On Saturday 11 October, crews onboard eight yachts will unfurl their sails and head off from Alicante toward Gibraltar and out into the Atlantic Ocean setting a course south to Cape Town, South Africa.
For Ericsson 3, Ericsson 4, Puma, Telefonica Blue, Telefonica Black, Team Russia, Green Dragon Team and Delta Lloyd, it is the beginning of the toughest test of crews’ sailing skills and stamina.
TV audiences around the globe will be able to follow the spectacle over more than 37,000 nautical miles thanks to Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband service.
Inmarsat and its partners Stratos and Thrane & Thrane are sponsoring the world-famous event, providing equipment and high-speed connectivity for all the yachting teams competing in this year’s race.
FleetBroadband, which is Inmarsat’s latest maritime service, will take media coverage of the race to a new level, supporting HDTV broadcasts and enabling live video and radio interviews, as well as rapid delivery of photos, emails and blogs.
Each yacht will be equipped with seven high definition cameras, a Thrane & Thrane Sailor 500 FleetBroadband terminal and the Media Desk video store-and-forward solution from Livewire, a UK-based Inmarsat service provider.
Race chief executive Knut Frostad said: “Inmarsat is the natural choice for the world’s toughest yacht race.
“We have very high demands on our boats, our teams, our crew and our equipment. We have the fastest sail boats in the world and to have a system that enables us to communicate with the boats is everything.”
As well as a FleetBroadband terminal, each yacht will also carry Inmarsat Fleet 33 and Inmarsat C equipment to provide a combination of services, including media reporting, safety communications, position reporting, crew communications, weather updates and logistical communications.
Piers Cunningham, Inmarsat head of maritime business, said: “We wish the crews all the very best on their voyage across the world’s oceans.
“We know FleetBroadband and the other Inmarsat services onboard will serve them well, and demonstrate why Inmarsat’s maritime services are a valuable and versatile communications tool for mariners everywhere.”