We are sailing lovers with a passion for innovation.
Our aim is to bring effective solutions which improve the performance of sailors at all competitive stages.
We keep a continuous look on the technological development around the world.
We identify those technologies fitting our philosophy that can be applied to improve the daily life of sailors and coaches.
We strive to combine these technologies to create integrated solutions.
TECHNOLOGY SHOULD PROVIDE RELIABLE TOOLS AND INFORMATION AIDING IN THE DECISION MAKING OF ATHLETES.
As athletes, we reject the notion of letting go of the decision making of our sport. Having anemometers, sensors, GPS and fast processors is not and should not be a substitute for knowledge based decision making.
But we do support the idea that electronics help us quantify and reinforce the sensations we feel while sailing. And therefore accelerate the process of sinking in the lessons learned through experience.
TECHNOLOGY CAN NOT AND SHOULD NOT REPLACE THE ROLE AND THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE ATHLETES.
While it can be helpful to know the shift period of the wind, or to quantify the current. Nothing can substitute the expert observation of clouds or the careful study of the forecast. Therefore, information technology (in the form of anemometers, sensors and GPS) is just another tool in your toolbox as a sailor and as a coach.
And only you can decide when is best to employ it.
Furthermore, dinghy sailing is characterized as a sport where the physical skill and ability takes the main stand. The allowance of real-time sensor feedback to the sailor is and should remain limited in order to maintain fairness in the sport.
TECHNOLOGY SHOULD NEVER PROVIDE CONFUSING INFORMATION.
There are currently in the market several solutions which, induced by the power of current technologies, push the limits of their actual capabilities and provide realistic data, but do not correspond to the real facts.
This “fictional” information can be very attractive, but it doesn’t provide real “value” to the competitor. The data we give competitors shall be based on real data and should only be the accurate image of reality according to direct observation.
THE DATA YOU CAPTURE AND GENERATE IS YOURS.
GPS has entered the main dinghy sailing scene through the most important regattas in the circuit. It has enabled organizers to increase the social and media impact of our sport and in this sense this is a great advance. Tracking services in regattas have shown sailors and coaches alike around the world, what is possible using GPS technology. And obviously, everyone longs having for every sailing session in the water the kind of information that is provided at the main regattas.
At GPSAILING we only help you generate, obtain and analyze that data. That’s why we ensure that the end result of your work with our tools can always be used and shared.
VIDEO AS A MODERN TRAINING TOOL
The revolution unfolded during the last decades by information technology has put microcomputers (in all their forms) at the forefront of all our tools as the main productivity enhancement tool. From desktop computers to smartphones and tablets or any other device that uses a microprocessor to collect, to process and to display data; information technology has become omnipresent in nowadays life. Sport, and high performance in particular, is not different.
Until today there is no better method to teach a technical move than imitarion, or to correct it than auto-observation. This makes the video an optimal training tool.
The devices to capture images to record all kinds of sports have become very popular. Thanks to them it is possible to have a very high fidelity registry of the athletes actions and analize their movements and execution in every detail.
VIDEO MANAGEMENT: ERIC SAILING
The massive recording of the athletes actions creates the need for managing all that information. This requires specialized tools that facilitate the work to sailors and coaches. In a world where the word “Big Data” has become ubiquituous, there is a need to apply the best tecnique to analyze Big Data in video format. The Big Data management tools consist mainly on database structures optimized to work on distributed architectures; but they are databases after all.
The company 1d3a based in Barcelona has identified this scenario and has developed the software program ERIC in collaboration with the waaterpolo and football Spanish national teams. This software program is unique in the world and its approach has proved just right. So much so that the main european football teams, the various sport sections of the F.C Barcelona and the international Basketball Federation, amongst others, currently use it as their basic training tool.
We have partnered with 1d3a in order to adapt ERIC to the needs of the sport of sailing to create ERIC Sailing. This is a highly optimized solution for coaches and sailors in this sport.
ERIC’s training methodology, shared 100% by GPSAILING, consists in keeping the video as the base material. Thanks to the advanced playback tools of ERIC Sailing in all video formats, the user can add several tags to the video on an imaginary tiimeline. These tags offer a double advantage:
- insert the tags in a database to manage them effectively, and
- thanks to the imaginary timeline, these tags become automatically shared by all the videos related to the same session or event that ERIC Sailing keeps syncronized.
ERIC Sailing allows thus, to visualize the recorded action under analysis from different points of view as seen by different cameras. In this way, it is possible to instantaneously link the trimming action of a crew member to the effect it produces on the form and efficiency of a sail and the performance of the boat.
ERIC Sailing includes a number of tools that streamline the process of reviewing the videos and reduce drastically the time needed to debrief a session.
ANALISYS ENRICHMENT WITH OTHER SOURCES OF DATA
Despite video is the main tool to analyze the actions of the athletes, this medium has evident limits to quantify the results and performance of the sailors. Therefore it is essential to complement the videos with other quantitative sources of information.
