VirtualSpectator transformed the way you could view the America's Cup. Now it is available for ocean races

The first OSTAR in 1960 was won by Sir Francis Chichester in a time of 40 days, 12 hours and 30 seconds. Race followers saw pictures of Chichester starting and finishing but for more than a month he was ‘off-air’. Today, technology has changed everything.

Using VirtualSpectator followers can live this year’s transatlantic race, track the boats and judge their tactical calls. They will be able to do this using this award-winning 3D animation program created for the America’s Cup and the Whitbread Round the World Race. During the last Louis Vuitton and America’s Cups 300,000 sailing fans from more than 100 countries used VirtualSpectator to follow the racing in Auckland and enjoyed the interactive experience of watching live 3D animated America’s Cup action over the Internet.

For the Europe 1 New Man STAR VirtualSpectator will track the 19 monohulls and 7 multihulls in Class 1, with an animation, text and graphical interface in English and French using their brand new ocean version of the software. This includes emails from the boats and weather overviews.

After a short download and the associated software registration – which will be free of charge for the first 50,000 users – viewers will be able to experience the event from a completely different perspective; it’s the closest you can get to racing without the backing of a major sponsor.

VirtualSpectator will download the fleet positions four times a day, transforms those positions and the incoming GRIB weather files into a fully-interactive 3D animation of the Europe 1 New Man STAR. Viewers can choose their virtual camera position, follow the fleet or just their favourite boat and rewind or fast forward the action to date. A full text and weather commentary will also highlight the decisions skippers are facing and options they have. There will be no-one better placed to judge the tactical calls than the VirtualSpectator follows ashore.

The 3.5MB interface can be downloaded from the Internet via a link to the VirtualSpectator website or from, the official Europe 1 New Man star website.

Each time the viewer goes on-line, Virtual Spectator will automatically update the positioning data for each boat.

(EDITOR’s NOTE: at present the race organisers are experiencing problems receiving positions for the fleet via Inmarsat C).