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Map My Tracks blog

Map My Tracks to sponsor Musto Skiff UK Nationals 2008

imageMap My Tracks is backing this summer's Musto Skiff UK Nationals to launch its live events tracking service. The event will be the first time that live GPS tracking has been used in a non-Olympic dinghy event and is yet another first for the innovative Musto Skiff class and Map My Tracks.

The event, to be held at Whitstable Yacht Club from 12-15 June 2008, will be among the first to benefit from Map My Tracks live event tracking. Map My Tracks was launched in February 2008 and turns most mobile phones into live sports tracking tools, providing map and performance data in real-time to sailors, live tracking on the internet and a range of website track analysis and replay tools.

Map My Tracks works with normal mobile phones with built-in GPS or with external GPS receivers, bringing the technology within reach of amateur sailors worldwide.  The service lets spectators watch live race action on the big screen back at race headquarters and provides an easy way to broadcast event progress live on the internet to spectators anywhere. It is ideally suited to sports, such as sailing or distance running, where the action takes place away from the race headquarters.


Relaying live races to a global internet audience is an important part of bringing sailing to new audiences beyond broadcast television. Events like the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta 2007 have demonstrated the potential for live GPS tracking to do this, but have relied on expensive dedicated GPS equipment only available to professional sailors. Map My Tracks works with normal mobile phones with built-in GPS or with external GPS receivers, bringing the technology within reach of amateur sailors worldwide.

As well as enhancing the race experience for spectators onshore and on the internet, Map My Tracks also provides each competitor with a breakdown of their performance and a print-out of their tracks. The website’s analysis tools include being able to compare tracks side-by-side to help see where races are won and lost.
Musto Skiff Class Association Chairman Simon Reynolds said “The Musto Performance Skiff class has innovated in a number of ways in the past and is delighted to continue this through the partnership with Map My Tracks for this event; it represents a first for the class and non-professional sailing to offer such live event tracking”.

About Musto Skiff class

The Musto Performance Skiff is a lightweight one person trapeze dinghy with wings, trapeze and asymmetric spinnaker. The class is sailed in 17 countries world wide by men and women, the boat supports a wide range of bodyweights. The class achieved Full ISAF Status in 2007. The class is marketed world wide by Ovington Boats and there are dealers based in 18 countries. In 2007 the class held its first World Championships, following ISAF ratification, which attracted 86 entries from 13 nations.

Random or not so random?

A common complaint about sailing is the perceived abstract nature of the route needed to get around a given course.

From a spectators point of view, watching from the shore, it is sometimes difficult to understand what is going on and who is winning. This is often compounded by the fact that most World or National Championships are sailed quite a distance off shore to get clean wind so specators suffer even more.

One of the benefits of GPS tracking for sailors is the ability to understand the random, or not so random, routes needed to complete a race. By way of an example, below is the track taken during a race on an inland lake. At first glance the tracks does look a little random but it accurately describes the route sailed over the two rounds of the race. What becomes clear is the way in which headers and lifts have played a part in getting around the course. Given that this is an inland lake, surrounded by woodland, the wind shifts are quite considerable. Understanding these local conditions is vital to stand any chance of coming close to winning.

TIP: Switch to satellite view and zoom in for a closer look. View this track in full.

We plan to feature more examples of how different sports benefit from GPS tracking. If you have a sport that you are passionate about and like to know how Map My Tracks can help you understand your performance just let us know and we’ll do our best to help out.

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