Electronic starting aid

Velocitek introduce their new ProStart

Thursday October 28th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Velocitek, the manufacturer of GPS instruments for performance sailing, has announced the release of the Velocitek ProStart. The ProStart is the first self-contained sailing instrument designed specifically to provide accurate distance-to-line measurements.

The ProStart’s ultra-simple user interface is designed to minimise crew distractions during start sequences. The front of the ProStart is reserved for the three most important start-related buttons: the pin, boat and timer sync buttons. The large size of these buttons makes them easy to press, even with gloved hands and easy to find in the midst of chaos.

After the start, the ProStart automatically switches to showing speed and heading. It also features a wind shift indicator that automatically locks on to your tack angle and shows lifts and headers on a bar graph that runs around the perimeter of the device’s over-sized LCD display.

In addition to providing easy to use real-time feedback, the ProStart automatically records a rolling 30 hour GPS data log of the user's most recent races and training sessions. The ProStart works with Velocitek's SpeedPlay race replay software, allowing racers to combine their GPS data with other boats and create race replays superimposed on a map background.

Priced at only IS$599 the ProStart provides sailors with high-accuracy distance-to-line-measurements in a simple to use format at a fraction of the cost of high-end networked instrument systems.

"When we released a firmware update that gave the SC-1 [an earlier Velocitek model] distance-to-line capability back in 2007, we had no idea what we were getting into. Today this feature is the main reason why sailors buy self contained GPS instruments. With the ProStart this information is easier to get and more accurate than ever before," commented Alec Stewart, Velocitek President and Founder

Here’s what some good sailors had to say about the ProStart:

"I think it’s a pretty good cheap version of what people are trying to do with computers on bigger boats. You’ll probably see it moving into bigger boats... maybe at first as a backup but then they might just ditch all the other stuff.” - Nathan Outteridge, 2 x 49er World Champion

“It helps on your pre-staging making sure you’re not 2 or 3 boatlengths too close to the line or too far from the line. It just gives you a nice consistent arc... it helps me figure out with the owners [drivers] how to get in a pattern or routine that we can repeat.” - Chris Larson, former Melges 24, J/24, J/22, Mumm 36, Maxi Yacht and Swan 45 World Champion

"It's the easiest thing to use out there right now and that is such a big help because there is so much stuff going on... they're moving the start boat all the time and you’ve always got to be on top of it." - Jeremy Wilmot, tactician on Bliksem, 2009 Melges 32 World Champion

“Just got back from crewing at the Melges 32 and J-80 Worlds where we used the new Velocitek with great success. After a couple starting practices in the Melges 32, the new Velocitek was the clear winner for its simplicity in countdown timing and pinging the line with very accurate results. We nailed several starts, by knowing the time to the start and distance to the line.” - Vince Brun, former Melges 24, J/24, Soling, Star and Etchells World Champion


Latest Comments

  • pwhitesmith 30/10/2010 - 20:33

    a) on a dinghy this is the equivalent of having a motor hidden in the frame of a Tour de France bike
  • MikeBz 29/10/2010 - 12:33

    So is it time to: a) Ban electronics from dinghy racing (except stopwatches I guess); OR: b) Accept that skills of judging your distance to the start line and judging the magnitude of windshifts and taking related decisions are now irrelevant/redundant? Mike

    Add a comment - Members log in


    Latest news!

    Back to top
      Back to top