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.


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. And with Oracle's help, we're really pushing the boundaries.

Warren JonesChief Technology Officer, SailGP

Business challenges

Founded by Oracle Founder and CTO Larry Ellison and champion yachtsman Sir Russell Coutts, SailGP is a high tech global racing series in its second season, with eight national teams competing on identical F50 foiling catamarans capable of reaching speeds of up to 60 mph.

In the SailGP league, thousands of sensors are attached to the catamarans and their crew members, generating millions of data points that are shared with broadcast partners, fans, race officials, and importantly, across the fleet. Each team has full access to one another’s data for post-race analysis, with the goal that sailing performance on the water, not technology, should determine the winner. 

Ever since its inaugural season in 2019, SailGP has taken advantage of a variety of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) services at cloud regions geographically close to the events. Using cloud-based resources to transfer and analyze data in near-real time allows more of the technology support work to be accomplished remotely. Doing so not only reduces cost and complexity, it also fits the league’s goal to lower its carbon footprint, including flying fewer people and equipment to race destinations. The league also uses streaming data to make racing more exciting for fans.

To have machine learning and AI associated with SailGP is truly amazing. We've got so much data available to us, we haven't touched the ability of what we can do at the moment. In the future, we know that there's going to be insights that we haven't really thought of today, which will be more relevant in two, three, four years’ time.

Warren JonesChief Technology Officer, SailGP

Why SailGP Chose Oracle

SailGP runs its computing environment on the cloud using OCI compute and storage, Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse, and Oracle Stream Analytics. The league has relied on Oracle Cloud since its inception, and as part of SailGP’s growth and sustainability efforts, it has expanded the collaboration to develop new cloud-based innovations and create operational efficiencies across its business.


Using OCI, SailGP can in a matter of seconds analyze more than 240,000 data points collected from 800 sensors on the F50 vessels, streaming racing metrics in real time to crews. Sensor data flows off the boats into Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse at an average batch size of 15,000 to 20,000 messages, sent every 500 milliseconds.

The data points collected from SailGP’s catamarans are transferred from the F50 vessels to an Autonomous Data Warehouse via Oracle’s cloud region in London for analysis, all within two-tenths of a second. This is accomplished using a dedicated 1 Gbps Oracle FastConnect link.

Using OCI to collect and manage racing data from the F50s, SailGP can lower the carbon footprint of the league’s events. Rather than sending IT support staff and equipment to races across the globe, contributing to fossil fuel emissions, SailGP can manage most of the IT work remotely, moving data rapidly using Oracle FastConnect and the Oracle cloud region infrastructure in or near the country where the league is competing. The Autonomous Data Warehouse is also used to make data available to media partners through Oracle REST Data Services and to get data from MySQL Database Service, which is mainly used for legacy applications. The MySQL data is replicated in real-time to the data warehouse using Oracle GoldenGate Cloud Service.

Another example of technology’s role in lowering SailGP’s carbon footprint is through a sailing simulator—currently under development—that runs on OCI. The simulator will use season 1 data and visualization software to re-create race conditions and scenarios. This allows the league’s world-class athletes to improve performance, work on their skills, and even conduct virtual crashes to practice safety tactics. Athletes can do this from anywhere in the world, thereby reducing the impact from traveling in order to meet.

Rapid access to data from the F50s also helps teams detect anomalies and proactively manage the boat’s moving parts should an issue with a particular component arise before, during, or after a race. This 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 even farther on how technology is used to improve athlete performance, fan experiences, and sustainability in sports.

Published:November 18, 2021