Tuesday, 5 April 2011

America's Cup: Sailing Anarchy Innerview with Stan Honey, Navigating a Car to Chicago Airport!

Not the most conventional of interview locations, but it works well!!!

Follow this link for a Sailing Anarchy Innerview with Stan Honey, Volvo Ocean Race winning navigator 2005-6, Groupama Jules Verne Trophy 2010, and now America's Cup Event Authority Technical Director.

Talking about his America's Cup role, Stan explains one of the differences with Ian Taylor's Virtual Eye; for the AC World Series the virtual data information will be superimposed on live helicopter images, rather than rendering. Therefore, it will be possible to see if the kite goes in the water to slow the boat down, rather than wondering why one boat is going slow.

A blimp was tested at the 1851 Cup, and may be used in the 34th America's Cup, but a high definition camera on a chopper has been found to be the cheapest and most efficient method.

In terms of tracking, Stan points out that the cell phone network is not really designed to track a lot of boats on a race course; a dedicated band would improve the data issues. Using the cell network for tracking is very cheap. By contrast, there are few people (e.g. military, researchers) who need the 2cm accuracy of RTK d-GPS (real-time kinematic differential Global Positioning System), and the cost of this remains high.

Eight cameras and over fifteen microphones (on the sailors and on deck) will be on board on the AC72s. Overview from the helicopter images will then be able to be linked in to the decisions made on board the boat, by going direct to the boat to hear the discussion on board.

There is need to develop the sailors' personalities; to let the sailors be honest and say how they are feeling, rather than just go through a religious list of thanks to the crew, the onshore team, the race organisers, the fans, etc.

Having a cameraman embedded within the crew, and able to act like a director, to tell the story of what's going on onboard, will work extremely well.

America's Cup