Monday, July 14, 2008

Blogging the future: Race to Mackinac

The sailboat race to Mackinac begins this Saturday (July 19, 2008). If you want to follow our progress, here's how:

14-Jul-08 - 12:18pm
Dear Sailors and Friends:

For the first time in the history of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, all boats in the fleet will carry position transponders, which will allow spectators around the world to follow the Race. This state-of-the-art tracking system allows anyone following the race receive hourly updates on individual boats, entire sections, or even the entire 439 boat fleet as the race moves up Lake Michigan.

Race tracking services are being provided by iBoattrack, a division of Horizon Marine. There are two methods to access the tracking site maintained by iBoattrack. The first way is to go to the Race to Mackinac web site CLICK HERE) then click on multimedia and race tracking. You can also bookmark the site directly at (the site will become active shortly before the race begins).

In order to familiarize yourself with how the tracking works, we urge you to take a moment to look at iBoattrack's last race tracked—the Newport Bermuda race—CLICK HERE . Though the race is now complete, you can see how the system worked. You can easily select individual sections to track (the 'class' drop down box). You can also use the movie mode to animate the race. Note that you can mouse over any boat’s current position (except when in movie mode) and get the vessel’s boat speed and other information.

If you would like more detailed data on any boat, select either the 'Boat Mapper' or the 'Google Mapper' from the links at the top of the page. These will take you to a separate page that allows you to focus on an individual boat or boats. It allows you to animate the race too.

In addition, there are a couple of extras for users of the site to explore. First, iBoattrack will maintain and monitor discussion boards. We encourage you to visit the boards and discuss the race with other friends, family and fans of the Race. Should you have questions about the tracking system, how to use it, or how it works, iBoatrack will do their best to answer you on the boards. Second, in order to learn about the weather than the sailors are experiencing on the Race course, you may visit, which will provide regularly updated weather information during the race. A link to the site will be available on the tracking home page.

In case you encounter difficulties with the website, there is a 'help' button in the top right of each page of the tracker.

Please forward this e-mail to anyone who may be interested in following the Race, and encourage them to track your progress as you race north. We hope that this project will make the Race more exciting for your family and friends.


Greg J. Miarecki
2008 ChicagoYacht Club Race to Mackinac

Greg Freeman
2008 Chicago Yacht ClubRace to Mackinac

Winn Soldani
Technology Chair
2008 ChicagoYacht Club Race to Mackinac

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