Silvaplana sees the future of sailing
A sailing event that can be followed live via online platforms anywhere in the world. Highly professional, broadcasted with multiple drones, fixed cameras, and expert commentary. In addition, thanks to a tracking tool and app, participants can compare their personal analytical data with the images to analyse their races down to the smallest detail. And they can do all that in an affordable way. Does it sound like a utopia? Sailmon made it possible at the last iQFoil World Championships in Silvaplana. "It was wonderful to see these young people, who are the future of sailing, embracing the technological future of sailing," says Sailmon CEO Kim Coster.
It was very busy on the always beautiful Silvaplana. Between the idyllic Swiss mountain peaks, almost 250 young people gathered for the iQFOiL Youth & Junior Class Worlds. The future Olympic class is gaining popularity. The growth is spectacular and continues worldwide. The flags of Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and Oahu, Hawaii among many others, waved over the grounds of Engadin.
Under excellent foiling conditions, the competition lasted for five days. There were spectacular starts, dramatic crashes, high speeds and triumphant wins. In the end, Britain's Charlie Dixon and Israel's Tamar Steinberg turned out to be the best in their class. History is left with merely the overall ranking on paper, some action photos and the dutiful 5-minute recap as the only digital witnesses. Or so you would think. Thanks to the involvement of Sailmon, every mile on the water has been recorded and archived. To be watched, relived and reviewed.
(Foiling spectacle at Silvaplana, 2022)
"Our company is characterized by water sports innovation," explains Sailmon’s CEO Kim Coster. "Our mission is to make sailing less analogue for the participants, coaches and fans. It should be more fun and challenging for everybody! In recent years, we have been developing innovations - along with our instruments for bigger boats - that help to achieve that goal: the Sailmon App (software) and the MAX mini tracker (hardware). Silvaplana was an excellent opportunity to apply these innovations on this scale. It combined an organization and class open to innovation and technological input with a company that can provide that innovation in an affordable and scalable way."
Thus, at the start of every race day, dozens of enthusiastic participants were at the Sailmon tent to pick up their mini-tracker to ensure they would have an analytical debriefing in the Sailmon sailing app after the race. The performances on the water, based on accurate data guaranteed by high-quality (GPS) sensors, are automatically sent to the online platform and bundled in an event. This allows each competitor to analyse their performance individually but also compare it with the rest of the fleet. While the action on the water is difficult to follow due to the high speeds and the large number of participants, the app gives a clear picture of what exactly happened based on a graph and map, including automatically generated leaderboards with the overall ranking, top speed, and the number of covered metres - divided into legs.
(Crowded Sailmon tent, Silvaplana 2022)
The best news? It doesn't end with raw data. The races are recorded by fast-flying drones (also for broadcasting, more on that later). These spectacular images were imported and automatically synchronized with the data by the app. The picture is thus crystal-clear and complete. Participants can analyse their performance based on spectacular images and precise data. Why was I going faster than the rest at that moment? What happened during that crash? And why did I blow up in the last 30 metres to the finish? Answers to those questions can be found once and for all in the Sailmon App.
"We believe that capturing and sharing your performance makes you a better sailor," Kim explains. "Nobody gets inspired by untold stories. No one gets challenged by unrecorded performances. The days of expensive systems, complicated CSV files and incomprehensible visuals are over. The MAX mini and the Sailmon App turn the complex sport of sailing into a simple language that is understandable and affordable for everyone. Those who use these innovations to learn from their mistakes eventually reap the benefits. It is an indispensable tool for anyone who wants to get better. There is a reason we say: winners sail with us."
(iQFOIL champion Charlie Dixon about MAX mini and the Sailmon App + tracking footage)
Not only do the participants and coaches on the side-lines benefit from Sailmon's work, friends, family and fans from all over the world also witness the spectacle of foiling. The presence of the cameras, drones and expert commentary made live broadcasting a relatively easy one-two punch. Although... "Live broadcasting of events is not our core business, but our presence, equipment and expertise allow us to offer the service relatively cheaply - without compromising on professionalism. It requires quite a few feet on the ground and is more difficult (due to the distance between water and land, weather conditions, disturbed GPS signals, etc.) than it seems on paper. However, the end result is the most beautiful thing there is, isn't it? Showing the rest of the world how wonderful our sport is and inspiring them to get out on the water. This is why we founded Sailmon."
(Short clip of broadcasting Gold Medal race, Silvaplana 2022)
All in all, it was a successful event on the lovely Swiss lake. Happy participants, happy coaches, happy spectators and therefore a happy organization. "It was wonderful to see these young people, who are the future of sailing, embracing the technological future of sailing. We are therefore looking forward to new collaborations with more organizations. The Sailmon App can mean much more, such as simplifying registrations, keeping participants informed via notifications, etc. But for anyone who doesn't want to wait for his or her sailing class: the MAX mini is ready to order to improve your performance and to stay on top of the competition."
The MAX mini is ready to order. Visit sailmon.com/max-mini for more information. Are you, as a sailing organization, interested in tracking/broadcasting? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do you watch the replays via the Sailmon App?
1. Download the Sailmon App via AppStore (also on iPad) or Google Play and set up an account.
2. Tap on EVENTS (third and middle emoticon bottom bar)
3. TAp on the event you want to view - like IQFOIL U19 | W WORLDS FINALES
4. Scroll down and tap on the race you want to see
5. Tap on the blue button 'Start Replay'
6. Scroll through time and data (tap on video for a broader view)