Setting Sail for the America’s Cup with Digital Speed

ByAndrew Bowater

April 1, 2021

Andrew Bowater

Huawei’s intelligent storage solutions are helping reigning America’s Cup holder’s Emirates Team New Zealand set sail for innovation.

Source: ETNZ / An Emirates Team New Zealand team member uses the Huawei P40 to assess racing data from a chase boat (*not actual data)

For over 170 years, the America’s Cup has attracted the world’s top sailors and boat designers. Now, it is drawing in the very best of data scientists and computer engineers.

Emirates Team New Zealand ranked third in the 2020 Sports Technology Annual Review and Industry Power List. The index, which looks at the influence of technology in sport, placed the reigning cup holder right behind Formula One and the Tour de France, respectively, and ahead of 47 other major global sporting powerhouse teams and governing bodies.

“Both Emirates Team New Zealand and the America’s Cup as a whole have become increasingly digital over the last decade,” said Marty Yates, Emirates Team New Zealand IT Manager. “The rise of IoT, improvements in camera technology and other sensors on the boats have made data one of the most critical elements of modern America’s Cup.”

Data is a treasure trove on which races can be won or lost. Sensors collecting real-time information from oceanic currents, wind, boat speed, ride height, and hydraulic pressure coming off the water can steer the decision-making process.

Gigabytes of information pour into servers, and harnessing this dataflow can help refine schematics for builders, provide insights for sailors, and inform operations at the base. More precise information gives racing teams a competitive edge that leads to better chances of winning.

To complete its digital transformation project, Emirates Team New Zealand required storage solutions with top of the line functionality. The ability to increase the data storage capacity was essential, but it was also critical to have top-tier capabilities that boost capabilities to read, write, and access files, as well as robust security systems to protect files.

Managing increasing higher volumes and ever-higher velocity of new and more complex data sets requires having the right systems in place. Emirates Team New Zealand has upgraded its storage systems with Huawei’s intelligent OceanStor 5500 V5 storage solution.

The OceanStor 5500 V5

“After upgrading to Huawei OceanStor, we’ve seen an immediate improvement in how our team operates. There’s been over a tenfold increase in both the overall storage capacity and application performance,” said Yates. “From an admin point of view, I’ve definitely seen an improvement in usability with an intuitive GUI. The system enables me to monitor and manage its performance through power consumption and running status alarms.”

Going for Auld

Source: ETNZ / Emirates Team New Zealand won the 2017 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Final against Artemis, 5–2

New technologies combined with AI and machine learning will continue to refine every race element. Intelligent storage solutions are laying the foundation for speeding up the digital transformation of the America’s Cup. From the moment the boat enters the water, it is ultimately the most skilled team that will take home the Auld Mug, but every single thing in the run-up to the race will help edge the team closer to victory.

“Thanks to Huawei OceanStor, data is stored in house physically. It’s secure and immediately accessible,” says Yates. “The speed gains are efficacy gains, and anything that improves the functions of the team improves the chances of us winning and retaining the America’s Cup.”

Find out more about the Huawei OceanStor product series.

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

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Andrew Bowater

Deputy Managing Director, New Zealand, Huawei

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