It’s always nice when we get to leave the office and see what it’s like where the athletes are doing what they do best – competing.

So today, me and Victor were at the National Sailing Centre (NSC) to help set up the setup for Twitter commentary for the Sailing competition. Hence the title… Twitter + Sailing = Twailing! 🙂 🙂 🙂

ex-model

You know you're at NSC if you spot this photogenic uncle at the canteen

It’s a pretty cool idea, given the situation: No live telecast of the event, spectators a long way out from the competition area, nobody knowing what’s happening out at sea…

The solution: Tweeters on the water narrate what’s going on out there while a laptop on shore beams their updates on to a big screen.

The on-water part was the bit we needed to test.

So off I went into the sea to make sure what was happening out there got transmitted back to shore. It’s tricky because many things can go wrong e.g. 3G signal is weak, dongle doesn’t work, twitter application isn’t configured properly, tweeter gets sea sick…

This is where I learnt how innovative the guys at Sailing Singapore were. Their chief R&D specialist (not sure if that’s his official title), Vincent, came up with this hi-tech plasticky, velcro-secured box which is a prototype for future sailing twitter commentators everywhere. (Vincent didn’t want me to reveal too much before his patent and plans for world domination get approved) What it does is it houses the laptop inside, cutting out a lot of the glare, which is a problem out there when the sun is everywhere.

Anyway, I got to try it out, and it worked pretty sweetly!

boxhead

Shufen (who manages the tweeters) doesn't think black is my colour

eagle eye

Vincent keeps an eye on his secret invention

But I’ve also gotten a new-found respect for these sailors who will be on the water tweeting the updates of each race. It’s way choppy out there at times, and to keep your eye on the race, and then on a laptop screen that’s wobbling… it’s nauseating!! Almost puked in the black box too. (Yet another use for it!)

bytes

This is what it's all about...

We’ll be back today at the NSC, where some REAL sailors will have a go at tweeting from the competition. Follow @s2010byteboy @s2010bytegirl if you want to see what they’re up to.

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