Mobile app hopes to give Sir Ben Ainslie advantage in America’s Cup

The Land Rover BAR practising before the 2016 America's Cup racing in Portsmouth
The Land Rover BAR practising before the 2016 America's Cup racing in Portsmouth
Picture: Shutterstock

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A NEW mobile app has been developed exclusively for Ben Ainslie Racing with the hopes it will help the team bring the America’s Cup to Portsmouth.

The tactical aid created by BT, BAR and tech start-up company Coderus will feed back live data from the boat to Sir Ben and his crew as well as the shore team.

It will provide Sir Ben and I with the data that we really need to gain a competitive advantage.

Giles Scott

Over the past year, the bespoke app has been designed and developed and it is hoped it will given Sir Ben the advantage in the races in Bermuda next month.

Sailing team tactician and Olympic gold medallist Giles Scott said: ‘We were desperate for an app which could act as a virtual seventh crew member and become central to our decision-making process during the race.

‘It will provide Sir Ben and I with the data that we really need to gain a competitive advantage.

‘We’ve had great support from BT and Coderus through all stages of the development from design, build and refinement out on the water.’

The app was unveiled at BAR headquarters, based at Camber Docks in Old Portsmouth, with Matt Lawson, director of innovation at BT, Andy Bryson, software engineer at BAR and Mark Thomas, chief executive of Coderus, explaining how it all came together.

It was produced as part of Land Rover BAR’s Technical Innovation Group, which brings together the skills of seven different organisations to help Sir Ben and his crew win the America’s Cup.

The tactical aid needed to be made using current technology but the software had to keep up the pace of racing and have a robust network, battery performance and need no user interaction.

To improve connectivity, BAR has been given its own mobile network so it can access high-quality wifi wherever Sir Ben and the crew are.

Richard Hopkirk, engineering manager at Land Rover BAR, said: ‘This has been a fantastic example of how our collaboration with our technical partners can bring out the best of both teams, and allow us to achieve far more than we could do as a cup team along.

‘We have managed to merge our in-house sailing and tactical expertise with the software development knowledge of BT and Coderus.

‘The result will be on the water helping us win races come the summer.’

Sir Ben and his crew are now fine-tuning the use of the app while they train in Bermuda.

The 35th America’s Cup kicks off on May 25 and the six teams, who featured in the World Series in Portsmouth 
in 2015 and 2016, are preparing for the race.