Sailing News

KattackTM Race Player at Acura Miami Grand Prix

There’s been a new face to race reporting this winter at the Acura Miami Grand Prix and Key West Race Week. The Minneapolis based Kattack Performance Application was used extensively at both venues to allow competitors and viewers worldwide to see the exact detail of what happened on the race course. The Kattack player uses standard handheld GPS units and proprietary software to create digital playbacks of the racing for post race viewing on the web.

At Key West, Gary Jobson used the Kattack playback data as part of his ESPN video coverage that focused on key races each day. According to Jobson “Kattack instantly explains the racing in a detailed and entertaining manner. World class tacticians and people new to the sport can all learn from the Kattack Race Player data.”

At the Acura Miami Grand Prix Kattack provided race playback of all the fleets and all the races. Links from the event press releases and results web page linbked directly to the Kattack website where viewers could watch Quicktime videos of the Race Player data. This allowed viewers to see how those results came to be and let even casual viewers into the play-by-play details of the race.

“The video replay option is new for us. The Race Player is more detailed but Quicktime videos reach a wider viewing audience that sponsors want race organizers to reach,” states Kattack Vice President Steve Palm. “The Kattack Player is a simple download and install with obvious viewing advantages, but the video is compelling and instantly available to anyone with broadband internet access.

Kattack web traffic for the Grand Prix was phenomenal. Traffic to rivaled traffic to the web organizers web site and nearly doubled Kattack’s list of Race Player registered users. Race data videos will remain online for several months after the event.

Although race playback data isn’t new, the Kattack system allows large fleets of boats to be tracked in a simple, lightweight and affordable package. While other systems can only be used on large offshore boats or match racing, the Kattack system can be used by most any regatta, yacht club, or even for individual training. Several clubs have already signed up to include Kattack race tracking as part of their regular season long racing program and Kattack is planning to be at many regattas this summer providing race support.


Celebrating The Nation’s Best: Smith And Railey Receive Top Sailing Awards

Paige Railey left and Jud Smith right with Rolex Yachtswoman and Yachtsman of the Year awards.

Jud Smith (Marblehead, Mass.) and Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) took center stage yesterday during a special luncheon in the model room of the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan. The sailors are US SAILING’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year, this country’s most prestigious honor in the sport. They were recognized for their outstanding on-the-water performances during the 2006 calendar year and presented with engraved Rolex timepieces. Emceeing the event was Gary Jobson, while Rolex President and CEO Allen Brill awarded the watches with assistance from US SAILING’s President Jim Capron and Executive Director Charles Leighton.

Smith was recognized for his victories at several Etchells regattas, including the World Championship, as well as for his wins in several other classes. In addition to the Etchells Worlds, Smith won the class’ North American Championship, Lands’ End Annapolis NOOD Regatta, Florida State Championship and Acura Miami Race Week. Proving his versatility on other boats, Smith also won the Rhodes 19 National and East Coast Championships. He also crewed on the class winners at the Rolex Big Boat Series, the Lands’ End Chicago NOOD Regatta and the Verve Cup.

“Winning this award feels different than I expected,” said Smith. “I’ve always thought that the sailors who have won the award in the past had reached the pinnacle in their careers. I don’t feel I’ve reached my ultimate goal yet; I still have time before I arrive.”

Railey, the youngest woman ever to receive the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award, was recognized for her accomplishments on foreign waters. Among the US Sailing Team member’s victories were the Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères, France; the ISAF World Sailing Games in Neusiedl, Austria; and the Good Luck Beijing-2006 Qingdao International Regatta, the first test event in China at the venue of the 2008 Olympic Regatta. At home, Railey also triumphed at the Laser Radial North American and Midwinter East Championships.

“It feels really fantastic to win this,” said Paige Railey, who won the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year award last fall and hopes to represent the USA at the 2008 Olympic Games. “It’s so nice to come home and receive this award from the U.S. sailing community, and I look forward to continuing on this path.”

A video Podcast from the awards luncheon, produced by the luncheon emcee Gary Jobson, is available on the US SAILING website at

Established in 1961 by US SAILING and sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. since 1980, the Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards recognize outstanding on-the-water achievement within the calendar year. These prestigious awards are viewed by the sail-racing industry as among the nation’s top sailing distinctions. More information on these awards is available at

All contents are copyright (c) 2007 by Northern Breezes, Inc. All information contained within is deemed reliable but carries no guarantees. Reproduction of any part or whole of this publication in any form by mechanical or electronic means, including information retrieval is prohibited except by consent of the publisher.