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Sailing towards success, with Land Rover BAR

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25 . Mai  2017

Global Services

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BT’s partnership with Land Rover BAR is helping Sir Ben Ainslie’s British team sail towards what could be a historic victory at the 35th America’s Cup.

A long time coming.

In 1851, Britain hosted the first America’s Cup sailing contest around the Isle of Wight. America won and took away the trophy — and Britain has been chasing it since.

But this year could change all that.

This year, Britain’s Land Rover BAR team has a fighting chance of winning the competition — and what’s more, it’ll do it in a sustainable way.

Using digital technology to design a better catamaran.

After being selected as the team’s Technology in Sustainability Partner, BT helped create the Virtual Chase Boat. This technology lets the Land Rover BAR team monitor real-time performance of the catamaran, without having to take to the water.

Every test day, 16GB of uncompressed data from the Virtual Chase Boat flows into a master database hosted in the BT cloud. Specialist software at mission control in Portsmouth then analyses the data and displays it as actionable information for design engineers and team coaches. They can review the day’s results and be ready with feedback when the sailing team comes off the water.

This data allows the team to make constant adjustments to the boat — making it faster and more efficient. Take a look at our video to find out more about how this works.

Sailing towards sustainability.

On top of what the technology brings in terms of improving performance, the really outstanding fact is that it does everything sustainably.

The Virtual Chase Boat means that the team doesn’t need a physical chase boat — usually a speed boat that uses lots of diesel.

As Richard Hopkirk, engineering manager at Land Rover BAR, put it: “Instead of our engineers chasing the catamaran in a difficult environment, using lots of diesel and generating too much CO₂, we transmit all the data from the boat back to base.”

Sir Ben Ainslie, principal and skipper of the British entry in the 35th America’s Cup, summed up the partnership nicely, saying: “Not only is BT technology helping bring the trophy home, it’s also taking our message of sustainable sport to a wider audience.”

You can find out more about the Land Rover BAR team and BT’s technology, by reading the full case study.

And, while you’re at it, keep your fingers crossed for the team to finally bring the cup home.