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21 August 2010, 04:51 am
Twitter Transmits Blow-by-Blow Excitement of Sailing Races In Real Time
Youth Olympic Games in Singapore
Every detail of action is tweeted live in real time

Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games
Singapore

"Oh! SIN has dropped her sail once again and ISR is closing up". Ko Jia Yun (SIN) tweets furiously from the Techno girl boat, alerting spectators to the drama unfolding on the course at the National Sailing Centre.
"PER is forced to tack out and ISR has decided to tack on to port as well," colleague Siobhan Tam (SIN) adds seconds later as the windsurfing action hots up.

The two are part of a 13-strong team of experienced sailors that follow the sailing action each day from four boats at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

Indeed, the activity on the Twitter boat is almost as frenetic as it is in the racing fleet.

Each boat follows a particular class, sometimes coming to within 50m of the competing boats; the tweeters send out some 80 tweets in each race and the four feeds have attracted more than 500 followers.

In a sport that is notoriously hard for landlubbers to follow, Twitter technology has the potential to transform the coverage of sailing events and increase the sport's profile.

Ronnie Meir, who coaches Israeli windsurfer Mayan Rafic, is amazed by how quickly information is relayed.

"Mayan's father Mikhail texted me before I had a chance to get back to the beach and he said: 'Whoah! It is incredible how Twitter is going, I know everything before you'."

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge, himself an Olympic sailor, is a big fan.

"It is a new way to communicate, it's very quick, it is universal and it is spreading extremely well, so we are very pleased," he said. "I am totally comfortable with Twitter."

The tweet team includes four members of the Singapore youth squad and Lo Man Yi (SIN), who competed in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

The aim for the tweeters is to offer spectators, both on shore and around the world, a glimpse of the speed and level of skill involved in what sailors do.

"A lot of people don't really understand how difficult sailing is, and it's great to be able to explain what the athletes out there are going through via Twitter," said Lesley de Cruz (SIN), who at 17 was too old to be selected for the Youth Olympic Games in sailing but is just happy to be a part of the proceedings.

"We discuss the tactics we think they might be using and also what we would be doing in their situation and then one person writes it up," said Siobham Tam (SIN).


For photos please visit the YOG Sailing website here

To follow racing sign up to the race Twitter feed, access photos and results on the Sailing competition at the Youth Olympic Games website visit: www.sailing.org/yog

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