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Thread: Tracking the race ? Discussion ?

  1. #1
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    Default Tracking the race ? Discussion ?

    Hi,

    I had heard a rumor that a box might be added to allow tracking of the entrants. Does someone have a status update ? Also, the trackers owned by the club, do they still work and would they work at least for part of the distance ?

    Regards,

    Brian Boschma

  2. #2
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    Hi all, I have been contacting all skippers and have not got ahold of everyone, so here is the scoop. All boats on the start line will have Yellowbrick trackers aboard. The trackers we own will not work for a Hawaii race, and the last thing we need, with a big fleet and everyone watching so closely, is for a racer to go silent. Unfortunately, when I worked up the budget for the race (and lowered the entry fee), it didn't include trackers. Most of you probably don't know that the Singlehanded TransPac is financially separate from the SSS. Entry and sponsor fees have always supported the entire race. The trackers we're getting are $300 per boat and I'm asking the skippers to pick that up. I've had three very generous skippers who are so pro-tracker that they've offered to, between them, cover any shortfall from skippers who couldn't (or wouldn't) pay for the trackers, but I don't think it's fair to put the onus on these generous folks.

    Please go to www.yellowbrick-tracking.com to check out exactly what these things will be doing for us. It's a pretty awesome service. They'll be doing all of the web work for the online tracking page, so we won't have to have volunteers staying up all hours collating all the check-in data. Please note that check-in via SSB or sat phone will still be required.

    We all know change is in the wind in regards to the Coast Guard's approval of ocean events. Being proactive to get these trackers will help them feel more comfortable in approving our permit, plus it has the added bonus of allowing friends and family to track the fleet more easily. Our group has always had a really good relationship with the Coast Guard because we've had good communication with them, and having trackers in our comm plan will go a long way to making them feel comfortable.

    If you have any questions or concerns that you'd like to discuss with me privately, give me a call at 503-490-3305.

  3. #3
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    Default Trackers and impact on on the water tactics.

    Hello All,

    I have a few concerns about tracker data availability on deck. In my mind it is a huge advantage to have near real time data of your competitions moves. For those with satellite service they potentially have this visibility, at great expense. This advantage will not be available to all, or at least not this boat. A 24 hour update has been the norm, or possibly a 12 hour update. Unless the rules already state this, I would like to propose that access to vessel position data by competitors be limited to the period at check in time. If this is not acceptable than I would like to propose that tracker data will not be publicly available via the internet. Simply that the skipper of the each vessel can allow access to a list of email addresses, the USCG, and the RC. No other public users would have access to the data. The RC should publish a public update once or at most twice per day.

    With regards to cost and safety: Cost - the trackers are cool and add to the public impression of the race, however the cost is prohibitive. For me it means bailing on the use of a Sat Phone as it is about the same cost.

    Safety: This is getting out of hand. The layers of redundancy are adding more and more expense and are not necessary. The USCG has stated in every recent meeting , pre and post LSC disaster, that the EPIRB is the correct device. The combination of EPRIB and PLB enhances the picture further. Now we are adding yet another layer of safety at the price of more than a PLB. What action will the USCG take when a tracker fails ? None. They will wait for EPIRB confirmation of a real problem.

    Please consider this and amend the rules accordingly.

    Regards,

    Brian Boschma
    s/v redsky


    Quote Originally Posted by robtryon View Post
    Hi all, I have been contacting all skippers and have not got ahold of everyone, so here is the scoop. All boats on the start line will have Yellowbrick trackers aboard. The trackers we own will not work for a Hawaii race, and the last thing we need, with a big fleet and everyone watching so closely, is for a racer to go silent. Unfortunately, when I worked up the budget for the race (and lowered the entry fee), it didn't include trackers. Most of you probably don't know that the Singlehanded TransPac is financially separate from the SSS. Entry and sponsor fees have always supported the entire race. The trackers we're getting are $300 per boat and I'm asking the skippers to pick that up. I've had three very generous skippers who are so pro-tracker that they've offered to, between them, cover any shortfall from skippers who couldn't (or wouldn't) pay for the trackers, but I don't think it's fair to put the onus on these generous folks.

