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by Ian Grant on 23 Dec 2000
Blue Water yacht racing organisers will be able to monitor this years Royal Ocean Racing Club of Victoria's Indec Consulting sponsored Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster from the comfort of their homes.

Safety at sea has become a more important issue in the management of offshore racing following the tragic 1998 Telstra Sydney Hobart race when six lives were lost at the peak of a dual cell storm in Bass Strait.

Many other yachts in the 1998 race were posted 'as missing' when their radio communications were damaged during the savage bashing from the gales and growling seas.

But this will not be the case when the history making 12 yacht Indec Consulting Westcoaster fleet head out of Port Phillip Bay for Hobart via the Tasmanian West Coast on Wednesday December 27th.

Each yacht will be equipped with a revolutionary Star Track satellite transmitting unit which are independently powered and automatically provide the yachts position, compass bearing and boat speed.

This is the first time in Australian ocean racing history where this unique tracking device and accurate electronic information server will determine the positions and progress of an entire fleet.

The Star Track units which weigh less than a kilogram have been trialed during the Hahn Premium Race Week at Hamilton Island and more recently in the Gosford to Lord Howe Island race where it was possible to gain 'real fresh' position reports almost live with a 30 second time gap.

Information of this accuracy completely eliminates the guess work from who is leading the yacht race, what the wind direction and velocity is to how fast the yachts are sailing.

In fact race officials, family, friends and yachting administrators where ever they may be around the Globe can take a live part in this history making race with out hiking on a wet and cold windward rail by logging onto the race tracking site,

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