Race course problems in China? Call Pyacht!
I’ve never met Rob Emmet, founder of Pyacht.com, but have come to think of him as quite the can-do gear guy. Apparently the ISAF (International Sailing Federation) Race Management Team thinks so too. Above, and bigger here
, is the innovative mark management system that Pyacht developed for a certain major sail racing event—with five tight courses sometimes in use simultaneously—that will take place this August in Qingdao, China (Pyacht is not supposed to use the O name promotionally, so I won’t use it either). Whereas Emmet “couldn’t see the Chinese allowing us to use the 900 MHz band to stream NMEA data from the marks,” he settled on VHF DSC. Thus all those Standard Horizon HX-850S handhelds will live in special pouches on the marks, where their GPS position can be polled by those Icom IC-M604 fixed VHFs that will be installed on the committee/signal boats. Then each committee boat, plus the Principal Race Officer and the Media Center (and “Chinese Officials”) all get copies of Nobeltec VNS Max Pro so they can monitor the course layouts. Of course putting all that gear together with proper cabling, battery charging systems, etc. and getting it all approved by the ISAF and Chinese government was pretty complicated. Emmet lays out the whole story well at the Pyacht blog. Even if you don’t give a fig about racing sailboats this is an interesting example of how the new GPS/DSC handheld VHFs can be used to track tenders or whatever. Tip of the propeller beanie to Pyacht! (Which, by the way, sends out an occasional newsletter, where I learned about this project.)