RaceRanger gets a second outing at Challenge Wanaka

by Olalla Cernuda on 17 Feb, 2023 11:05 • Español
RaceRanger gets a second outing at Challenge Wanaka

Following the first trial of the RaceRanger drafting detection technology at the Tauranga Half in January, the system will now be tested by the elite fields at the Challenge Wanaka event this Saturday. World Triathlon’s Sport Department are following the New Zealand trial events closely, in collaboration with the Triathlon New Zealand Technical Officials present at the trial events.

Following the trials, the RaceRanger system will be evaluated for future competition use as an athlete and officiating tool for the sport.

Co-Founder and CEO of RaceRanger, James Elvery, commented; “We are really looking forward to getting back out on another race-course after the first test in Tauranga 3 weeks ago. This is a special place and a special race, for both myself and my Co-Founder Dylan McNeice. I’ve been coming here for family holidays my whole life, and am lucky to now call Wanaka home, and for Dylan this race in particular, which he won three times in his racing career, has always been special.”

“Since Tauranga we’ve worked hard on ironing out a few bugs that were reported by a couple of athletes, and are now pleased with the improved state of the system. It’s like starting out in triathlon as an athlete; every time you race, you learn something new.”

“This race will be run at the extended Challenge Family 20m draft distance for the elite athletes, which is twice the distance we had in Tauranga. We are looking forward to showcasing the RaceRanger system’s performance at these distances.”

“A huge thanks again go out from our team to the athletes for their willingness to trial the technology in their competitions, as well as World Triathlon, Challenge Wanaka and Triathlon New Zealand for their support.”

““We have been working closely with the RaceRanger team to develop this technology and make it a really useful tool for our Technical Officials, and it is great to see it implemented at events. We have taken the feedback from officials and athletes in the first pilot, and the RaceRanger team have developed some small changes to make it even better, so we are confident that we will be able to use the system in various non-drafting events in the near future”, explained World Triathlon Sports Director, Gergely Markus.

RaceRanger is an electronic sensor system designed to improve fairness around the issue of drafting on the bike section of non-drafting triathlons. Currently, determination of drafting distances by athletes and the technical officials policing them are made with subjective naked eye judgements.

Developed by two triathletes from New Zealand, in collaboration with the World Triathlon Sport department, RaceRanger comprises two electronic units that triathletes in non-drafting competitions attach to their bicycles, one at the front and one at the rear.

The system makes accurate measurements of the distance between athletes while they ride. The rear unit features three coloured lights that signal backwards to a following competitor, providing information about their following distance. In future, the system will detect when infringements are occurring and send this data to technical officials patrolling the course, via a tablet app interface. The official will assess the situation in real-time and can then make a decision on whether a penalty needs to be applied through the system.

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