Owning a piece of front-row real estate is the ultimate goal in starting, especially in big-fleet starts. But when there's a long line and a sea of white sails and hulls even the best race committees will miscall OCS boats-some will get nailed while others get away. Worse, if too many boats push the line, the race committee will recall everyone and try again, essentially penalizing those who started properly. Soon, however, says Henri Van der Aat, of Denmark, who has presided over race committees at the sport's highest levels, the way in which we start, specifically the way in which race committees deal with OCS starters, will change dramatically, and for the better.Van der Aat envisions the starting line's two ends (as well as a mid-line boat if in use) carrying GPS-based transponder chips, allowing their positions to be accurately marked. Each raceboat will carry a unit, mounted at the same exact location, whether at the bow or at the mast, continuously reporting its position. For ultimate accuracy, the tracking system will also be tied into the timing sequence and starting signals, which themselves are prone to human errors and delays as well. "The starting signal will be spot on," says Van der Aat, "the line will be spot on, and therefore you will be spot on."How so? Tomorrow's solution is available today in a 100-gram tracking transponder no bigger than a cell phone. One such unit, developed by the Danish company Sport-Track, was used in the 2006 Tour de France cycling race. In two of the Tour's stages, these lightweight GPS transponders fed rider position and performance data to a tracking portal using GPSR, a high-speed cellular transmission, allowing real-time online race viewing. Using EGNOS, the European equivalent of WAAS-based GPS, which uses a network of ground stations to correct GPS signals, the transponders were said to be precise to less than a meter.