    Please go to www.yellowbrick-tracking.com to check out exactly what these things will be doing for us. It's a pretty awesome service. They'll be doing all of the web work for the online tracking page, so we won't have to have volunteers staying up all hours collating all the check-in data. Please note that check-in via SSB or sat phone will still be required.

    We all know change is in the wind in regards to the Coast Guard's approval of ocean events. Being proactive to get these trackers will help them feel more comfortable in approving our permit, plus it has the added bonus of allowing friends and family to track the fleet more easily. Our group has always had a really good relationship with the Coast Guard because we've had good communication with them, and having trackers in our comm plan will go a long way to making them feel comfortable.

    If you have any questions or concerns that you'd like to discuss with me privately, give me a call at 503-490-3305.

  4. #4
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    Hello All,

    Another acceptable solution, without impact on the RC, is to allow skippers to turn trackers off at will. Please add this to the rules amendments.

    Regards,

    Brian

    Quote Originally Posted by brianb View Post
    Hello All,

    I have a few concerns about tracker data availability on deck. In my mind it is a huge advantage to have near real time data of your competitions moves. For those with satellite service they potentially have this visibility, at great expense. This advantage will not be available to all, or at least not this boat. A 24 hour update has been the norm, or possibly a 12 hour update. Unless the rules already state this, I would like to propose that access to vessel position data by competitors be limited to the period at check in time. If this is not acceptable than I would like to propose that tracker data will not be publicly available via the internet. Simply that the skipper of the each vessel can allow access to a list of email addresses, the USCG, and the RC. No other public users would have access to the data. The RC should publish a public update once or at most twice per day.

    With regards to cost and safety: Cost - the trackers are cool and add to the public impression of the race, however the cost is prohibitive. For me it means bailing on the use of a Sat Phone as it is about the same cost.

    Safety: This is getting out of hand. The layers of redundancy are adding more and more expense and are not necessary. The USCG has stated in every recent meeting , pre and post LSC disaster, that the EPIRB is the correct device. The combination of EPRIB and PLB enhances the picture further. Now we are adding yet another layer of safety at the price of more than a PLB. What action will the USCG take when a tracker fails ? None. They will wait for EPIRB confirmation of a real problem.

    Please consider this and amend the rules accordingly.

    Regards,

    Brian Boschma
    s/v redsky

  5. #5
    pogen's Avatar
    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    Default

    Feedback to members of the Fleet from tracker data appears to be forbidden by the NOR and Race Rules. Plus, it appears that as long as you make your position reports via email, the Fleet will not even be able to guess where you are at all.

    I know though that in a number of races (like the Puerto Vallarta race) where these same restrictions are in place, competitors get tracker data from the race website, and even admit to it on video.

    If a number of boats are going the Satphone-only route, will be Committee be sending back the daily positions of all the boats? Or if you want to know the locations of your competition, you must have an SSB and be listening in during check-in? I guess a small SSB receiver would do the trick for that.

  6. #6
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    Hi,

    I re read rrc 6.02 and the Outside Assistance Section. I see nothing that limits referencing position data at any time. Thus making it possible to get position at the frequency of the satellite update. The limit is on the type of info, not on frequency.

    Maybe the rule should be tightened up to only allow access to pos. Data at time of check in ?


    Quote Originally Posted by pogen View Post
    Feedback to members of the Fleet from tracker data appears to be forbidden by the NOR and Race Rules. Plus, it appears that as long as you make your position reports via email, the Fleet will not even be able to guess where you are at all.

    I know though that in a number of races (like the Puerto Vallarta race) where these same restrictions are in place, competitors get tracker data from the race website, and even admit to it on video.

    If a number of boats are going the Satphone-only route, will be Committee be sending back the daily positions of all the boats? Or if you want to know the locations of your competition, you must have an SSB and be listening in during check-in? I guess a small SSB receiver would do the trick for that.

  7. #7
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    Brianb, I had a lot of your same concerns and brought them up to Rob, as I'm sure others have done as well. I also mentioned doing something like Transpac last year and having all of the yellow brick trackers on a 6 hour delay online, until the first boat finishes, then it goes to real time. That would alleviate any tactical advantage to try to follow things online.

