The small device - the size of a walkie talkie - is a waterproof, drop proof tracking device that automatically transmits the boat's position from anywhere on Earth.
The Yellow Brick uses the Iridium satellite network - this is the only satellite network that allows transmission of information from any point on the earth. With 66 satellites orbiting the earth at any given time, this network works far beyond the reach of WiFi and GSM networks.
This genius device has a battery life of around 2500 transmissions. To put that into perspective, the Yellow Brick trackers in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge transmit every 4 hours. Over a 60 day period, that only uses 15% of it's battery.
Lets start with the Yellow Brick app for phone and tablet:
At the very beginning of the race, before the first yellow line, the Yellow Brick trackers are set to transmit every 1 hour. During the first and second yellow line, they will transmit every 2 hours and after the second yellow line, they will transmit every 4 hours.
This is the most direct route from start to finish but does not always mean it's the best route. You can turn the red line off in the 'Overlays' tab at the bottom.
Located at the bottom of the map, this lets you go back in time to watch how the boats have moved. If you haven't tried this already, give it a go, it's fascinating!
The wind overlay allows you to see the wind speed and direction. This will give you an indication of why some boats are going faster than others and why some are taking different routes. You can turn the wind overlay on or off in the 'Overlays' tab at the bottom.
Each team is listed in alphabetical order. By clicking on the team name, you can see details such as the location of the boat, speed and direction and position in the race (at last transmission). The coloured circle icon next to the team name locates the team on the map.
Each team is listed in current position. This is determined by the closest to the finish rather than the amount of miles rowed.
Start time - Shows the team start time. Each team started at 5 minute intervals, starting with the fours, then the trios, then pairs and finally the solos.
Updated - Shows when the Yellow Brick last transmitted.
DTF - Distance to finish in nautical miles.
Rowed - Number of miles rowed so far. Note: a team may have rowed more miles than another team, but they may be further away from the finish meaning they are in a lower position in the race.
VMG - Velocity Made Good - this is the optimum velocity in the direction of your destination. "The most efficient direction towards the target, taking external factors into account i.e. boat speed, wind direction, wind speed, wave direction and current." ~ Charlie Pitcher
Last 24hrs - Shows the number of nautical miles rowed in the last 24 hours.
VMG Start (top right of screen) - shows the VMG since the start of the race.
VMG Recent (top right of screen) - shows the VMG since the last Yellow Brick transmission.
TOP TIP: If you tap the team name in the leader board, it will display an estimated finish date and time.
This shows who's talking about the app and what they are saying on social media.
If you thought the app on your phone was addictive, then try the computer version. To view, visit the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge website and click on the link from the top of the Home page.
Once the YB page opens, you can view the wind, temperature, pressure, clouds, currents and waves as it's happening. Simply explore all the toggle and overlay options in the grey bar at the top of the screen. For example, to see the wind conditions:
1. Click the 'Toggle wind data' tab under 'Overlays / Map' - the one that looks like a flag.
2. Select 'Windy.'
3. Click the down arrow to select what you would like to see.
4. You can move the slider at the top to see the factors up to 10 days in the future.
You can use the ruler tool to measure the distance between teams.
You can reveal and hide side menu on the map by clicking the arrows. You can even set up an automatic slideshow to show how the boats moved since the start. You can also change the speed at which it plays.