A hi-tech racing boat deserves hi-tech race coverage, and that is what the 505 class is getting for its World Championship which is about to start in Aarhus, Denmark
Fans from around the globe will be able to watch blow-by-blow coverage of the SAP 505 World Championship through a huge array of media, from live video streaming, live GPS tracking, through to daily podcasts and coverage via social media such as Twitter and Facebook. All of these different media will be channelled through the official regatta website at: www.505sapworldchampionship2010.com
As to the competition itself, predicting a winner from a fleet as tough as the 505 fleet is never easy, especially when the entry has climbed to more than 120 teams from 11 different nations. Danish team Jan Saugmann
and Morten Ramsbæk won the Worlds in 2007, and the Copenhagen sailors have been training in Aarhus this season to try to gain a crucial local advantage, along with many other local crews.
British sailmaker Ian Pinnell
won the 2008 Worlds and has this year teamed up with the winning crew from 2006, Ian Mitchell. Although they've done little sailing together in the 505 they have sailed together a good deal before in the International 14, and Pinnell believes they have a good chemistry in the 505.
"We're expecting light to medium airs in Aarhus, although we're aware you can get any kind of condition there,"
says Pinnell. "As to our competition, certainly there are some very strong Danes but my main concern is Wolfgang Hunger The German is viewed by many as the best 470 sailor never to have won an Olympic medal, having won the 470 World Championships three times. "He never seems to make a mistake,"
says Pinnell of Hunger, also a former 505 World Champion, "so if we're going to beat him I think we'll probably need to do it with better boatspeed."
Hunger, sailing with Julian Kleiner, is bidding to win his second world title.
If Hunger is one of the best never to have won an Olympic medal, then the Danish Bojsen-Møller brothers, Jørgen and Jacob, are possibly the best Olympic sailors never to have won the 505 Worlds. It is a mark of the quality of this fleet that despite having won gold and bronze Olympic medals in the Flying Dutchman class, they have never yet managed to win the 505 Worlds.
Taking place at the Kaløvig Sailing Centre, event organiser Thomas Capitani Nielsen from Sailing Aarhus, says the competitors have to be ready for almost any kind of weather conditions, and he hopes they will experience a bit of everything. He is also excited about the prospect of showcasing the Worlds through so many different media.
"We are working closely with people from the Active Institute at the University of Aarhus, who are using the Worlds as an opportunity to put into practice everything they are studying about media and technology,"
he says. "We're lucky that the 505 class was already sponsored by a technology company such as SAP, who understand everything we are trying to achieve and indeed have now committed their own people and resources to taking the event media coverage to an even higher level."
"We know there is an audience of fans around the world who want to follow the 505 Worlds closely, and with modern technology such as tracking, video streaming and social media, we have a great opportunity to bring the story of the regatta to them."
The SAP 505 World Championship starts with the Pre Worlds from 26 to 28 July, and the Worlds takes place from 30 July to 5 August.
Follow the regatta at the official event website: www.505sapworldchampionship2010.com
To learn more about all the different ways you can keep track of the racing: http://www.505sapworldchampionship2010.com/media-guide/
To find out more about how the University of Aarhus is bringing sailing to a wider audience: http://activeinstitute.dk/2010/07/the-sap-505-world-championship-mashup/