For the first time in the World Air Games, spectators are able to follow the Glider racing and Hot Air Balloon action live and in real time. Using a system of satellite trackers linked to the Iridium satellite network, coupled to a series of computers in both Mondovi (Ballooning) and Turin (Gliding), spectators can follow every tactical decision made by the pilots during the race.
Events such as these take place away from the airfield, making it difficult to follow the action for those who are not flying. At these Games the positions and movement of the competitors are relayed back to base and displayed on large screens as well as live on the internet. Dedicated commentary is provided by experts to analyse the action and give detailed background information to explain how the race develops.
Despite the fact that this is the first time such information has been offered at the World Air Games, the results are very impressive; crowds of spectators gather round the large screens to follow the action and the web traffic statistics show that many tens of thousands are following from around the world.See http://www.wag2009.com/video/livestreaming.htm for the live streaming. Those following the gliding are able to take part in live discussions using the chat facility on Skype - look for 'waggliding', based in Turin.