Behind The Scenes: Race Viewer
18 August 2017
With Race Start just days away, we feel it’s only fair that we issue a warning about an addiction that is about to take over your lives. Enabling anyone to track the race from anywhere, anytime and on any device, the Race Viewer is the most frequented area of the race’s official website.
The Race Viewer keeps friends, family, crew while on land, and avid sailing fans, up to date on the fleet’s progress throughout the eleven-month long adventure thanks to real-time updates on each of the twelve yacht’s positions at least every hour.
A new feature for the Clipper 2017-18 Race will be the ability to rewind the Viewer to any point in the race, so users can see which Team was leading at any given time.
Produced by our website designers, Salad Creative, for desktop or mobile/tablet use, the Race Viewer is the outcome of hours of intensive design and development. Working similarly to an app, the Race Viewer can also be saved as a bookmark icon on all smart phone and tablet screens for easy access.
"The main objectives for the Race Viewer were to create an engaging and user-friendly way for followers to track the race progress from anywhere, and importantly, on any device,” explains Adam Morland, Digital Director at Salad.
“GPS beacons on board send regular positional updates, allowing us to accurately plot each team’s progress. Followers are able to view weather conditions, measure distances between landmarks or competing teams and catch up by rewinding the race action."
A private area of the system will also be used by the race’s management team to track and ensure the fleet’s safety, even when the yachts positions are hidden in Stealth Mode.
From Friday 18 August, the Race Viewer will launch and attract a huge audience; some arranging their daily routine around the updates. During the 2015-16 edition of the race, the Race Viewer received more than 1.7 million page views.
Henry Kitching, whose sisters Grace and Holly both took part in the last race edition, says: “The Race Viewer fully took over my life last year. My sisters were on two separate boats at the same time so it was particularly fun to check in and see which of them were ahead in the race.
“I didn’t realise how much time I would spend tracking the boats. It was totally addictive! I knew it was going to be a big part of Holly and Grace’s lives but I feel like myself and my family spent almost as much time following them as they did actually sailing! When the race finished, I got my sisters and my life back.”
In addition to the Race Viewer, race fans can follow their favourite teams via their daily Skipper and Crew Diaries which are posted to Team Pages each day, and watch live video of team arrivals into port (where internet strength allows) by following our Facebook Page.