IT Innovation | September 12, 2019

SailGP: The Sport of Sailing Is Ready for Takeoff with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

By: Guest Author


By Wendy Leslie, Global Cloud Customer Success at Oracle

SailGP is a new global sports league redefining the sport of sailing. Designed to excite and engage sailing racers and fans in ways not seen before, SailGP uses cutting-edge technology to put fans at the center of the sport. 

Pitting rival nations against each other, sailing events take place each year in five of the world’s most iconic harbors, culminating in a $1 million winner-take-all race between the top two teams.

Redefining Sailing
League organizers started by reinventing the boat, an effort that was 10 years in the making. Racing teams from each country command identically built F50 catamarans that leverage the latest innovations in sailing technology, from under-craft hydrofoils to battery-powered systems for controlling the boat’s mechanics. The F50s literally fly above the water at dizzying speeds that can reach up to 50 knots, or 60 miles per hour. 
Tech-Fueled Sailing

Technology lies at the heart of SailGP. As races are run, more than a thousand onboard sensors as well as multiple cameras and microphones—transmit real-time data over Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to racers, event announcers, umpires, and fans. Announcers use the data and multimedia feeds to add a colorful new dimension to their commentary, wowing fans with on-boat, live-action reports, and insights. 

Each boat and crew member is monitored in real-time with 1,200 data points of sensor data being streamed during each race back to the SailGP base onshore. Approximately 20 MB of information-rich data is streamed from each boat during a race and stored locally before being streamed by Oracle GoldenGate technology into the Cloud for further analysis and distribution around the globe. The data is available for everyone to access from Oracle’s public cloud. SailGP.com is hosted using Oracle Cloud and all DNS requests are resolved using Oracle Dyn.

“The ability to go sailing is always going to be there, and to have the natural tendencies of each sailor to think ‘Oh, this feels good, and this is fast.’ I think that’s always going to be part of sailing. As we get better and better and the technology improves, sailing is going to become more about numbers and how the boats are performing.”  
 –Hans Henken, Grinder, Team USA

Harnessing the Cloud
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provides the data management backbone for the tech-powered racing series. Data from the sensors, cameras, and microphones are uploaded to an Oracle Exadata Database Machine at SailGP’s on-shore IT facility. The data is automatically tagged, analyzed, and formatted for distribution across the organization. When in the Oracle Cloud, SailGP has the capabilities to leverage the Oracle Autonomous Database.
Leveling the Playing Field
With the F50 catamarans, SailGP racing events showcase the skill of each racing team. “Every single team has access to the same information, so everyone can see exactly how the other teams are trimming the wing and the foils,” says Henken. 
That pure racing experience is exactly what the new league will offer, said SailGP CEO, five-time America’s Cup winner, Russell Coutts. “One of the most unique things about SailGP is that everyone has access to everyone else’s data.  It levels the playing field in many ways and makes it easier for teams to catch up,” says Phillip Crain, Data Analyst, United States SailGP team. 
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