RaceSense: automatic OCS is live

Vakaros

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DSC_0358-4.jpg

You've seen it in grand prix levels of sailing. Now, OCS detection is becoming available for the average sailor. We tested RaceSense this weekend in Miami with the M32 class. RaceSense uses the Atlas 2, a device tons of sailors already depend on. The dual-band L1+L5 GPS allows 50cm accuracy, and the Atlas 2 is the only device in the market that has a L1+L5 receiver and is able to achieve this precision.

No more pinging, no more starting your timer, everything is automatic. The timer is started by RC and synced to GPS time, the line is called, and Distance to Line is calculated via an Atlas 2 on either end of the line. There's no more hiding behind other boats or causing massive general recalls.

If you're over, you're notified immediately with red lights and "OCS", pictured above. If you're clear the bright
LEDs display green.

If you race in a class that doesn't allow distance to line, pinging, or other features, the Atlas 2 can lock down and still call OCS even while restricting the ability to view widgets such as speed, DTL, VMG, etc...

This is all accomplished through a localized network. RaceSense does not depend on often-undependable cellular networks.

Want to read more? Check out our RaceSense page here: https://vakaros.com/pages/racesense

More pics:

Tablet view blurred.jpg

DSC_0588.jpg
 

Vakaros

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Check out the weekend recap video with interviews with some of the biggest names in the sports:
 

Monkey

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The problem I’d have with using this concept is it’s not perfect. Let’s say my bow offset is about 8 feet. I’m beam to the line, so really only need a 3 foot offset. Current is shoving me towards the line in light air, would it call me over if the Vakaros was 4 feet from the line?
 

Vakaros

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The problem I’d have with using this concept is it’s not perfect. Let’s say my bow offset is about 8 feet. I’m beam to the line, so really only need a 3 foot offset. Current is shoving me towards the line in light air, would it call me over if the Vakaros was 4 feet from the line?
Hey Monkey, thanks for the thoughts. The RaceSense system uses the shape of the boat to make OCS calls, and will call any part of the hull over the line no matter which direction you're sailing. This is made possible by the combination of the highly accurate magnetic compass and L1+L5 GNSS inside the Atlas 2--the system knows where the boat is and how it's oriented to the line.

And, we would contend a human isn't perfect either: boats get hidden from RC, people mistime their sights... Sure, if it's just you on the line, a human would likely do a better job. But with a larger fleet, the possibilities for error are endless!
 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
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Hey Monkey, thanks for the thoughts. The RaceSense system uses the shape of the boat to make OCS calls, and will call any part of the hull over the line no matter which direction you're sailing. This is made possible by the combination of the highly accurate magnetic compass and L1+L5 GNSS inside the Atlas 2--the system knows where the boat is and how it's oriented to the line.

And, we would contend a human isn't perfect either: boats get hidden from RC, people mistime their sights... Sure, if it's just you on the line, a human would likely do a better job. But with a larger fleet, the possibilities for error are endless!
Thanks for the answer. I do a lot of PRO work and wasn’t trying to be a naysayer, just wanted to know how it dealt with it. So how does it know orientation to the line? Do the RC and pin mark need one? Again, totally not a naysayer, but have lots of questions. We run a lot of international events and spend a fortune on RC equipment, but I’m a big trust, but verify kind of guy. 🙂
 

Vakaros

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Thanks for the answer. I do a lot of PRO work and wasn’t trying to be a naysayer, just wanted to know how it dealt with it. So how does it know orientation to the line? Do the RC and pin mark need one? Again, totally not a naysayer, but have lots of questions. We run a lot of international events and spend a fortune on RC equipment, but I’m a big trust, but verify kind of guy. 🙂
Yep, each end of the line has an Atlas 2 which broadcasts its location. The compass on the A2 allows each boat to determine its orientation, as well as distance to line
 

Vakaros

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I’ll certainly mention it to the folks who make decisions. Next question, does RC get a notification in real time of the offending boats?
Yes, RC gets notified which boats are OCS within seconds of the start, via a tablet running the Race Control app. The sailors are notified automatically via the LEDs and display on the Atlas immediately after the start. This can also be disabled depending on the preferences of the class, allowing RaceSense to run completely in the background, just providing information to RC.
How do all the devices communicate with each other?
The devices form a long range mesh network to communicate with RC, the start line, and with each other. This network is completely independent of any other system, so racing doesn't depend on LTE coverage being available on the water, where it is often unreliable. This also avoids the challenges with managing LTE subscriptions, difficulties in using devices in different countries, and allows the Atlas 2 to maintain its 100 hour battery life, even while running RaceSense.
 

