Technology & Sport, a great combination for victory

This weekend I was in Valencia and witnessed the start of the finale of the America’s CupAmc1Where there was little wind on Friday but the conditions where just perfect for the start on Saturday. And it was spectacular, a great experience to be able to witness a battle of titans during the Formula1 of sailing. Alinghi (a Swiss based team of 21 nationalities) against the Kiwis of the Emirates Team New Zealand.
Extreme weird, a team from a country that has no access to the sea competing a team living on an island.
I was stunned by the decadently beautiful boats you see passing by in the brand new harbor build just for the event. But I was even more by the question: why is one boat/team doing better than another. If you both have close to unlimited resources what is going to make 1 titan to win over the other. And it’s clear that it’s a combination of many factors of which 2 really jump out: strategy and technology. Without the master strategist on the boat, which decides in a split second based on live and shore info how to use the team and boat, you will not be able to win. But without the highest technology possible at your fingertips you will be second and nobody will remember your name.
The defender in the race (Alinghi) has it all. The largest base in the harbor, housing a 600 core HPC, 100% failover that analyses everything and provides advice on anything. The info gathered from an individual race permits to provide the answer to questions like: why did we lose a second at that buoy? They use a lot of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) calculating how the tiniest change on the boat will give them that small advantage in speed.
I love it when people use IT to cross the border of what looked impossible before.