The Volvo Ocean Race teams up with Fleetbroadband (internationalsatellitesservices.com)

As one of the most exciting and dangerous competitions in the world, the Volvo Ocean Race has become a must-see for anyone who has a passion for sailing. Leg One of the 2011-12 race has commenced with six of the best sailing crews on the globe leaving Alicante, Spain with their eye aimed directly at Cape Town, South Africa.

The nine month long race, made up of an equal number of legs, is figured to garner a viewership of 2 billion people, making this a high-stakes event for the crew, its sponsors, and the companies who provide the equipment that enable these boats to reach the limits of their potential. One of the most vital aspects of a teams success is taking advantage of leading communication technology. This has been an issue for sailors since the beginning, but now, with the help of Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband Marine Satellite Communications, these difficulties are becoming a thing of the past.

You could say that sailing is somewhat of a beautiful contradiction these days. Although its primary function: “propulsion of a boat using sails” is still the most integral part of the sport, the introduction of new methods, material and ideas to help increase speed, safety and efficiency of the crew has kept the sport at the cutting edge of technology. Not only are boats turning into F1 race-cars with regard to the advanced make-up and build, but also with analytics and communication. Top yachts can track their progress and make adjustments real-time using on-board systems that analyze every aspect.

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The Volvo Ocean Race in particular demands the best from the crews competing and requires a boat that is outfitted with the most advanced technology to date, not the least of which is satellite communications. Luckily for the crews, FleetBroadband Marine Satellite Communications is giving them all the tools necessary to complete the race faster and safer than ever. Launched in 2007, FleetBroadband provides telephone and internet simultaneously through a highly compact antennae anywhere in the world. It is the first marine satellite services system to simultaneously provide voice and high speed data service to any body of water around the globe.

Delivered via the most advanced commercial communications satellites ever launched, Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband allows you to send and receive email with large file attachments, comfortably run complex data applications and make voice calls at the same time, more affordably than ever before. Regardless of the type of size of the vessel, FleetBroadband offers a compact solution that can easily be accommodated, providing the boat with optimal connectivity, no matter what the conditions, or where you are.The system is easy to install, allows immediate network integration, enables total flexibility, is cost-effective, and offers complete security.

Not only are your communications instantly upgraded, but fans can feel more connected to the race itself by being able to receive live videos, photos, and blogs in real-time. This interactive process will surely help the sport gain new audiences wherever internet access is available. Allowing those who would not have previously been able to view the race to watch the grand spectacle is a positive for everyone involved.

As the competitors round the Cape of Good Hope and continue pushing the limits of their sport, all while traversing the globe, they have a certain confidence in the factors that used to be unpredictable and inefficient. With proper maritime communication systems, our Volvo Ocean Race crews can feel safe and confident that they have the resources to do great things.

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