Yellowbrick trackers will be provided to the fleet for Race tracking once again in 2014. Pantaenius American Yacht Insurance will serve the official race tracking sponsor of the Race. However, in a change from 2012, the Yellowbrick trackers are required to be returned in Bermuda and will not be available for subsequent passages from Bermuda.
Tracking and monitoring vessels on the return leg is not managed by the race committee. Yachts passaging to home or subsequent ports after the Bermuda race should be advised that alternative tracking and “check-in” options are available in lieu of the Yellowbrick trackers.
Vessel owners and crew are strongly encouraged to establish their own communication schedules from ship to shore for the return leg. Additionally, when possible, yachts are further encouraged to coordinate with other vessels departing Bermuda and develop a ship to ship communication schedule.
Today’s technological advancements present the vessel owner, concerned relatives and delivery crew with a multitude of options for tracking a vessels position on the high seas. To enhance the ability to monitor a vessel’s progress from Bermuda to the next port of call, a few tracking /monitoring options are briefly described below:
- AIS transponders, (A and B) may be monitored on the high seas through Satellite AIS coverage. Satellite AIS Coverage is available from commercial vendors for a modest fee. There are several companies providing reliable services and manner in which the vessels position data is provided to the owner, including: www.Vesseltracker.com, www. Fleetmon.com, www.Orbcomm.com
- Satellite telephones may be used to track yachts on the high seas. Depending on the equipment installed (as required by the 2014 rules) on the vessel, a vessel’s position may be posted to a tracking website hosted by the service provider of the satellite telephone.
Two tracking options exist using the satellite phone:
Automated – anytime the phone is powered on and the antenna (of most handsets*) has a clear view of the sky, the vessel’s position will be transmitted to the tracking site.(* Satellite phones without integral GPS built in will need to interface with the ship’s GPS for this method to function.)
Manual– anytime an email is sent from the vessel using the satellite phone the service provider can parse the GPS coordinates from the email and plot a position on the tracking site.
www.OCENS.com (a Race sponsor) – provides these services through “OTrak” for a fee. Packages are available to suit the duration of the race and return voyages. Other vendors may also have similar functionality.
- SPOT- personal locators/ trackers allow for a variety of manual or automated tracking services that can track and share vessel position through email or on an accessible Webpage. http://www.findmespot.com