Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why SPOT?

In case you hadn't heard, the 2011 running of the Northern Century will be using SPOT transceivers which will enable your family and friends to track your progress (or lack thereof) throughout the event.  SPOT transceivers have been around for a number of years and are the defacto-standard for race tracking here in the Pacific Northwest.

The way the system works is as follows:

  • GPS satellites provide signals
  • SPOT messenger's onboard GPS chip determines your GPS location and sends your location, speed and direction to communication satellites
  • Communication satellites relay your message to the SPOT central data servers
  • The AYC SPOT tracking page downloads this information in real-time and displays the position of each vessel on a chart
The Anacortes Yacht Club has partnered with the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and will be using their SPOT race tracking system for the Northern Century.  This is the same system that was used to provide race tracking for Southern Straits, Swiftsure and the Van Isle 360.

Each competitor will be issued a SPOT transceiver and throughout the event you can follow along using the link in the Northern Century website (www.northerncentury.org).  Additionally, each SPOT transceiver has a HELP button which can be pressed when emergency assistance is required.  This will immediately notify the race committee that assistance is needed and they in conjunction with other agencies (such as the Coast Guard) will work to provide help.

SPOT Coverage Map

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