British SailGP boat - Image credit (c) 2019 Bob Martin for SailGPEnterprise Times sat down with John Abel, VP Cloud and Innovation for UK, Ireland and Israel at Oracle on the eve of the Cowes leg of SailGP. He talks about how SailGP is different from many other sports. Technology is shared between all the teams on an equal footing.

Data collection and analytics is powered by Oracle technology. In fact SailGP is underwritten by Larry Ellison, himself a very keen sailor. Its aim is to allow only the humans to give the competitive edge in the races.

He reveals how the technology enables each of the teams to improve their performance and efficiency in the race. In fact, three boats recently exceeded 50 knots in speed. Each year SailGP itself invests in improving the boat designs for the benefit of all teams.

Abel talks about the different Oracle technologies that SailGP takes advantage of. He also explains how organisations can take advantage of the same technology and apply some of the lessons learnt from SailGP.

SailGP uses the Autonomous database to provide information about each race and the boats performance. That data delivery is done in real time. This enables SailGP to deliver an understanding of Sailing that has hitherto been very difficult to do.

Oracle has also organised two sprints (or hackathons) to work on the data. One will target improvements to the spectator experience. The second, which Abel revealed later in the day, is to find whether the flow dynamics data from the sensors is applicable to energy generation. He talks about the first in a recent blog.

The Oracle technology stack is huge. Abel answers the question that many companies struggle with: “what are the first steps an organisation should take on their digital journey?”

To hear more of what Abel had to say listen to the podcast.

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