Satcom brings live yacht racing action to Fastnet fans
The new interactive NetCaster app for smartphones and tablets enabled competitors in this year’s Fastnet yacht race to transmit live video, images and interviews from the heart of the action directly to fans on shore.
Using this new app, developed by Livewire Digital in partnership with ESA, crews involved the public in their epic battle to the finish line.
The Fastnet race starts from Cowes on the UK’s Isle of Wight and competitors race along the southwest coast of England, past Land’s End and out into the Celtic Sea.
The boats must then head around the Fastnet Rock off the coast of Ireland and the Scilly Islands before returning to the finish line in Plymouth.
The event is one of the world’s classic offshore races, testing both the inshore and offshore skills of competitors.
Eight boats used NetCaster to provide the Royal Ocean Racing Club with a flow of video, audio and social media content via Inmarsat's global mobile satellite fleet. Live video was transmitted to the Race Office, and disseminated on the Internet.
Commenting on the footage, Chief Executive Eddie Warden Owen said: “A faultless performance from Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband and Livewire’s ‘box of tricks’ has given us the ability to share insights into life onboard during this challenging race, as well as the varying emotions of the crews as they pass milestones such as the iconic Fastnet Rock off the southern tip of Ireland.
“They are important tools to enhance the way we communicate the story of the race, minute-by-minute, as it unfolds.”
Will Ayliffe, sailing aboard Artemis, explained, “We used NetCaster to conduct an interview with the race organiser’s media centre as we rounded Fastnet Rock.
“It worked perfectly, I was transmitting imagery of the action while talking on the iPhone – it could not have been better.
Tristan Wood, Managing Director of Livewire Digital, said, “We are delighted to have been able to deliver live interactive and professional broadcast media for the Fastnet yacht race, and glad to see the results used by so many parties.”
Livewire Digital is a leading provider of live and store & forward broadcast video solutions for Mac OSX and Windows platforms. Specialising in technology for remote media delivery and extreme sports, it piloted NetCaster during the race with a new design based on experience building applications for maritime events.