ORACLE TEAM USA—Analytics for Athletic Training

Analytics for Athletic Training
Extreme Athletic Performance

America’s Cup yacht racing is highly demanding. ORACLE TEAM USA uses analytics-driven training to ensure maximum team health and performance.

 

 

Sailors must operate at peak mental and physical condition; their training uses data-driven insights for individual evaluation and improvement.

Performance Fueled by Technology

High speeds on the water require new levels of athleticism.

High speeds on the water require new levels of athleticism.

The technological advances in America’s Cup yacht racing, pioneered by ORACLE TEAM USA, have enabled yachts to achieve speeds close to 50 miles per hour—a velocity simply unheard of a few years ago.

Extreme speed on the water demands extreme mental and physical performance from each member of the crew. With only six sailors on board, the helmsman relies on his five crew members to help with grinding on the winch pedestals, including the trimmers, who control the wing and the soft sails to optimize the boat's power.

The health of the team is paramount. Recognizing this, ORACLE TEAM USA uses a combination of intensive physical training techniques with modern analytics, ensuring data and technology play a key role in every facet of preparing for America’s Cup.

Access for Everyone

Sailors need to maintain physical and mental strength while being blasted by salt water.

Sailors need to maintain physical and mental strength while being blasted by salt water.

Sailing team members are continually physically stressed by training and sailing schedules. While the yacht is traveling at full speed across open water, the team must keep physical balance, trim, hike, and grind at full strength, maintain vigilance on the yacht’s real-time dashboards, and constantly make split-second decisions based on all of those inputs—all while enduring blasts of salt water that hit with the ferocity of a water cannon.

Leading up to the America’s Cup, the team trains 12 to 14 hours every day for six days a week, burning 8,000 to 10,000 calories each day. Below is a typical daily schedule:

  • 7:30 a.m. — Physical training
  • 9:00 a.m. — Breakfast (with dietary constraints)
  • 9:45 a.m. — Morning briefing
  • 10:00 a.m. — Task assignments for the day’s training
  • 11:30 a.m. — “All hands on deck” for dock-out
  • 12:00 p.m. — Final checklists and reviews with boat captains
  • 12:15 p.m. — Lunch and additional briefings
  • 1:00 p.m. — On-water training
  • 4:00 p.m. — Dock-in, shower, physical, dinner
  • 5:00 p.m. — Sailing team debrief with coach, analysis with designers and shore team using data analytics, video review, and more

Optimal Health with Analytics

Data on both physical and mental condition is collected from a variety of sources.

Data on both physical and mental condition is collected from a variety of sources.

Every sailor needs to excel in directing the yacht with his hands and his brain. Training is physically and mentally demanding; every individual responds differently to high stress. Overtraining is a real threat that leads to injury, repetitive strain, sickness, and subpar performance.

To minimize the risks of overtraining, ORACLE TEAM USA employs analytics to track, measure, predict, and improve sailors’ performances.

There are three core vectors of data collection.

  • 1. Conscious measurement. Every day, each sailor completes an online survey with questions about readiness to train, quality of sleep and recovery, and physical and mental condition at that moment.
     
  • 2. Passive measurement. This is the data set around the sailor’s general condition, such as weight and fat measurements, 24/7 heart rate variability, length and quality of sleep, injury reports, and more.
     
  • 3. Active training measurement. Data is collected when training on and off the boat. This includes hours on the boat, energy output from winch handles, grinding tests, heart rate, specific session data, weight lifted, and more, including any injury records that indicate lost time and treatment.

All of this data is loaded into Oracle Database, where it’s processed to generate a number of reports, including establishing a data baseline, irregularity recognition, overall training load, and intervention recommendations if the risk of overtraining looms.

Training to Win

Peak performance is achieved by adopting a regimen informed by data analytics and insights.

Peak performance is achieved by adopting a regimen informed by data analytics and insights.

To compete in the America’s Cup, the elite sailors of ORACLE TEAM USA adhere to a regimen of training, measurement, and continuous improvement. Physical fitness is key, but equally important is mental clarity: the strength to grind and the awareness to make snap decisions on the water are what lead a team to victory.

Team performance is boosted by an appetite for data analytics, which is also true for any organization seeking to win their own race, however they define it. Oracle enables this winning mindset through Oracle Database, Oracle Cloud, Oracle Business Analytics, and other key solutions that elevate data sets into insights for victory.


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