AIS Virtual Racecourse Boundary Aids AC35 Spectator Boats

Vesper Marine’s system gives real-time data that only America’s Cup race officials used to see.

America's Cup
The America's Cup is in it's final race days.Ricardo Pinto

Skipper Jimmy Spithill with Oracle Team USA and skipper Glenn Ashby of Emirates Team New Zealand are pushing their America's Cup foiling catamarans to the limit — which sometimes includes the virtual boundary of the race course.

How do they, and the spectator boats all around, know where to steer clear? Vesper Marine's Guardian Automatic Identification System (AIS) creates a virtual perimeter as an aid to navigation.

AIS, America's Cup, Vesper Marine
Vesper Marine has upgraded its Guardian Automatic Identification System for the America's Cup.Courtesy Vesper Marine

America’s Cup organizers first used the system in 2013, and it’s been updated this year to add spectator features. The current-generation system “paints” the course on a spectator boat’s AIS display and alerts the skipper if a protected zone is about to be breached, or if another proximity incident is likely to occur.

“We are proud to be part of this iconic event with such a rich history,” Vesper Marine CEO Jeff Robbins stated in a press release. “Our easy-to-use system gives the race organizers a great deal of flexibility and powerful functionality. The Vesper Marine Guardian solution makes spectating and officiating the America’s Cup races a whole lot safer.”