    The consensus of the conversation is that it would be expressly prohibited to either check the online tracker positions or receive any info from family or friends, in regards to the tracker positions. This would be considered outside assistance and is strictly prohibited. The only position updates available to all skippers are the email position reports and listening on the ssb.

    My vote was to just have tracker positions be available online, in real time, to make it exciting for people to follow the race. It's a Corinthian sailboat race. Helpfully no one will cheat and break the rules. Furthermore, it's a solo race. None of us have the time to sit at a nav statin and surf the web all day. Thats reserved for navigators on high dollar big boat programs.

  8. #8
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    Hi Ronnie,

    The rules should explicitly call out the limit on competitors reviewing the position data. My reading seems to indicate this is not explicitly excluded. Since there is no statement in the rules about trackers I am going to assume that we can operate in stealth mode at will. As far as time to review positions, one could easily create a script that would access position data hourly and display on a PC screen in autonomous fashion, taking no time to manage.

    I don't know , but is there a means to petition the RC for proposed rule changes ?

    Thanks,

    Brian

    Quote Originally Posted by ronnie simpson View Post
    Brianb, I had a lot of your same concerns and brought them up to Rob, as I'm sure others have done as well. I also mentioned doing something like Transpac last year and having all of the yellow brick trackers on a 6 hour delay online, until the first boat finishes, then it goes to real time. That would alleviate any tactical advantage to try to follow things online.

    The consensus of the conversation is that it would be expressly prohibited to either check the online tracker positions or receive any info from family or friends, in regards to the tracker positions. This would be considered outside assistance and is strictly prohibited. The only position updates available to all skippers are the email position reports and listening on the ssb.

    My vote was to just have tracker positions be available online, in real time, to make it exciting for people to follow the race. It's a Corinthian sailboat race. Helpfully no one will cheat and break the rules. Furthermore, it's a solo race. None of us have the time to sit at a nav statin and surf the web all day. Thats reserved for navigators on high dollar big boat programs.

  9. #9
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    when we are all at the Corinthian Yacht Club the day before the race, there will be a sit-down meeting with the RC and every skipper that is 100% mandatory. Rob Tryon's biggest priority, besides safety, is the Corinthian spirit: no one should cheat and no one should have to protest at the end. Rob has until just before the race to amend the SI's. When those SI's were written, Yellowbrick trackers weren't part of the equation. Now they are, so I would fully expect Rob to address the issue very thoroughly. No need to petition the RC for a rule change. Rob reads this forum, so i'm guessing your petition was just filed.

    As far as the stealth mode thing is concerned, I don't think that it will be an issue (I had the same concerns and was vocal about it. To be honest, I was originally very highly opposed to the idea of trackers because I didn't want to lose the ability to go into stealth mode for a bit.) With a firm rule that NO SKIPPER is allowed to access the position reports via the web, then no skipper will have access to yellowbrick data. so in regards to the other competitors, you'll be in stealth mode the whole time until you decide to check in again or send an email.

  10. #10
    pogen's Avatar
    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianb View Post
    Hi,

    I re read rrc 6.02 and the Outside Assistance Section. I see nothing that limits referencing position data at any time.
    11.02 During the Race, no yacht may receive private or publicly available internet-distributed information
    regarding weather, currents, course routing or other tactical advice, with the following specific
    exceptions:
    [a] Receipt of publicly available radio weather broadcasts
    [b] Diagrams commonly referred to as “weatherfax” generated by the U.S. National
    Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, or corresponding agencies of other
    countries.
    [c] Communication on open radio channels [without encryption] with other competitors, which
    may consist of information such as current position, weather and sea conditions.
    [d] Solicitation and receipt of information solely about the repair of any equipment on board,
    but not including routing advice.
    [e] Weather data commonly referred to as GRIB files, derived from weather models operated
    by the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [f] The information about each yacht listed in RRC Rule 6.02 (but no other competitor data).


    Competitor track and position data are "other tactical advice" and thus forbidden.

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