Gear

Wind Data from a Distance

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With a Racer’s Edge wind sensor from Catch the Wind Inc., it is now possible to precisely measure the wind direction and velocity hundreds of yards away. The handheld fiber-optic device—which was part of BMW Oracle’s technical arsenal for the 33rd America’s Cup—weighs about 18lb and uses a pulsating laser to detect what the wind is up to, an approach that allows it to work even in poor visibility.

The device has no moving parts, is water resistant and functions in a wide range of temperatures. A wireless data transmission system can be used to remotely link the Racer’s Edge to an onboard computer, where data can be instantly downloaded for analysis. In operation, the system can be held like pair of binoculars, or mounted on a tripod.

Windspeed measurements are accurate to with 0.5 knot. Wind direction measurements are accurate to 2 degrees. The price of each unit is a stiff $149,000, but they are also available for lease for specific racing campaigns or events. For more information, click here.

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