Broadband via satellite on the Jacques Vabre deckchair

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One of the competitors in the sailing race on the coffee route is embarking on a space innovation, which should significantly improve the performance of its skippers.

Thirtieth anniversary edition

The 16th transatlantic Jacques Vabrethe legendary transatlantic duo race, non-stop and without assistance, set off (in part) on Sunday October 29 from the port of Le Havre, in Normandy.

Direction: Fort-de-France bay, in Martinique.

This thirtieth anniversary edition brings together 94 sailboats (a record), divided into four categories: Class40, Imoca, Ocean Fifty and Ultime.

The first Jacques Vabre transatlantic race dates back to October-November 1993.

At the time solo (until 1995), she had to go from Le Havre to Cartagena, in Colombia.

Unlimited Internet on board

Among the competitors in the Class40 category (40-foot monohulls, or 12.19 meters), this year includes the sailboat Centrakor of Mikael Mergui And Ludovic Méchinwhich was released in November 2022 during the 12th Route du rhum.

In theory, Centrakor must cover a total distance of 4,600 nautical miles (approximately 8,500 km), in the space of 22 days.

Throughout the crossing, the boat will be able to remain connected to the internet, with high-speed bandwidth, even when it reaches impressive speeds of 29.7 knots (55 km/h).

This innovation is offered by the Franco-British operator Eutelsat-OneWeb (whose official creation dates back to September 28) and the South Korean satellite antenna manufacturer Intellian Technologiesthrough the supply of a flat and compact antenna, coupled to the Eutelsat-OneWeb satellite constellation dedicated to mobile internet.

A major advantage

Thanks to their space equipment, the two skippers benefit from almost instantaneous access to data on the high seas (white zone), particularly weather data, and can thus better anticipate changes in weather and bad weather during the transatlantic race.

Until now, racing boats have had limited internet access, forcing crews to make strategic decisions with the few elements they have at their disposal.

However, this is still a full-scale test for the equipment on board Centrakor, which is still at the prototype stage and will collect the data necessary to refine the technology and deploy it in the coming months.

John Walker Avatar