SailGP, the world’s most exciting racing sport on water, relies on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to deliver real-time data to the league’s many national teams, broadcast partners, and global fans. OCI helps SailGP’s teams optimize performance and give fans a thrilling new experience.
The league showcases teams competing aboard hydrofoiling F50 catamarans, which fly above the water at speeds approaching 60 mph. SailGP’s second season comprised eight events, hosted by iconic destinations including San Francisco, Saint-Tropez, Sydney, and Bermuda. Each catamaran is identical, with the outcome hinging on each team’s maneuvers on the water. Sailors use real-time data from 800 sensors to determine strategies and make split-second decisions during a race.
SailGP also races for a better future, championing a world powered by nature. The league’s broadcast control room and all video production are now operated remotely, helping save on costs and reduce the ecological impact associated with bringing large crews and equipment to events. Also new this year is remote umpiring, eliminating the carbon footprint of umpire travel and the fossil-fueled boats they previously used on the water during the event.
The racing league had the following critical goals aligned to its move to OCI:
- Use cloud technology to better process data in real time to create better analytics and competitive advantages
- Create a deeper and much richer connection with fans and partners
- Build a robust simulator, allowing teammates to virtually race F50s from any location
- Detect complex anomalies and potential failures to pinpoint sensors and subsystems for safer operations and proactive replacement
Key OCI products used
SailGP used the following OCI services, software developer kits (SDKs), and frameworks:
- OCI Streaming service: OCI Streaming service is a real-time, serverless, Apache Kafka-compatible event streaming platform for developers and data scientists. Streaming is tightly integrated with OCI, Oracle Database, GoldenGate, and Oracle Integration Cloud.
- Oracle Stream Analytics: Oracle Stream Analytics allows users to process and analyze large-scale real-time information by using sophisticated correlation patterns, enrichment, and machine learning. It offers real-time actionable business insight on streaming data and automates action to drive today’s agile businesses.
- Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse: Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse is a cloud data warehouse service that eliminates all the complexities of operating a data warehouse. It automates provisioning, configuring, securing, tuning, scaling, and backing up of the data warehouse.
- OCI Object Storage: OCI Object Storage enables customers to securely store any type of data in its native format. With built-in redundancy, Object Storage is ideal for building modern applications that require scale and flexibility, as it can be used to consolidate multiple data sources for analytics, backup, or archive purposes.
- Oracle MySQL Database service: Oracle MySQL Database service is a fully managed database service that lets developers quickly develop and deploy secure, cloud native applications using the world’s most popular open source database. MySQL Database is the only MySQL cloud service with an integrated, high performance, in-memory query accelerator—HeatWave.
- OCI Anomaly Detection Service: Powerful AI service to flag business-critical incidents to generate meaningful inferences faster. With specialized models based on years of Oracle research, it uses automated model selection to simplify training and deploy anomaly detection models to applications and operations—all without data science expertise.
- Oracle REST Data Services: Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) bridges HTTPS and your Oracle database. A mid-tier Java application, ORDS provides a database management REST API, SQL developer web, a PL/SQL Gateway, SODA for REST, and the ability to publish RESTful Web Services for interacting with the data and stored procedures in your Oracle Database.
- OCI flexible load balancer: OCI Flexible Load Balancing enables customers to distribute web requests across a fleet of servers or automatically route traffic across fault domains, availability domains, or regions, yielding high availability and fault tolerance for any application or data source. The portfolio comprises two services: Flexible load balancer and flexible network load balancer.
- OCI Notifications service: OCI Notifications is a highly available, low-latency publish and subscribe service that sends alerts and messages to Oracle Functions, email, SMS, and message delivery partners, including Slack, PagerDuty, and ServiceNow. The service integrates with Oracle Identity and Access Management (IAM) service for secure access and delivers each message, even during traffic bursts.
- Oracle Identity and Access Management (IAM): Oracle IAM solutions secure access to enterprise applications for both cloud and on-premises deployments.
- Oracle Identity Cloud service: Manage user access and entitlements for OCI and across a wide range of cloud and on-premises applications using a cloud native, identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) platform. Oracle offers a unified cloud identity solution that centers user identity as the security perimeter and helps organizations pursue a zero trust strategy.
- Oracle Cloud Guard: Gain a unified view of cloud security posture across OCI customer tenants. Oracle Cloud Guard detects misconfigured resources and insecure activity across tenants and provides security administrators with the visibility to triage and resolve cloud security issues. You can automatically remediate security inconsistencies with out-of-the-box security recipes to effectively scale the security operations center.
- OCI GoldenGate: OCI GoldenGate is a managed service providing a real-time data mesh platform, which uses replication to keep data highly available, and enabling real-time analysis. Customers can design, run, and monitor their data replication and stream data processing solutions without the need to allocate or manage compute environments.
With these OCI services, SailGP also uses Oracle NetSuite. NetSuite is a unified business management suite that’s used by more than 28,000 customers, encompassing enterprise resource planning (ERP), financials, customer relationship management (CRM), and ecommerce.
