QUEENSLAND'S biggest yacht race will be watched by more fans than ever before this year, thanks to the latest in satellite tracking technology that will allow millions worldwide to tune in and watch the progress of every yacht, as they battle it out across the waves in real time.
In one of the largest ever uses of live tracking devices for a yacht race, Australian satellite communications provider Pivotel is fitting every yacht in the Qantas Link Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race with a state of the art TracerTrak transmitter.
The device, which connects to a satellite and then reports back to the website, will display the entire race course, calculate the position of all 300 individual yachts, and allow fans to cheer on their favourite yachts right until they cross the finish line.
With the race untelevised for a number of years now and the 60,000 fans who flock to the starting line on the shores of Moreton Bay each year unable to follow events once the yachts are out of sight, this further expansion of the use of satellite technology for the race is expected to be welcomed by all.
"Certainly more people than ever before will be able to get involved in the race as it unfolds," explained Pivotel-TracerTrak Managing Director Peter Bolger.
"Fans will be able to get just as involved in the race as if they were part of the crew and from wherever they are. With many families travelling over Easter it will mean no one will have to miss out on the event which is great news for the race organisers, competitors and of course the many, many fans."
Pivotel Satellite recorded more than 15 million hits on the race tracking website last year, and that number is expected to be even higher this year.
However with safety a top priority and Queensland recently experiencing a spate of strong winds and rough seas the TracerTrak system will also give organisers the all-important tracking of yachts from start to finish.
TracerTrak service now allows people to monitor a wide variety of assets such as boats, trucks or caravans all over the world and in the most treacherous conditions from anywhere the Internet is accessible.
"The capabilities of the TracerTrak service is now definitely world class," said Mr Bolger. "With updates available to enable the monitoring of a vehicle or assets while they are moving ensures real peace of mind for the owner, especially if they are managing a large fleet of vehicles which could be spread far and wide geographically."
The yachts will start from Redcliffe Point and proceed to the North West Channel, up to Caloundra and through to Gladstone, racing a distance of 570 kilometres.
The QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race is Queensland's highest profile Easter weekend sporting event, setting sail from Moreton Bay on Good Friday every year.
Fans will be able to get just as involved in the race as if they were part of the crew