THE thrill of yacht racing will be experienced from the shore, thanks to Cowes Week Ltd (CWL) participating in the 5G Test and Create project.

CWL has announced it has been selected by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to take part in the government-backed competition exploring how 5G can improve people's lives and help the UK build back better from the pandemic.

With £825,000 funding, CWL and its partners, aql and the 1851 Trust, will deliver the Connected Cowes 5G Project and showcase its capabilities at the Cowes Week regatta in the first week of August 2021.

Matt Warman, minister for digital infrastructure, said: "Connected Cowes is just one of the ways we're exploring 5G's uncharted waters through our £200 million testbeds and trials programme.

"I look forward to seeing it demonstrate how 5G can allow anyone, even those hundreds of miles from the coast, to experience the thrill of yacht racing."

The Connected Cowes 5G Project will see high definition 360° cameras fitted to 50 boats, each beaming back real-time, high definition pictures to the Cowes Live TV presentation, which will be shown on big screens around the town, as well as being available on the internet.

A virtual reality lounge on the Parade in Cowes will enable spectators to don headsets and be transported out to one of the 50 boats, seeing exactly what's going on right across the Solent.

The new Cowes Week Spectator App will bring all the technology directly to spectators around the world.

CWL said it will further enhance Cowes Week's global reach as one of the most famous sailing regattas in the world.

Race organisers will use the new technology to enhance their race management capabilities, with 700 boats circulating on 42 different race courses every day.

Sponsor aql is providing the technical infrastructure to make the project a reality and after the regatta the 1851 Trust will put together a 5G STEM learning package which will complement the work the trust (the official charity of Britain's America's Cup Challenger, INEOS Team UK) is doing in this area.

CWL said: "CWL will be at the vanguard of covering the wide range of extreme sports which to date have struggled to get an engaged audience connected."