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New Tracking System Introduced for Website Viewing

by Rob Mundle on 11 Aug 2000
It will be a big day for two new yachts and the first test for a new race tracking system when the Joico Big Boat Invitation Series starts on the tropical waters off Hayman Island tomorrow.

Ocean racing veteran Warren Johns, from Sydney, will be putting his heavily revamped 50-footer, Heaven Can Wait, into racing mode for the first time. The yacht, originally designed to the IOR handicap rule, has been updated with a completely new hull created around the recently introduced IRM rule.

Heaven Can Wait and its highly talented crew led by Jamie Wilmot and Richie Allanson, will have a powerful yardstick in David Pescud’s new Lyons 52, Aspect Computing. The seven race Big Boat Series will be Aspect Computing’s first taste of regatta racing since its launching in Sydney three weeks ago.

Aspect Computing is representing the Sailors with disAbilities group. The crew comprises many members of the team that sailed the previous Aspect Computing to victory in their division in the tragic 1998 Sydney to Hobart race.

This year the Big Boat Series will be the first event to introduce the new Startrack yacht tracking system. Series associate sponsor Sail-World.com, which is headed by high profile offshore yachtsman Rob Kothe, will see the satellite system running during racing so that the yachts can be followed on the website. Startrack has been introduced following the US government’s recent decision to no longer degrade the international GPS time signal and make it accurate to within 10 metres.

Racing at this invitation series promises to be as keen as ever with five yachts of around 40ft racing along with another four that are in the 50ft bracket. Neville Crichton’s considerable efforts to get his new Reichel-Pugh 80-footer, Shockwave, to the regatta have not been successful. While the yacht has arrived in Australia it will not be ready in time to race tomorrow.

The first two races among Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands will be staged over 12-mile windward-leeward courses adjacent to Hayman tomorrow.

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