Race Timing Systems deployed their new deep water finish line solution for timing open water swimming at the Human Race Windsor Open Water Swim. The innovative solution offers a new approach to the problem of capturing athlete information in a deep water finish situation:
- Athletes wear a paper thin disposable chip on their heads, stuck to the swim cap.
- To ‘cross’ the line the athlete simply swims through the finish line gantry.
- No need to touch anything
- No need to carry an awkward wrist mounted chip.
- No need to recover chips at the finish line
- Water check in gateway
Pushing technology, it’s a real first – a UHF based disposable chip system applied to a completely wet environment.
Disposable Timing Chip
Passive UHF timing chips do not like water. Generally speaking a passive UHF chip is invisible to a timing system when it’s pressed against the body or submersed in water. They have managed to combat these issues with a unique chip that attaches to the athletes swim cap.
The chip itself is paper thin, water proof and comes as a self adhesive label. As with all of their disposable chips it can be printed with the athlete’s bib number (race number), name and the event logo. “The end product looks great”.
Floating finish line
Their floating finish line archway is designed to be extremely lightweight and easy to deploy in most open water situations. It anchors at four points making a static archway that allows the swmminer to push right to the line. Being completely water based removes the dangers associated with large volumes of athletes rushing to exit the water in order to cross a land based timing mat. It’s of sufficient height to allow for branding in the form of banners and is too high for all but the most massive people to touch from the water.
Lightweight water proof antennas are dotted across the archway to form a virtual finish line in the water.
Data is captured directly on board the finish line by an Evo 860 timing unit. This can then use WIFI or if close enough to shore a wired network connection to pass raw times to a central ‘race-headquarters’ computer for processing. Results are produced instantly and can be displayed straight away to a commentator or on a results enquiry screen.
With research and development carried out at new offices in Milton Keynes, Race Timing Systems remains the only UK based timing company actively producing innovative timing solutions.