The sport of sailing dates back to the most primitive of vessels sculpted by hand from wood, skin and hand-made cloth, designed to allow men to fish, trade and travel into warfare. Fast forward to the 21st century and sailing has become known as a luxury sport mostly enjoyed for pleasure. While the purpose of sailing has generally shifted from necessity to pleasure, the reality remains that this sport requires individuals to go outside their comfort zones as they trade the stability of land for the unknowns of the sea.
13FIFTY Racing announced their formation in May 2015 at the Newport Volvo Ocean Race stopover with the goal of showcasing the skills and determination of American sailors on an international stage. The first co-ed U.S. team, 13FIFTY set out to represent the adventure, risk, determination and athleticism that we all undertake when heading out to sea, and the ability that both men AND women have to partake in that adventure.
When preparing for their slate of races in 2015, 13FIFTY knew that they required reliable communications technology when they ventured out of cellular range during races. 13FIFTY and Globalstar partnered to outfit the crew and boats with top of the line equipment and services. While sailing will undoubtedly bring a host of unknowns, connectivity in the 21st century does not need to be one of them, both for personal/business use and emergency assistance if required.
Since July 2015, the team has set out on 8 races, conquered 3000+ miles and visited 10 cities across 5 countries. The major factor in leading to these accomplishments? Team work. Each member of the co-ed 13FIFTY crew comprises an important piece of the puzzle, from the intellectual challenges of navigation and tactics, to the strength and skill required to guide these high performance vessels across hundred and thousands of miles of ocean.
Documenting it all through the lenses of professional media experts, they share their races and adventures in real time via Globalstar communications devices. 13FIFTY has rallied a substantial social media following given their accomplishments at such a young age because of their ability to connect with those back on land while racing. Staying in touch with crew members is seamless thanks to the Globalstar GSP-1700 mobile satellite phone, Sat-Fi satellite hotspot and SPOT Gen3 satellite messenger.
Jesse Fielding, co-founder and Skipper, states, “The clear voice quality of the GSP-1700 allows us to connect with our media team while racing across the Atlantic, around the Mediterranean, and anywhere our work takes us. Whether racing across an ocean or competing in a regatta where internet service is limited, having the Globalstar products allows us to stay connected with our clients and viewers.”
Alex Clegg, Navigator during the Rolex Middle Sea race, states, “When we paired the GSP-1700 with the data cable, we were able to quickly download GRIBs during the Middle Sea Race and check tracking on people we were racing against. Globalstar helps us to perform at the top of our game.”
Additionally, their constant connectivity has helped the young sailors get help when it was needed most. “Having the ability to call a tow when we got close to Marathon was a relief. After losing our rudder off of the Florida Keys in the middle of the night in 20-25 kts, and then limping closer to shore we knew that it was going to be tricky the get into the marina with no rudder. With no cell service in the area, we are very grateful that our Globalstar phone allowed us to call a tow boat to get us into the harbor.” Jesse commented.
Team 13Fifty depends on the unparalleled ability to share their story from any ocean, as they continue to push the limits of the sport. Thanks to technology providers like Globalstar, connectivity is more seamless and affordable than ever before. Check out this video of 13FIFTY as they were part of the team on the yacht Lucky which claimed the 2015 Transatlantic Triple Crown; voiceovers were sent via their GSP-1700 satellite phone from the middle of the Northern Atlantic.
To learn more about Globalstar products and services, please visit Globalstar.com.