Welcome to the Vakaros Blog!
Look for us to use this space to explain complex topics in performance sailing and technology, introduce new products and features, and highlight sailors we’re working with around the globe.
We started Vakaros [va-car-ohs] with a simple goal: to design and build state-of-the-art instrumentation for competitive sailors. We’re obsessed with performance and believe quality instruments can help sailors of all levels learn and improve, whether their goal is to win a gold medal, race around the globe, or just move up in the Wednesday night rankings.
Sailing is an inherently complex sport with a wide range of variables, from wind and sea state to technique, tactics and boat setup. With this level of complexity, performance on the water can be a mystery. How many dockside conversations have devolved into a guessing game of what worked and what didn’t? Was it a lucky shift? Slow tacks or gybes? How well did we start? What was our boat speed? Was there kelp on the keel? Without any reliable measure of performance, improvement is a long, slow process of trial and error.
At the highest levels, sailors trust instruments to provide real-time feedback on the water and track their performance. They know how they are doing second-to-second and can measure improvement from one day to the next. America’s Cup teams dedicate significant resources to collecting this performance data and have coaches and data analysts who review it. With this data, teams can pinpoint exactly where they need to improve.
For sailors and teams without multi-million dollar budgets, instrumentation hasn’t lived up to this potential. Existing products are not focused on what sailors need. They compromise performance with slow update rates, inaccurate sensors, flawed designs, and limited features. As sailing shifts to smaller, higher performance boats, these shortcomings are magnified, making the need for quality instrumentation greater than ever.
Our approach is built on our experience as sailors on small dinghies, high performance catamarans, and sport boats. We are excited to apply years of expertise in sensor design, hardware development, advanced data analytics, and machine learning to our favorite sport.
Over the next year, we’ll be rolling out advanced displays, state-of-the-art sensors, and sophisticated analytics; all developed expressly for sailing. We can’t begin to express how excited we are to have these products out on the water and in the hands of sailors. Stay tuned!
Jake Keilman and Todd Wilson
Founders of Vakaros