Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ask the Audience

Fans of the TV quiz game Who Wants to be a Millionaire? will know that contestants are allowed three "lifelines" to help them when they can't answer a question. One of these is Ask the Audience, in which the host polls the audience for the correct answer. Apparently the audience is right about 95% of the time.

News comes this weekend that Ask the Audience is now available to sailboat racers. The Green Dragon team in the Volvo Ocean Race have decided that they are going to "ask the audience" for help in tactical routing decisions on the current leg of the race.

According to Yachts and Yachting...

Every twelve hours during the leg, the virtual skippers in the Volvo Ocean Race Game will be sent a poll from Green Dragon. It will include a description of the current situation (details on weather conditions, boat condition and the crew) as well as an outlook for the next 24/36/48/72 hours.

Each of these polls will include at least three options for the route the team should sail. The poll will be posted on the game website for an hour, and the game players will have an opportunity to vote on the preferred route. The results of that vote will be communicated to the entire fleet, including Green Dragon, by the Duty Officer at Volvo Ocean Race headquarters.

Green Dragon may then, at the discretion of the skipper and navigator, follow the guidance of the online community. If the team decides not to take the advice, they will send an explanation for their reasoning.

Hmmm. That's novel. Two thoughts spring to mind...

  1. How could I use this technique in Laser racing?

  2. Who is going to ask Green Dragon, "Is that your final answer?"

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