Wednesday, 3 October 2012

AC 34 Umpire Booth Replay: USC-USS

AC45, umpire booth displays: San Francisco 2012, August 26. Match Race between USC (Coutts) and USS (Spithill).

For those of you who are unfamiliar how umpiring is done at the America's Cup 45 -events; Umpires are stationed in a booth with a display of the boats on the water. The tracking has become quite accurate (within 2 cm) and the system displays all relevant information instantly. Starboard tack boats are green, Port tack boats are red. And when boats are overlapped the hulls are yellow.

When a boat wants to protest because they feel that another has infringed a rule, they press a button and the protest 'flag' is shown on the screen and recorded. Then the umpires - who have been following the incident as if they were on the water - take a decision and press the penalty or green flag button.

In the video you see the zone light up when the first boat enters the zone. USC is at that moment clear ahead and has mark-room. Nevertheless USS goes in and establishes an overlap after. She's not keeping clear under rule 11 and not exonerated because she has no mark-room.

When the penalty is given the boat must slow down until the penalty line has caught up. The line is initially two boat lengths behind the boat and traveling half it's speed. You can see USS luff up to loose speed until the line has caught up

There's also another boat on the screen. That is the on-the-water umpire. (On a jet-ski) He's not umpiring but 'winging'. Giving relevant information to the booth-umpires. Like if a boat is actually doing everything to keep clear, what the closest distance was or is. Things that are not deductible from the electronic display.

Pretty neat, don't you agree?

1 comment:

  1. Very neat indeed. The technology used by AC is super and I think it adds greatly to sailing and spreading its popularity. I thoroughly enjoy it. The traditionalists can harumph all they want and pine for the stodgy offshore (invisible) races but I vote enthusiastically for the new technology.


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