The America’s Cup 2013 Updates

Want some inside information about what is happening? Lots of people do and the Cup Committee provides live tweets of the official communications.

While the race is going on there is a lot of short hand chatter going between officials, boat crews, and shore staff.

This feed reminds me of the early days in the space race during broadcast launches when you heard incomprehensible terms such as BECO (Booster Engine Cut Off).

While they weren’t hard for insiders and techies to understand, most people needed a guide and the same goes for yacht racing.

Tune into for the live feed.

To make things more comprehensible here is a brief guide of some terms you may hear.

PRO – Principal Race Officer – top boss who determines the course.

UMP – Umpire.

USA – United States – Oracle Team USA

NZL – Emirates Team New Zealand

MDSS – Media Data Server System, boat telemetry

TIM – Telemetry Interface Metadata – ?? could be anything related to the data but not generated automatically

WND – Wind guage

OCS – On Course Side – a foul, crossing the start before time

LM – Leeward Mark

WM – Windward Mark

kts – Knots, or 1.15 m.p.h. 1.85 k.p.h.

PDT – Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-7 hours

For example, a message might be sent from PRO to a boat or all boats, for example the start time, or a penalty notice, or the official race finish time.

The other day we saw “PRO Race 1 Terminated” which told the boats the ongoing race had been cancelled. The reason was high winds but the boats didn’t need to know a reason.

Other housekeeping traffic might explain the change in position of a marker.

An important piece of information would be the current which also alters the high wind limit.

A Yankee Flag is a boat protesting something the other boat did.

Actual cloth flags were, of course, the the traditional way for boats to communicate and there is a flag code which you won’t see on these boats.

A protest tweet would probably just identify the protesting boat and “Yankee.”

You would probably see either Penalty, or No Penalty after a close call.

Tweets will also report the 3 minute warning because some rules change 3 minutes before the start.

There will also be some automated reports which report things such as when a boat clears a mark.

An automated report will say a boat has crossed the finish line, but that boat may have a penalty time added or

may have been disqualified so the automated report is not an official finish.

WND tweets are automated wind reports for conditions at the committee boat.