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Despite the corona crisis, some great sporting events took place this summer. Digital Republic supports Swiss sports and their sponsors.

The guardian angels of the racing bike pros - the Motocrew Switzerland

They ride at the front line, in the middle and at the very end of every bike race. Sometimes they have a cameraman on board or they make sure that the race track is free of obstacles. The motorcyclists of the Motocrew Switzerland have become an integral part of the major national and international bicycle races. 

The task of the Motocrew Switzerland is clear: to secure the race track for the race bike pros. At the front line, a team of two riders rides ahead to secure the track. Persons blocking the roadway will be directed away and any obstacles on the track will be cleared out of the way. In the middle of the race field, several members of the motocrew accompany the athletes. Often these members of the motocrew have a cameraman with them for television as a passenger. Thus, the spectators at home in front of the TV are also live with the athletes. The tail light of the race is also formed by one or more riders of the motocrew. These drivers mark the end of the race field. The track supervisor then knows that the race track may be passed again.

The Motocrew at the GP Rüebliland in action

In such a fast race, it is essential that communication between motorcyclists is fast, seamless and efficient. Normally, regular analog or digital radios are used for communication, which often reach only a few kilometers. As a result, the communication between the command center and the motorcyclists is repeatedly interrupted. However, this solution is expensive and not all race organizers want or can afford these costs. This year, Motocrew Switzerland switched to a new technology. The new radios are PoC Radio T620 which communicate via the mobile phone network. These devices work like the regular PMR radios. This means that there is a PTT (Push-To-Talk) button that allows them to send their radio message directly to all other devices. The advantage is obvious. Where regular PMR radios are blocked by forests and hills, the new devices can communicate via the mobile network over long distances. The control center in Zurich, for example, can send radio messages to motorcyclists who are already crossing the Gotthard summit with the racing field. 

Der Funkspruch kommt dank Digital Republic sauber durch.

Digital Republic thinks this is a great thing. That's why we support Motocrew Switzerland with SIM cards, which are needed for the radios. The Flat 0.4 Subscription is already sufficient to ensure trouble-free communication. Therefore we are proud to be able to contribute a small part to the safety of our racing bike professionals. You can find more information about the Motocrew here: https://www.motocrew.ch/

Run, fly, run, fly - the Swiss Hike & Fly Paragliding Championship

The dream of flying is deeply rooted in mankind. In the last years, the paragliding sport has become more and more established in Switzerland and several championships have already been held (World Championship, Swiss Championship and European Championship) in the fascinating Alps. One of these races is the Hike & Fly Swiss Championship

The rules of a Hike & Fly paragliding race are simple: The pilots start at the same time at the starting point and run (or walk) on foot to the first checkpoint on a mountain. Here it is already necessary to cover several hundred meters of altitude with a backpack weighing up to 15kg. Once they have reached the first checkpoint, they continue in the air.

The athletes start from the first checkpoint with their paragliders and try to reach the next checkpoint by air. Depending on the weather conditions this is usually the first big challenge in a Hike & Fly race. Since a paraglider always loses height during the flight, the athletes have to find the so-called thermals (warm, ascending air), which allow them to gain height again. If the athletes do not reach the next checkpoint by air because they have lost altitude, they are forced to walk to the next checkpoint. Here the wheat is separated from the chaff.

Top athletes only learn after years of training where the next thermal might be, in order to reach the next checkpoint in flight. But just because you arrive at the finish line first, the race is not yet won. There is a score system in which many factors are taken into account. For example, the maximum altitude you reached with your paraglider, the average speed you were able to achieve or how long you stayed in the air during the whole race. All these factors contribute to the fact that you can finish second or third and still win the race. 

The dream of flying has now developed into flying competitions.

But how can one follow the route of the athletes exactly over these long distances and over several mountain ranges? 

Thanks to mobile phones and satellites, it is possible to observe the athletes closely over long distances. The athletes receive a so-called GPS tracker with which all data can be followed live. For example, you can see where the person is, how fast he/she is moving, at what altitude he/she is, where he/she is coming from and where he/she is going. All this data is transmitted to the race control via satellite and mobile network and is then combined in one program. This information enables the race control to have a precise overview of all athletes. Spectators can also follow the race live on their computer screen from home and see whether the athletes are in the air or on foot.

The live tracking of the athletes is done via an online program and can be followed from anywhere in a browser.

In order for this infrastructure to work, the athletes as well as the race management must be equipped with data SIM cards. On one hand, the GPS tracking devices need a SIM card so that the tracking data can be transmitted to the control center. On the other hand, the race control needs a stable Internet connection so that the athletes' data can be received and evaluated. 

We at Digital Republic believe that this marginal sport needs to be promoted more in Switzerland as well and therefore support the organizers of the races with our data SIM cards. With the maximum available bandwidth of the Flat 300 we were able to provide the perfect infrastructure for the race management of the Swiss Hike & Fly Championship. We are already looking forward to the next season to take off with the paragliding athletes. Further information about the paragliding sport and the Hike & Fly Swiss Championship can be found at https://shv-fsvl.ch and https://hf-sm.ch/

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