Nigel Hook, owner and throttleman of the Lucas Oil-backed offshore race team and the CEO and founder of DataSkill Inc., couldn’t pass on the remarkable opportunity to promote both of his passions—technology and boat racing (and not necessarily in that order)—at next month’s CeBIT Show in Hannover, Germany. Hook’s previous raceboat, the Lucas Oil 7, will be on display from March 14-18 in the IBM Analytics booth at the largest and most internationally represented computer expo in the world.
The Lucas Oil 7 raceboat left Jacksonville, Fla., last week en route to Germany. Photos courtesy Nigel Hook
Hook’s companies, SilverHook Powerboats and DataSkill, in collaboration with IBM, have been creating the next generation of intelligent telemetry incorporating machine learning to predict and prevent engine problems and monitor the health of the pilots in real time. IBM’s decision to feature Hook’s custom modified Skater Powerboats V399 during CeBIT appears to be a surefire magnet to draw a lot of attention to Advanced Analytics Business Solutions and Watson, the thinking computer.
To prepare for the CeBIT show, the boat was pulled from storage and the team at Smart Marine Group went to work constructing a new engine hatch and handling some minor structural repairs. Hook’s crew, led by Bruce Baker, pulled the Mercury Racing 1075SCi engines from the SilverHook 48GP raceboat to reinstall into the Skater. The boat was detailed and re-decaled to be ready for its close up at CeBIT.
“My team has done a great job,” Hook said. “The photos I’ve seen look fantastic and I’m really looking forward to the CeBIT show in Germany. The boat looks so good I’m ready to race her!”
After winning the 2006 Super V World Championship in its inaugural season, the V399 was shipped overseas to compete in the Evolution class of the European Powerboat P1 series in 2008 and 2009 and raced in France, Italy, Malta, Sicily, Tunisia and the UK.
With roughly a month until the show opens, the boat is already on its way to Germany thanks to Dave Holley and his U.S.-based Peters & May team.
Hook and his teammate, Jay Johnson, will be at the show shaking hands, talking shop, and discussing data collection, telemetry and most importantly, their “intelligent” IBM Analytics solution since during the past four years, technology—data collection, telemetry, boat design and analytics—has become a primary focus of Hook’s team.
“Having real-time feedback about how the boat is performing absolutely provides a competitive edge,” Hook said, adding that technology has transformed the SilverHook 48GP into a high-speed flying data center. “Without a doubt, this technology has saved my equipment more than once allowing the team a strong finish.”
The CeBit display will feature videos of the team racing and Hook discussing his t3lemetry system, an “intelligent telemetry” system featuring IBM Analytics, Spark, Bluemix, and IoT. To learn more, watch the video above and check out some of the other videos here:
Editor’s note: Look for a follow-up story from the show next month on speedonthewater.com.