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.