Cochrane tech company on board world’s coolest sports yacht

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A piece of Cochrane technology is on board one of the wildest and wettest sport sailing yachts on the planet, after a local company has partnered for a second year in a row with the current holder of the prestigious America’s Cup.

“It’s absolute proof in the pudding that we can develop a product that can perform on the world stage,” said spokeswoman Suzanne Hamilton of 4iiii Innovations.

Since opening its doors in 2012, Cochrane-based 4iiii has become a leader in the field of sports monitoring technology. Its PRECISION powermeter helps athletes on the high-performance cycling circuit measure and improve their efforts – and that same tech now graces the winches of the new Oracle Team USA “17” catamaran, a racing yacht maneuvered by a team of 14 sailors and capable of reaching speeds of up to 100 kilometres an hour.

Owned by computer software giant Oracle’s co-founder Larry Ellison – currently the seventh wealthiest person in the world with a fortune of more than $51 billion – the yacht will defend its America’s Cup title when it races through the waters of Bermuda later this year.

Oracle Team USA already has several sensors on their boat to gather real-time information so they can analyze each minute detail of how the yacht and its athletes operate under every kind of condition, said Hamilton.

4iiii’s powermeters, connected to the boat’s winches, will complement that data by measuring how much power the athletes produce with each turn of the winch handle. The critical information will offer even more ammunition to help the team succeed.

“Power management is one of the biggest challenges in this America’s Cup. All the systems need to be powered by the grinders,” Ian Burns, performance manager for Oracle Team USA, said in a release. “To understand how efficient our systems are, we need to have an accurate gauge of the input – what are the guys able to produce when they turn the handles?”

Hamilton said 4iiii is proud to be finding new and creative ways to use the powermeter technology to assist athletes in arming themselves with information so they can train “smarter, faster, safer.”

“You learn more about yourself … you attain more goals and have fun,” she said, adding the company recently launched Fiiiit, another application of the same technology geared toward indoor cycling.

“People can really quantify their spin classes: ‘I have this time: how can I really maximize and grow each day?’ It helps you gauge your workout, as well as pace your workout,” said Hamilton.

“We really, really believe in how power can change output – and change ability.”

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