There has been a proliferation of inaccurate information in reference to the penalties handed out yesterday. In light of this and in hopes of directing the conversations back to the excitement of a close race, the race committee would like to offer the following details to set the record straight…
First and foremost, the SPOT trackers have been operating as expected this year. We have been receiving all pings and messages as expected. Just because the pings do not always update on the Cain’s Quest Tracking website immediately, it does not mean that we do not see the pings on our SPOT / Globalstar Tracking systems. When the tracking devices fail, they simply cease to communicate, in which case we receive no messages. This prompts race officials to inspect and replace SPOT Trackers as necessary. That did not happen in these cases.
The penalties handed out yesterday are based on clear evidence that tracking SPOTs were manipulated in such a manner that a Check-In Message was transmitted resulting in the tracking function being de-activated (whether intentionally or not) at key points in the race. The devices did not fail.
As per rule 4.4.15, “Any attempts to disconnect these locaters or obstruct the signal will result in a penalty or disqualification.”
Though it is possible that the buttons may have been pushed unintentionally, racers are responsible for their gear in the field. As in other sports, penalties are issued when rules are broken whether intentional or not (think tripping or high sticking in hockey). Also, there are often times when we do not agree with the call. However, I’m sure we do all agree that it is better to have rules enforced for the safety of the players and the integrity of the sport.