kts as he passed to leeward of Nate, screaming at over 21 knots on the leeward leg. Had Bora broken his boat? Since I didn't know there would be no 15th race, in hindsight it was just one great sailor acknowledging the accomplishment of another. Great sportsmanship!

Maybe we can get Clean in a helicopter!

Joe Bousquet said...

And now I read in Monday morning's Scuttlebutt that Bora was suffering from food poisoning on the last day and that was why he dropped out. Yea, real time commentary would be a huge benefit to those not on the scene...