Cosworth's little black box

Data collection and analysis on an F1 scale
Data logging and analysis is not new in sailing, but the move into the marine market in recent years of British based firm Cosworth is. The company - famous for its F1 motor racing credentials now includes the Pi Research business and with it a spohisticated package of data logging hardware and analysis software. Now commonly used at the Olympic level (product development has been with Skandia Team GBR) and at the Grand Prix level - America's Cup, Volvo, TP52 etc the Pi range of equipment can now be applied to racing boats to the 40 foot mark. This has principally come from the Pi Garda, the dinghy product, which now has options for a Tacktick interface or a generic NMEA interface for easy, common, data collection. We saw the Pi Garda in action on a demo day organised by Tacktick and Cosworth on Jim Macgregor's Elan 410 Premier Flair - a quick lap of the Solent followed by some technical analysis afterwards in front of a laptop using the Pi Toolbox software. The waterproof unit itself is pretty compact - just three iPhones thick in modern language, or 40 B and H in old. We located it on the chart table and hardwired it into Jim's Tacktick interface to collect the instrument data. Inside is amongst other things a GPS, accelerometer, battery, and a logging mechanism that can take everything Tacktick can throw at it at upto 500 times a second. It also comes with an on-off button and finally a 'data marker' button to put an event down on the trace of information. After the sailing session, with the data downloaded onto a computer the power of the software is demonstrated and various aspects of your sailing can be investigated. Very cleverly video can also be