AUGUST 15, 2011, PORTLAND, Dorset - Cutting edge satellite technology will help journalists follow the 2012 Olympic sailing.
Organisers have this week been testing Global Positioning Satellite system similar to that used at the America’s Cup . Developed by sponsors
Omega , the tiny water- tight boxes relay positions to a start boat and
from there to an onshore receiver at the National Sailing Academy. From
here, live 3D computer generated images will be available in the venue press centre.
It will also be used in the television coverage offered by the Olympic Broadcasting Service at the Games.
sheer number of boats involved has created a few difficulties for the
scientists. They will continue testing with much larger fields at the
world sailing championships this December in Perth.
‘We still have some technology problems but they are covering a huge
area of racing and we are getting there.’ said International Sailing
Federation technical delegate Alastair Fox.
this time next year, organisers hope the only issue will be what to
call the system. The Olympics are renowned for the alphabet soup of
abbreviations, so expect a three letter moniker to describe the GPS.
expect most interest for the medal races, designed to ensure that
interest is maintained in racing up until the very last moment.
the test event, reigning Olympic champion Ben Ainslie maintained his
domination in the Finns on his home water. He goes for his fourth
Olympic gold next year. Australia’s Tom Slingsby continued his successful
run at Weymouth and Portland in the men’s Laser and demonstrated why he
was World sailor of the year for 2010.
High speed media boats
For media wishing to get closer to the action, high speed boats will take up to 70 photographers onto the water each day. Three
larger launches will accommodate the written press. Providing the
conditions allow, 60 writers could take to the water each day.
The seas can be bumpy and the media are warned of the danger of seasickness.
The launches will follow racing in the ten Olympic classes according to demand, and those interested in a specific races will be grouped together . Launches will be as flexible as possible in returning to shore.
Some of the racing passes right in front of the Nothe, a fort where spectators will watch the action during the Games.
venue press centre will be in a temporary structure on the Weymouth and
Portland Sailing Academy complex. It will be much bigger than that used
at the test event, with space for 185, and an overflow area in the media conference room.
to keep everyone interested the venue also has its own sea monster. The
Veasta is reputed to be four metres tall with the torso of a fish and
the upper body of a crested sea horse and locals claim recent sightings.