We analyzed the needs of GPS data as coaches and had to make an early trade-off decision. Either we chose a high precision and high frequence GPS tracker device with onboard storage. Or we opted for a less frequent GPS tracker with quasi-real time data streaming. Sending a wealth of data using nowadays telecommunication technologies at sea,
worldwide, is still expensive. And the use of this data in real time makes sense for event broadcasting. But has little or no value at all for the coach who is looking at the boats anyway, or for the sailors who are competing; regardless of the previous comment on sensor feedback in a physical and ability driven sport. So we chose the most frequent and precise tracker for the task: TRACE.
And we believe this is the right choice provided we offer you a system to quickly process the data as soon as you land onshore.
Having GPS trackers is great to know the relative position of boats, find out the exact speeds of the boat along the course or even detect wind shifts based on the track of the boat. However, the amount of information that can be obtained from the GPS tracker is limited without wind information. Sailing is driven by wind, and therefore everything is measured and is relative to the wind. That’s why we have included the option (and we strongly encourage) to choose the GPSAILING EOLO edition to feed data from anemometers.
Then, and only then, you will take full advantage from having a GPS onboard every boat in your fleet.
In high performance sports, coaches and athletes use a variety of measuring devices in order to analyze the physical performance of athletes such as pulsometers and other biometric devices. ERIC Sailing includes importation tools to display data generated by this kind of devices alongside and syncronized with the action shown on the video. This feature helps to understand the evolution in the performance of the athelete.
GPSAILING is a software program which creates videos using the data gathered by the GPS and anemometers, facilitating their revision and anaysis.
This program stems from the need to provide contextual information to the actions recorded by the onboard cameras and handheld cameras operated by coaches.
Other sports unfold in a playfield strongly limited in dimensions and inside built environments. This enables covering all the playfield using cameras affixed to the facility itself. In sailing this is not normally possible or its cost is unattainable. Nevertheless, it is essential to watch a global view of the action in the race area in order to understand and analyze the performance, the tactics and strategies of sailors. GPSAILING covers this need.
GPSAILING offers a simple and economic solution to display the information of the GPS and share it without limitations. The videos created by GPSAILING are extremely efficient.
CHOOSING THE HARDWARE
The GPSAILING training system constitutes a complete system adapted to the needs of the most demanding coaches. But in order to yield the best results from the analysis tools offered, they need to be fed with good quality data.
Without good quality input data it is not possible to extract a useful analysis.
For example, if the videos are recorded at VGA resolution (640x480) and 24fps, it would not be possible to distinguish essential details such as the trim angle of the boat or to analyze the fast occurring actions which need that very key frame to explain a conflicting situation. This is the reason why modern consumer cameras offer Full HD resolutions (1920x1080) at 30fps or even at 120fps.
At GPSAILING we recommend using cameras capable of recording continuously during all the duration of the training sessions and that store the files in a format that can be copied to the available hard drive. For example, if the action is recorded in Full HD at 120fps, the camera is generating 480MB of data every minute. This challenges not only the storage capacity of the hard drives, but also the processing capacity of the graphics cards. More so when multiple videos of the same session are analyzed simultaneously. GPSAILING recommends selecting the lowest available resolutions of the current consumer cameras in the market.
ERIC Sailing requires a computer with a powerful graphics card and sufficient hard drive capacity. In order to read video files with high throughput, we also recommend a solid state disk drive or a fast hard disk drive. Sometimes it is advisable to use an external hard disk drive. The program can work with videos stored in an external disk drive or even in a remote server.
The quality of the data measured by the GPS devices is just as important as the data captured by the video cameras. The time interval between GPS readings can be an issue because many things can happen in between two consecutive readings.
And everyting that happens in between is not captured by the GPS.
The GPS devices used nowadays in the sailing marketplace are designed to transmit the data in quasi real-time. This forces these devices to minimize the quantity of data collected in order to keep the cost of communications in check.
Therefore, the data rate is limited to one reading every few seconds, which can vary from 1s to 10s depending on the device and configuration. At GPSAILING we consider that this recording freqüency is too low for the goal of analyzing a sailor’s performance at high competitive level.
Let’s put, for example, the execution of a tack. One of the main variables analized by coaches is the minimum speed of the boat through the tack. This is because the boat slows down during the tack and the boat that slows the least is the one that executes the tack the most efficiently. A tack can take 2 seconds to execute it. But if there are not at least 10 measures throughout the execution of the tack, it will be almost impossible to find out the minimum speed of the boat during the tack. This implies a recording frequency of 5Hz. This is precisely the frequency at which TRACE devices operate.
At GPSAILING we have selected TRACE as our reference device to capture quantitative data about the boat’s performance. This is a high quality device that combines the features to make it the ideal measuring tool in sailboats.