Auckland company Vesper Marine is putting a virtual fence around the America's Cup racecourse, providing real time updates to spectators on the water.

The America's Cup Event Authority is implementing Vesper Marine's Guardian AIS system. The system provides a navigation perimeter of the racecourse which is updated in real time as course changes are made. Spectators and local marine traffic on the water will be kept fully updated about the perimeter of the course, ensuring their safety during races.

Using the technology, race officials monitoring the event and looking for safety concerns or weather-dependant changes to the course are able to send information out automatically to other vessels in the area, providing them with a virtual fence.

Vessels which veer too close to the perimeter of the course are sent warning alerts directly to their ship.


"We are proud to be part of this iconic event with such a rich history," said Jeff Robbins, chief executive of Vesper Marine.

"Our easy to use system gives the race organisers a great deal of flexibility and powerful functionality. The Vesper Marine Guardian solution makes spectating and officiating the America's Cup races a whole lot safer."

The America's Cup technology was first used at the 2013 event. It was also used in the Bay of Plenty after the Rena ran aground to provide vessels with information about seven reefs in the area.

Vesper Marine's Guardian system was employed during the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 in the Indian Ocean to create a safety zone around the search vessels.

In addition to these solutions, the tech is also used by telecommunications and power companies to inform vessels of the location of underground cables in order to prevent anchor strikes.