Please select your home edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90
Product Feature
Harken NEW Power3 Ratchamatic Swivel 1.5x Grip - 2165
Harken NEW Power3 Ratchamatic Swivel 1.5x Grip - 2165

Tokyo2020: Late rules change on wind recording wrong foots many teams.

by Richard Gladwell/ 27 Jul 2021 01:57 BST 27 July 2021
Yotbot in action - 2016 Olympic Regatta 470 Women - Medal Race © Richard Gladwell

Two weeks ago, after two previous interpretations, World Sailing finally made a definitive ruling banning the use of electronic devices - laptops, tablets and similar - for wind data logging on board coach boats for the Tokyo2020 Olympic Regatta.

The issue has been under discussion for sometime, particularly with Olympic use.

The move has hit those teams using the New Zealand developed YotBot technology - available to all teams as an off the shelf package of software and hardware - that can be carried on a plane, and needs no special installation.

Yotbot's Kylie Robinson told Sail-World, that the Dunedin based company's solution, which has been in existence for 20 years, had been purchased by 16 teams at the Tokyo2020 regatta.

Other teams, with big budgets have developed their own, often using substantial R&D budgets available through their Government funders. However these systems are often custom fitted into coach boats with dedicated nautical displays etc.

For developing countries carry aboard systems, such as YotBot can be set up by using a few cable ties and tape - which means that low-budget teams can charter RIBs at a regatta venue, install YotBot or similar and be in the same weather technology position as the top teams.

All devices, including phones are now banned on coach boats for the Olympic Regatta. And the ancient method of a piece of wool and a hand-bearing compass is all that is allowed. No real time wind recording readings are available either.

The cost of the YotBot system is NZD$7,600 (USD5,320) - a very small part of most teams budget - even developing nations, and the technology is also used as part of their regular coaching program. The system has been developed in conjunction with Yachting New Zealand's high performance sailors, including double America's Cup champions and 2016 Gold medalists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, along with their coach Hamish Willcox.

The advantage for developing countries is that they can purchase for a relatively modest price the same technology that is used by top teams and developed in conjunction with those teams.

The YotBot system is also used in race management, including the Tokyo2020 fleet which has at least 12 boats fitted with YotBot to provide the wind information from off the water.

Robinson says that World Sailing's late decision has called into question future development of the product, as it is clearly not feasible for a company to pour its resources into a product which is latter ruled illegal for Olympic regatta use by the World Sailing.

The YotBot system was also used at the last America's Cup - with devices located in every mark to provide wind information for media and officials.

Related Articles

Never again! (Except for next time…)
What's it like to take a Cruiser/Racer racing? And not just any old race What's it like to take a Cruiser/Racer racing? Not just any racing, mind you, but two of the world's most famous courses. The Transpac and the Hobart. This was the premise presented to Charles Ettienne-Devanneaux ahead of our most recent chat. Posted today at 10:00 am
Whisper it quietly..
Don't say it too loudly, but the Youth Sailing Worlds are taking place next week Don't say it too loudly, but the Youth Sailing World Championships are taking place at Lake Garda in under a week's time. Posted on 9 Jul
It's upon us
Paris 2024 happens this month. Little wonder it seems like it has come back around quickly Paris 2024 happens this month. Little wonder it seems like it has come back around quickly, when this current quadrennial actually started in 2021. Still. Is what it is… 12 sailors comprise the Australian Olympic Sailing Team. Posted on 2 Jul
Make mine a Magnum
50 year old International Moth design gets a 21st century make-over In almost every respect, 'Magnum' was a 1970s classic, but 50 years on the Magnum Moth is about to get a 21st century make-over. Sailors wanting to join the growing Lowrider Moth fleet just have to ask themselves, "Do you feel lucky?" Posted on 27 Jun
Performance vs. Participation
Or Correlation vs. Causation? I've heard many a time that one of the reasons for a fall in participation in sailing is the increased performance of boats. Effectively, the skill level and athleticism required in high performance boats excludes a range of people from participating. Posted on 25 Jun
The latest kit for summer boating, rain or shine
Our pick of the latest kit Summer's finally here and the season is in full swing. Here's our pick of the latest kit for racing, cruising and enjoying the water, rain or shine. Posted on 19 Jun
It's just a stick
It was just like watching an enthusiastic kid It was just like watching an enthusiastic kid. Alinghi's Silvio Arrivabene was totally in the 'nothing to see here' mode, and moreover, was keener to get into the ‘maybe exceeding them' remarks about their targets. Did someone say, ‘Spinal Tap'? Posted on 17 Jun
Corinthian Spirit
The inaugural Corinthian J70 Worlds had a superb entry of 109 boats Sailing has gone through phases of being professional and Corinthian. Originally a pastime for the rich, then becoming a sport for everyone during the boom in the 1960s and 1970s. Posted on 11 Jun
Para, Inclusive and Open RS Venture Connect
We find out more ahead of the upcoming World Championship at Rutland, UK We speak to Dan Jaspers, who is responsible for International Sales and Business Development at the RS Marine Group, about the RS Venture Connect. Posted on 6 Jun
Going to publish the 'F' word
There was a distinct, if decidedly unfair, hint of the Darwin Awards when I first saw this There was a distinct, if decidedly unfair, hint of the Darwin Awards when I first saw this item come in. Most specifically, it related to the one where the guy had strapped a JATO rocket to his car. Posted on 3 Jun