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20 August 2007, 07:25 am
Results: Scoring The Olympic Games
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Inside the OVR room in Qingdao

Qingdao International Regatta 2007
Qingdao, China

Behind the scenes in Qingdao, one of the key features of this year's regatta has been to test the results, scoring and tracking systems which will be used at the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition.
Recording, verifying, displaying and distributing results will be one of the most vital aspects of the Beijing Olympic Games - making the testing of this system a key feature of the 2007 Qingdao International Regatta. This year the Olympic Results Information Service (ORIS) is being thoroughly tested in Qingdao (unlike the 2006 test event which used standard sailing scoring software).

Following the testing guidelines, the results are not being displayed live online (although hardcopy of the individual race and overall results are available to accredited media onsite in Qingdao), but tested in-house, in Qingdao and Beijing. Results displayed on the event website and media pages are generated independently from the ORIS system and are being used solely to make the information available, not as part of the testing process for 2008.

At the 2008 Olympic Games all of the results for all 28 sports are entered into a central IT system, ORIS. This system uses over 900 servers and 7,000 PCs to join together all the competition venues across China and provide real-time results and information about all the events and athletes of the Beijing Olympic Games.

At this year's test event in Qingdao, the results system for next year is undergoing a 100% dry run, with mark roundings and finishes timed to the second for every boat in every event in every race. For each race wind speed and direction, humidity and temperature are all also measured. As this is part of the Good Luck Beijing series of test events and following the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Beijing Organization Committee (BOCOG) protocols, none of this information is being distributed worldwide, although printouts of the individual race and overall results are available to accredited media onsite in Qingdao.

In Qingdao there are 118 staff working towards providing the results for the 11 sailing events. Thirty-two of these are based in the administration centre, checking and distributing the results, with the remainder on the water. When a boat rounds the mark or crosses the finish line, they input the nation directly into a transmitter which sends the signal back to the On-Venue Results room. The data is then verified before being sent to the central system.

This information all flows onto the information system for Beijing, Info2008. As well as results and scoring, this system includes information about the venue, athletes, flash quotes, press conference highlights and race reports. For the Olympic Games, ISAF will be taking a live feed direct from this system meaning mark roundings, weather conditions, race and overall results will all be transmitted live to www.sailing.org.

Another aspect of the results system being tested this year is the live tracking of the races. Each boat in a fleet is fitted with a GPS tracking device, which this year has been reduced down to just 600 g (it was 6 kg in Athens). This creates both 2D and 3D live animations of the racing to compliment the television broadcasting.

One of the key aspects of this year's Qingdao International Regatta has been the testing of the results and information service. It may not have been on display to the world, but in Qingdao it has been one of the central component of this year's test event.

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