Bermuda Race, transponders & editors

Iboat track

I suspect I’m not the only guy a little mopy about not being in the huge fleet headed out into the Atlantic toward Bermuda right now. In fact, the usually wonderful iboat tracking system, above, seems to be jammed up right now, I’m guessing with gawkers trying to see who started well. Iboat tracking won a Sail FKP Innovation award last year, and the write up by Deputy Editor Josh Adams is available as a PDF on iboat’s home page. Josh, who is now Sail’s Publisher (oh yes, we writers like that!), is racing on the 65’ Reichel Pugh Zaraffa, while Senior Editor Kimball Livingston is aboard the Open 50 Gryphon Solo, and Roaming Editor Charlie Doane is aboard Avocation, a Swan 48 owned by Offshore Passage Opportunities and chartered by some “Aussie lunatics”. In other words, Sail is covering this race very well. Plus Alex on Finesse is business manager of Sail and PMY, and our blog buddy Eli is racing. Shouldn’t I be meeting these boats in St. George to debrief the electronics?

PS, 6/19: iboat tracking has been working pretty well since Saturday afternoon (though you can see on the full screen that the wind overlay is a mite funky right now). Zaraffa is 1st in class (the biggest class) and 2nd overall—way to go, Josh—and even Finesse is hanging in (though promised e-mails failed to materialize).

Bermuda end

PS, 6/20, 8am: The light air has really shaken up the usual leaders list, and the 4am unofficial leader board is showing a freakin Swan 56 as 1st overall, Josh 2nd, and Doane (w/ “Aussie lunatics”) an astounding 20th. Can’t wait to see who the real winners will be.

PS, 6/22: I fixed the link above to the “real winners” list, and it’s now almost totally complete. As of last night, there are still some boats out there, like Chase, skippered by Ocean Navigator publisher Alex Agnew. Also discovered that Kimball Livingston has put a couple of good posts about his Gryphon Solo race.

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

7 Responses

  1. Bob says:

    Regarding iBoat’s tracking, maybe they will get there probem worked out soon, but the tracking systems I have seen that utilize google maps or google earth work a lot better.

  2. John says:

    It’s still not working for me this morning. Perhaps it’s the number of boats in this race that has bogged things down?
    At any rate, I’ve searched high and low for the above mentioned tracking schemes for Google Earth, but no luck. Bob, could you provide a link?

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    boat tracker is not working for me either, and I think Bob was referring to other races, like the Sidney Hobart. I did see Iboat Bermuda tracking in action late last night, though, and it was terrific. Wish they’d planned for more bandwidth.

  4. Bob says:

    The iBoat seems to working better this morning.
    The first Google Earth tracking I saw was for the Transat Jacques Vabre 2005:
    It’s nice to see the actual tracks and to be able to select individual boats.
    Info on the Sidney Hobart:
    Note, these require local copy of the Google Earth program on one’s mac or pc.

  5. Bob says:

    Also, an example of using google maps is via the winlink system:
    Clock on each position indicator for more information.
    This is for a trip on a friends boat. I crewed on the Port Angeles to San Francisco Leg.

  6. John says:

    iBoat does seem to be working much better now.

  7. Eli says:

    The race was a blast Ben. Our electronics situation was pretty primitive actually, although I tried to get my WSI weather station working. It unfortunatley never worked, despite my hooking it up several weeks before the race on the boat. Our navigator on Bangalore likes to use the Yeoman system, so I didn’t bring any software along, save for installing the WSI software on the captain’s personal laptop. With regards to your post…I had a few drinks with Kimball Livingston on Wednesday night down in Bermuda. We were also berthed right next to Finesse, a boat that I see often while going up and down the St George river. With regards to iBoat tracker, I found that there seemed to be some problems early on with the tracking, but they appeared to work themselves out pretty quickly. The problem I have with the system, besides being dubious of some of the reports (at least during last year’s Halifax race) was that there is no way to judge corrected time. This doesn’t pose too much of a problem for sailors familir with handicapping, however I did receive a bunch of syhpathetic voicemails after the race from friends that thought it was a shame Bella Mente beat us over the line, despite the fact that we hammered them and every other boat in the fleet (save for 9) in the overall corrected standings. It is clear that implementing this might prove really tricky, but I think it would make it a far better product.

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