The Volvo Ocean Race has joined forces with Vesper Marine to help better manage course boundaries and spectator fleet safety during In-Port Races around the world.
The New Zealand-based company, a leading manufacturer of innovative marine safety products, will supply its Guardian AIS technology to caution spectator and race official boats with racecourse perimeters.
Having previously implemented a course perimeter system for spectators during the last two America's Cup competitions, Volvo Ocean Race organisers approached Vesper Marine for the same technology to be used during the In-Port Race series of the 2017-18 edition.
“We were delighted when Volvo Ocean Race organisers came to us,” said Jeff Robbins, CEO of Vesper Marine.
“From our experience with the America's Cup, we know that this solution makes viewing and managing the In–Port Races a whole lot safer.
"Our virtual AIS system cautions spectator boats, as well as race official boats of the racecourse boundaries, helping them keep the course clear and improve safety. In addition to the In–Port Races and as an additional safety measure, the solution is being used for the start and finish of each transoceanic leg.”
Establishing a virtual perimeter around the course, the Guardian Virtual AIS stations broadcast information to spectator and race official boats using AIS frequencies – painting the course on their navigation systems.
As a result, spectator and official vessels can quickly and easily see their own positions relative to the course boundaries on their navigation displays to ensure they are safely outside the course at all times.
"We are always on the look out for innovative solutions to make our race safer and more efficient – and this exciting new partnership established with Vesper Marine will allow fans around the world to enjoy the In-Port Races from one of the best spectator seats in the house – on the water,” said Gonzalo Infante, Race Control Manager at Volvo Ocean Race.
In addition, the Guardian cloud software will be used to continuously monitor vessel positions and proactively send both the vessel and the Volvo Ocean Race organizers an alert if a hazardous situation develops. The virtual marks can be configured remotely to change with conditions and the Guardian system can be easily moved to each host city using the same hardware and cloud based software.
For more information on the Guardian AIS system, Vesper Marine or its entire product line, visit www.vespermarine.com.