The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) has selected Inmarsat as its satellite communications partner for the world famous Rolex Fastnet Race.
Inmarsat's FleetBroadband service and global satellite phone IsatPhone Pro will be provided to nine boats taking part in the 608-nautical mile (1,126 km) race which starts on Sunday 11 August.
Crews onboard the yachts will provide RORC with video, audio and social media content to keep journalists and sailing fans in the picture as the race – along the English coast from Cowes to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock off Ireland – unfolds.
“We are pleased to announce this new partnership with RORC to support the Rolex Fastnet Race with the most advanced global maritime satellite connectivity services available,” said Frank Coles, President of Inmarsat Maritime.
“This race is a showcase for our award-winning FleetBroadband service and demonstrates why Inmarsat is the market leader in maritime communications.
“Providing an unprecedented level of access to the boats participating in the Fastnet, FleetBroadband offers extra communications resilience in what is one of the most challenging racing environments in the world.”
Four of the yachts that already have either a FleetBroadband 250 or 500 terminals fitted are being given complimentary airtime packages.
Another four will be fitted with FleetBroadband 150 terminals and supplied with complimentary airtime.
A ninth yacht will carry an IsatPhone Pro global satellite phone for communication and media purposes.
Yachts being supported as part of the partnership with the RORC include the Open 60 Class Artemis, which will be crewed by two members of the charity Toe In The Water.
The competitive sailing organisation aims to re-inspire injured armed service personnel.
Fans will be able to see the action on board the yachts thanks to technology developed by Inmarsat and Livewire Digital for the Volvo Ocean Race that has been redesigned for the requirements of the Fastnet Race.
They will also be able to receive up-to-the-minute stories in the form of video diaries, blogs and social media posts.
Fastnet Radio will be broadcasting online on the official race website and on air at 87.9FM using content from the Inmarsat-equipped boats throughout the event.
For the crews, Inmarsat services will also enable them to stay in touch with family and friends via email and phone calls.
They will be able to download the latest weather data and access RORC's online race tracker.
“Inmarsat's support will help bring live coverage of the race to a really interested audience,” said RORC Chief Executive Eddie Warden Owen.
“We will also get live video coverage of boats rounding the Fastnet Rock – something that everyone following the race will love to see.”
This year's Rolex Fastnet Race has attracted a record entry of 350 competitors and gets under way on Sunday 11 August.
Photo credit: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
Race website: http://fastnet.rorc.org