sunseeker

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Yes, RC gets notified which boats are OCS within seconds of the start, via a tablet running the Race Control app. The sailors are notified automatically via the LEDs and display on the Atlas immediately after the start. This can also be disabled depending on the preferences of the class, allowing RaceSense to run completely in the background, just providing information to RC.

The devices form a long range mesh network to communicate with RC, the start line, and with each other. This network is completely independent of any other system, so racing doesn't depend on LTE coverage being available on the water, where it is often unreliable. This also avoids the challenges with managing LTE subscriptions, difficulties in using devices in different countries, and allows the Atlas 2 to maintain its 100 hour battery life, even while running RaceSense.
Thanks, helpful.
 

Looper

Anarchist
IMO a solution to a problem that really doesn't exist. I race in the largest OD fleet in the world and I would say that handling of OCS is very low on the issue priority list.

You're missing the mark here for this to be a training tool rather than a rules enforcer.
 

eliboat

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IMO a solution to a problem that really doesn't exist. I race in the largest OD fleet in the world and I would say that handling of OCS is very low on the issue priority list.

You're missing the mark here for this to be a training tool rather than a rules enforcer.
I’m not so sure. I’ve been racing my whole life, and I can’t even count how many times boats that were over didn’t get called (myself included!) and boats that weren’t over got called either due to confusion or just incompetence. Just because regattas have been run forever without this kind of tech doesn’t mean that the system was anywhere close to perfect.
 

pqbon

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Cambridge UK
A bigger problem I face for races I run is a subset of the fleet crossing the finish line as one big mass and accurately getting the finishing order. Could this be expanded to cover that?
 

barleymalt

Super Anarchist
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Michigan
Yes, RC gets notified which boats are OCS within seconds of the start, via a tablet running the Race Control app. The sailors are notified automatically via the LEDs and display on the Atlas immediately after the start. This can also be disabled depending on the preferences of the class, allowing RaceSense to run completely in the background, just providing information to RC.

The devices form a long range mesh network to communicate with RC, the start line, and with each other. This network is completely independent of any other system, so racing doesn't depend on LTE coverage being available on the water, where it is often unreliable. This also avoids the challenges with managing LTE subscriptions, difficulties in using devices in different countries, and allows the Atlas 2 to maintain its 100 hour battery life, even while running RaceSense.
Technically, and admittedly picking nits. you are describing a peer to peer ad-hoc network, not a mesh.

Does the system also notify when a competitor has cleared the line?. Can it accommodate starts with I,U,Z, or black flag?
 

Vakaros

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Technically, and admittedly picking nits. you are describing a peer to peer ad-hoc network, not a mesh.

Does the system also notify when a competitor has cleared the line?. Can it accommodate starts with I,U,Z, or black flag?
Clearing notification will be available, yes. And yes, it can accomodate any of those prep flags. Our goal, however, is that the need for the U, black, Z... will go down, as PROs will be able to identify every boat over the line and not need to general recall as they're missing some.
 

bgytr

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Yep, each end of the line has an Atlas 2 which broadcasts its location. The compass on the A2 allows each boat to determine its orientation, as well as distance to line
downwind with extendable sprit boats? Spinnakers flying in normal trim? Spins and sails are not in rigid position relative to the boat.
 

barleymalt

Super Anarchist
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Michigan
Clearing notification will be available, yes. And yes, it can accomodate any of those prep flags. Our goal, however, is that the need for the U, black, Z... will go down, as PROs will be able to identify every boat over the line and not need to general recall as they're missing some.
Thanks. Yep, the need for those should go down. Should reduce general recalls as well, but I can see the competitors up in arms when the PRO says one thing and the box says another. Or in the event (again, not kicking dirt, thinking of the potential issues) that sensors on indidual boats quit. Would have to amend SIs to cover those scenarios.

This does look promising for high end and large competitor events.
 




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