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HomeRacingRacingsCisco, IBM Joining Hook’s Efforts to Advance Offshore Racing

Cisco, IBM Joining Hook’s Efforts to Advance Offshore Racing

With Superboat Unlimited competition looming this weekend at one of his favorites venues on the Super Boat International circuit—the Great Lakes Super Boat Grand Prix in Michigan City, Ind.—world champion offshore racer Nigel Hook expressed his excitement over his team’s 77 Lucas Oil SilverHook V-bottom being the flag bearer of the best analytics and data from IBM and now Cisco.

boden silverhook june16

The 77 Lucas Oil SilverHook is taking on the big cats in the Superboat Unlimited class on Sunday. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

“We are pioneering the next-generation analytics in the cloud and on the edge with DataSkill as the partner and integrator for IBM and Cisco,” said Hook, Lucas Oil throttleman and founder and CEO of DataSkill, in a press release. “This is the same Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology DataSkill has been pioneering in call centers, healthcare and energy to autonomously anticipate what’s happening next and predict the best action. It’s all about the intelligent use of data, and here is how we are boosting the sport of powerboat racing.

“First, we are analyzing the data in real time for optimizing performance, speed and safety while extending the lifespan of our systems—mechanical, electronic and pilots,” he added. “Second, we are visualizing the IoT (Internet of Things) data for entertainment and engaging the fans in a virtual experience.”

IBM and Cisco’s collaboration to provide instant IoT insight at the edge of the network allows businesses and organizations in remote and autonomous locations to tap the combined power of IBM’s Watson IoT and analytics technologies and Cisco’s edge analytics capabilities to more deeply understand and act on critical data on the network edge.

In a race setting, the technology can help drivers react immediately to environment and engine conditions in real-time, indicating the need to throttle back in a split second, for example, to help prevent the boat’s systems from failure and to perform optimally.

“Michigan City has the most friendly parade and people,” Hook said. “It’s one of the best venues on our national race calendar. The water conditions can turn at any point. We’ve seen it flat one day and incredibly rough the next day—of course we’re for the latter. We practice Friday and Saturday by Washington Park and race live at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

“We are on a mission to revolutionize our sport—a sport I’ve loved my whole life,” he continued. “It’s also a 115-year-old sport that few people get to enjoy or even know about, because we race offshore, not the easiest to see or film, but we are changing that with this technology.”

Hook and driver Jay Johnson wanted to thank their dedicated crew for giving them a solid running boat, with a special shout-out to the hospitality team led by Ken Robertson of Parliament Motor Coach and to the official support boat and fishing team captained by Scott and Jamie Knight of Crosslet Insurance Service.

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