Sailors kept up to date with the latest sailing news

Sailors kept up to date with the latest sailing news

The Transatlantic Race 2025 will offer competitors the option to use autopilot without penalty when racing from the USA to England. Elaine Bunting highlights a major change among the boats participating in the 2023 ARC transatlantic rally. The introduction of Starlink, Elon Musk’s low earth orbiting satcom system, made a significant impact on the fleet.

Approximately 25-30% of ARC yachts had Starlink on board, providing solid broadband connections and speeds throughout the Atlantic. The system is easy to install and offers plug-and-play functionality, especially on 240V. While there are drawbacks to being overly connected to shore, the benefits of Starlink outweigh any cons. Other competitors, such as Amazon’s Project Kuiper and China’s Geespace, are racing to catch up with similar technology.

Paul Tetlow, the new managing director of World Cruising Club, views Starlink as a historically significant development in sailing technology. He compares its impact to the availability of GPS or electronic charting, marking a step change in overall equipment and crew expectations. Starlink allowed organizers to create a WhatsApp group for the fleet, replacing the traditional SSB radio net for sharing information and photos.

Onboard boats, Starlink has revolutionized crew operations and lifestyle. It has transformed the way crews live and operate during the transatlantic rally. The availability of this technology has reshaped communication and connectivity at sea.

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