Bermuda the chosen venue, so far, has only 17 hotels and potentially challenging infrastructure. However, Bermuda has made a promise to host an event that delivers for sailors, spectators and the armchair watchers relying on technology to deliver the experience.
Touring behind the scenes at the Cup last year visiting Animation Research’s San Francisco base, we got a glimpse of the scale of technology needed off the water to support the worldwide TV audience.
At the New Zealand Oracle User Group Conference late last year, Asim Khan (formerly CIO of Oracle Team USA) talked about the technology, on and off the water, that helped Oracle Team USA achieve the unthinkable in San Francisco.
Khan scotched all the cheating rumours that had been the more palatable choice in New Zealand, when the score line started moving the wrong way. Khan explained the seemingly sudden change of fortunes as coming from a range of actions, many of which date back to the beginning of the series.
According to Khan, as a result of the Oracle team being docked two points and having lost a sailor due to a rules infringement in the America's Cup World Series, they were under increased pressure to make sure there were no further rules violations.
Khan, enjoying having a technical audience, explained how the foil trimming system known as Herbie worked. It has been was well documented in sailing media and was the subject of heating chatroom debate. Despite the conspiracy theories, Herbie was in fact installed on the boat three weeks prior to the start of the regatta.
Summing up the other keys to success beyond ensuring rules were not broken, Khan’s message was that it came from a combination of technology, understanding the sailors better and automating communications, along with a critical clarity of goal.
Next: The crucial differentiator
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