McLaren Technology Centre

SAP Extreme Sailing Team visit the MTC

The McLaren Group recently welcomed 11 members of the SAP Extreme Sailing Team to the McLaren Technology Centre.

The sailors were given a behind the scenes tour some of the most exclusive areas of the state-of-the-art facility, including mission control where information is collected and strategy is developed during a race, to find out how big data analytics can help improve sporting performance.

They then got the chance to get stuck in, taking part in a highly competitive pit stop challenge.

The group also met with McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT), who explained how they used Formula 1 expertise to accurately monitor Team GB athletes’ speed, position and performance in the run-up to last year’s Olympic Games. MAT worked with five sports during the games, including the Team GB sailing team, and helped to win a total of 30 medals, including 15 golds.

The day was born out of McLaren’s fruitful partnership with SAP, whose data analytics help us to improve our on-track performance and have also transformed the IT infrastructure of the entire McLaren Group.

The experience proved valuable for the SAP Extreme Sailing Team, who saw opportunities for tech transfer between Formula 1 and sailing.

“To come and see where it all happens is definitely inspirational.

It puts it all into perspective just how technologically advanced Formula 1 is. It’s a level beyond where we are and represents everything that we are trying to emulate.

What a place like this can do is just so exciting. I’m not surprised that the Olympic sailing team won numerous gold medals. We would just love to get the boat in here. Using the expertise and the machinery, we could engineer so many changes.”

Pete Cumming, the mainsail trimmer.

SAP also provides cutting-edge technology to help the Extreme Sailing Team maximise their potential. “We use the analytics provided by SAP to map the whole race course and work out the shortest distance to finish the fastest.”Cumming added. “We study our route around the course and our manoeuvres so that we can break down our entire race into straight line speed and where we are losing time. Thanks to SAP, we can also see the other teams’ times and where they are gaining an advantage. There are definitely crossovers in the way we work.”

Just as in F1, sailing is a sport which is constantly-evolving and SAP is paramount in aiding that progress. “SAP is also helping us look into predictions,” Rasmus Kostner, co-skipper said. “Just like in F1 where McLaren uses data to predict the optimum time to pit, SAP is starting to support us with calculations and tools to work out our best strategy for our sailing.”

Article from Mclaren Group.