Friday 22 May 2020

Where is everyone? SailEvent and GPS Tracking

Traditionally human vision has been the only way to know where sailors are when on the water. But now we can improve on that with GPS tracking.

Tracking is ubiquitous. You can track your pets and your parents, your car and your bike and your luggage. You can watch your loved one coming home from work and your delivery on its way from the warehouse. Major sailing events also use tracking and SailEvent now makes this tech available to every club and sailor as its eLocate feature.

What SailEvent does not attempt to do is present second-by-second updates or show tracks taken. Instead eLocate records competitors' most recently reported GPS position.  These are plotted on a map of your sailing area in the club and race team apps. Race officers not only get an overview of where the fleet is but can also check the location of individual competitors.

The latter is really useful when tracking down anyone hasn’t eTallied ashore. For instance this person has simply forgotten and is on his way home!

But it would be a different story if he was shown in the middle of the bay or lake, or on the far shore. Further investigation would be advisable.

Competitor locations are also available anonymously on a public viewer so spectators can follow the action.

How does this all happen?

Clubs don’t have to do anything! It's built in to the SailEvent service and the strategy is to let sailors opt in to use it if they want to. They provide their own tracking device as either a mobile phone for free or by investing in a dedicated tracker. Device options and configuration are on the sailor fact sheet page.

“The members won’t like it”

It’s new, it’s unexpected, it’s a bit geekish, it requires effort so there will be resistance from some. But that doesn’t mean that technophiles can’t give it a go.
GPS tracking is not going to go away; it can’t be uninvented. That’s why SailEvent offers sailors the opportunity to make this small addition to their safety portfolio if they choose.

In this post we’ve shown that GPS tracking in the context of a sailing event is now available to those who want to take advantage of it. This is a new and developing subject and we look forward to working with the sailing community to maximise the effectiveness of this useful technology.

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