As technology provider for the Kieler Woche 2011 and Sailing Team Germany, SAP is showing its customers that the benefits of real time data analysis are independent of whether a business operates on land or on water.
Like businesses, sailors need the latest information to make strategic decisions – but they need it even faster. One wrong tack, a false estimation of the current, or the slightest wind shift can cost the skipper the entire race. As premium sponsor of the Kieler Woche 2011, and co-sponsor of Sailing Team Germany (STG), SAP is showing how innovative IT solutions providing real time data analysis can give teams the competitive edge.
Multimedia Sailing Experience Puts Spectators in the Cockpit
Watching a sailing race has often been compared to watching grass grow. At the Kieler Woche 2011, the world’s largest sailing regatta, held June 18-26 off the shores of Kiel, Germany, SAP will show how software can help improve the live experience for the spectators of sailing races and also provide teams with greater insight into sailing tactics in order to make strategic decisions for performance optimization and improvement.
Following sailing competitions is more complex than with other racing disciplines because skippers often take tactical decisions based on wind, current, and position that take the boats far afield from each other. Clarity about who is ahead, gaining, or losing ground usually comes only at the rounding of the racing buoys or at the finish line. SAP will deliver the technology to support real-time tracking of the boat locations with respect to each other and the race buoys, enabling determination of which boat is ahead at any time.
To achieve this, a majority of the boats will be outfitted with GPS transmitters that broadcast their position every 1.8 seconds, enabling real time determination of their direction and speed. Because changes in wind direction directly influence the relative position of the boats, data about wind direction and strength will also be collected from motorboats positioned at fixed locations around the race course.
Live analysis of the data will enable a three-dimensional visualization of the position of the boats to be presented in real time, making possible live reporting of the event in the Internet and on television. The 3D tracking in combination with cameras, plus the analytics data will provide sailing fans on land and on the water greater insight and a new way to experience the racing action.
According to Stefan Lacher, head of technology for the SAP Sailing Program, “the data evaluation software is based for the most part on standard solutions and technology from SAP, which has been adapted specifically for competitive sailing.” Data collected from the regattas will for example be analyzed after the races with the help of SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence solutions.
At the end of each racing day, sailors, coaches and spectators will be able to access a series of interactive dashboards and reports to assess how each team performed at any stage of any race. This Race Analysis Suite will enable the sailors to evaluate and optimize their strategy for the next race. “Those who want to win have to do a few things better than the rest,” says STG Academy director Marcus Baur. “And SAP provides us with just the solutions we need to perform better every time.”