Globalstar Europe Satellite Services Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc. (NYSE American: GSAT), has announced that TracTrac, specialist provider of hardware and software solutions for tracking of competitive sailing and adventure sports, is deploying SPOT Gen4 devices to support race events on land and sea.
Established in 2005, TracTrac is a software and services company that has developed an innovative tracking platform specifically designed to provide tracking capability for difficult-to-follow sports. These include race sailing and long distance endurance sports as diverse as road cycling, open water swimming, trail running, orienteering, Nordic skiing as well as multi-discipline events such as triathlon and adventure races.
In competitive sailing, TracTrac has long supported many regattas internationally, which predominately take place inshore, namely sailing races which hug the coastline and can typically be tracked using GSM-based systems. Chris Terkelsen, TracTrac Co-founder, explains however that TracTrac is seeing elevated demand for tracking capability to support races which take place further out to sea and on oceans. “We’ve been seeing huge growth in more challenging racing events, far beyond the shoreline; we knew that to deliver reliable tracking for these longer races further offshore, we needed our system to include satellite technology,” he said.
TracTrac reached the decision that SPOT was the best choice to satisfy its requirements and those of its customers and race event organizers, operating around the world. Terkelsen, himself having had a successful career in competitive orienteering, explained that SPOT’s ease-of-use and ubiquitous, reliable satellite-enabled reach, were key influencing factors. SPOT’s economical and competitive pricing was also a very important component in the selection decision. He also cited ease-of-use as a highly valuable attribute for TracTrac, noting that SPOT only has a few buttons; it is easy to hand to the boat crews or our partners and right away they can see how to use it.
SPOT is also a valuable safety device, and SOS is a vital function. Should an event participant face an emergency, a press of SPOT’s SOS button instantly sends an alert along with the user’s GPS co-ordinates to the event’s operations and management team who can swiftly dispatch help to precisely where it’s needed.
Thanks to SPOT tracking, the TracTrac display shows the locations of the boats in real-time, allowing viewers to see where they are in relation to each other. The TracTrac interface also reveals a variety of different performance data, showing the manoeuvres the sailors are performing, and other useful data such as wind direction. These features keep in-person and virtual spectators engaged, and afford greater marketing opportunities for sponsors. Furthermore, an overview of the boats’ locations helps event organisers with logistics management due to the ability to predict arrival times, as well as safety.
TracTrac operates globally and has a network of nine country-specific partners in Europe, Africa, South East Asia and Australia. It supports 200 events annually, year-round. The company is looking forward to a full calendar of race events for the rest of 2021 and beyond.