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Inmarsat Partners with The Ocean Race

The idea is to create one of the most “connected” sporting events in history.

May 25, 2021
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Sailing team being hit by a wave during a race.
For The Ocean Race 2022-23, Inmarsat’s L-Band network will provide connectivity, safety and tracking services for the competing IMOCA 60s and one-design VO65 race yachts. Courtesy Inmarsat

Inmarsat has signed an exclusive agreement to deliver advanced digital content capabilities, safety services and onboard connectivity for The Ocean Race Europe 2021 and The Ocean Race 2022-23.

The mobile satellite communications company is promising to create “one of the most connected sporting events in history.”

For the 14th edition of the round-the-world sailing challenge, Inmarsat’s L-Band network will provide connectivity, safety and tracking services for the IMOCA 60s and one-design VO65 race yachts, even in the most remote ocean regions and most adverse weather conditions. The technology will drive the race’s digital content delivery, including live drone footage, with the goal of beaming more information, images and video ashore than ever before.

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Using Inmarsat airtime services and IsatPhone 2 satellite phones, the teams will be equipped with FleetBroadband 500 and FleetBroadband 250 to provide an “always-on” connection, allowing applications such as internet access, emails, calls, weather reporting and telemedicine. Live applications such as high-quality video streaming are also available. Inmarsat C will enable a two-way data connection for emergency services and 24/7 tracking. Inmarsat will also demonstrate its Fleet Xpress high-bandwidth services for yachting during the race.

In addition, Inmarsat services will support the real-time transfer of scientific data as teams measure ocean conditions as they race across the world.

“Inmarsat is delighted to once again partner with The Ocean Race to showcase our leading technology and support the teams facing one of the greatest endurance challenges in world sport with onboard connectivity,” Ronald Spithout, president of Inmarsat Maritime, stated in a press release. “I am confident that the advanced communication capabilities including live streaming we deliver for this awe-inspiring challenge will create new firsts for the upcoming edition, such as the groundbreaking live drone footage we witnessed of the racing in the Southern Ocean from 2017-18. Plus, there will be more social media posts and content than ever before sent from the sailors and onboard reporters to portray the real drama and bravery of the personalities to the rest of the world.”

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How long has The Ocean Race been run? Since 1973. The next edition starts in Alicante, Spain, in October 2022 and will include 10 international cities before ending in Genoa, Italy, in summer 2023. The Ocean Race Europe is new this year, starting in May in France and finishing three weeks later in Italy.

Where to learn more: go to inmarsat.com

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