In sailing fast, the eyes have it!
AMSTERDAM _ In their pursuit of crafting faster sailors, coaches and researchers in the Netherlands are connecting unusual dots these days. A U of Amsterdam study concludes that a sailor’s viewing habits are key to winning a race.
The study by Kaj Bocker and Morris van Beek followed 15 sailors and found the eyes of fast racers _ compared to those of slower rivals _ spend more time looking outside the boat than inside.
That suggests a sailor’s performance can be improved if coaches teach different viewing habits. And how do you do that? The researchers compared 2 cameras: a head-mounted Camsports Cam and MobileEye camera that, integrated into a pair of glasses, tracks a sailor’s eye movements.
The researchers found the former to be more useful to measure the viewing direction. The study’s results were announced by the InnoSportLab, a center in The Hague that stimulates innovative research benefiting both Dutch sailing talent and private sector ideas and products. The center opened in 2010.