SailGP’s data processing solution on OCI
To achieve its goals, SailGP uses OCI Streaming and Oracle Stream Analytics to process and analyze 240,000 data points every second. During each race, the data is streamed from every F50 catamaran and analyzed using sophisticated correlation patterns, data enrichment, and machine learning. Fans can then access these real-time race metrics through the SailGP app or SailGP.com, and each team can customize data dashboards that display relevant tactical information.
During each race, thousands of sensors attached to the F50 catamarans and the athletes send millions of data points through OCI FastConnect to an Oracle Cloud region in London for analysis and distribution worldwide. “This all happens and is consumable for end users within 150 milliseconds—faster than a blink of an eye,” says Joey Fitts, Oracle vice president of analytics product strategy.
SailGP has thousands of components on the F50 catamarans, and it is pretty hard to predict the lifespan of each of these components under the tough conditions of a SailGP race. During each event, the SailGP team makes over 13,000 API calls to OCI Anomaly Detection service, with over 30,000 datapoints in each call to generate almost 400 million inferences. The Oracle AI Anomaly Detection service in one recent instance helped SailGP sift through these to detect a problem with one of the team’s boats which was quickly attended to, and the team was back in the race. To deliver these innovations, OCI’s AI engineering teams worked with SailGP for six months. The partnership helped generate anomaly-free training data and new anomaly detection methods such as time-based derivative transformation (rate-of-change detection).
SailGP uses the data for the following purposes:
- Enable teams to evaluate and adjust their equipment and tactics for future races
- Feed the TV broadcast’s on-screen graphics and analysis
- Give fans a rich source of information on the SailGP mobile app and on SailGP.com
- Let teams monitor their athletes’ heart rates and blood pressure levels and track their movements on the boats
- Give race officials the details they need to make calls with more confidence
The SailGP app
OCI delivers 80 billion data requests generated over the course of the eight races to Oracle’s London cloud region for analysis and worldwide distribution, all within two-tenths of a second. Live video and audio feeds taken aboard the F50s are streamed to the cloud region for immediate broadcast to the SailGP mobile app and partners, and simultaneously stored in Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse. SailGP production teams at league headquarters use this information to create content for distribution across more than 186 broadcast territories.
Technical implementation on OCI
The data points collected from SailGP’s catamarans are transferred from the F50 vessels to an Autonomous Data Warehouse in Oracle’s London cloud region within two-tenths of a second. This transfer is accomplished using a dedicated 1 Gbps Oracle FastConnect link. A custom application receives the data and loads it into Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse. Another custom application calculates statistics on the data.
The architecture uses a single compartment with two subnets. The public subnet consists of an Oracle flexible load balancer, and the private subnet consists of all the other components.
Autonomous Data Warehouse makes the data available to media partners through Oracle REST Data services and gets data from MySQL Database service, which is used for legacy applications. The architecture has the following details:
- Oracle Stream Analytics server (available on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace) collects the offloaded data from the data warehouse.
- Oracle REST Data services server (also available on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace) exposes the collected data to media partners.
- The flexible load balancer and internet gateway feed data to media partners.
- The Oracle MySQL server is used for data processing and replication.
- Oracle GoldenGate Cloud service replicates MySQL data in real-time to the data warehouse.
- Notifications and Logging services provide visibility for scaling virtual machine (VM) cores and memory—essential for cloud ops.
- Security products include Oracle (IAM), Oracle Identity Cloud service, Oracle Cloud Guard, and Oracle Network Security Group (NSG).
Using OCI, SailGP can analyze more than 240,000 data points collected from 800 sensors on the F50 vessels in a matter of seconds. OCI has enabled the streaming of racing metrics in real time to crews and fans worldwide. Sensor data travels from the boats into Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse at an average batch size of 15,000–20,000 messages, sent every 500 milliseconds.
Rapid access to data from the F50s also helps teams detect anomalies and proactively manage the boat’s moving parts if an issue with a particular component arises before, during, or after a race. This availability not only improves performance, but also helps the teams save time and money.
For its second season, SailGP also uses racing metrics and data to serve the SailGP mobile app, SailGP Insights, powered by Oracle and Liveline, an augmented reality graphics package that gives racing fans more insight into what’s happening on the course. In the future, SailGP expects to push the boundaries on how technology is used to improve athlete performance, fan experiences, and sustainability in sports even further.
Warren Jones, CTO of SailGP, said, “I think this is a fundamental shift in what sports do in using data to go faster or be more efficient. We're really trying to push the boundary of technology, sustainability, and the use of tech for good.”
SailGP’s plans on OCI include integrating Grafana 8 for visualization, machine learning, and AI for enhanced data insights, Oracle APEX as a low-code platform, and predictive analytics for sensor failures and appendage anomalies. One compelling new feature available on the SailGP app, broadcast, and data dashboards this year is a real-time rating of each team’s tacks into the wind, calculated using Oracle AI technology.
SailGP is also developing a sailing simulator on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to reduce its carbon footprint. The simulator uses season one data and visualization software to recreate race conditions and scenarios. This simulation allows the league’s world-class athletes to improve performance, work on their skills, and even conduct virtual crashes to practice safety tactics.
For more information, see the following resources:
SailGP boosts performance, lowers carbon footprint with OCI
The competitive sailing league uses Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Autonomous Database to stream race metrics to athletes and fans.