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New tracking technologies boost Brisbane-Gladstone yacht race

Supplier: Pivotel Satellite
07 December, 2008

New tracking technologies have helped the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race reach a larger international audience as its website recorded more than 1.6 million hits over the last Easter weekend.

The 64-yacht field was fitted with the cutting-edge satellite tracking service, named TracerTrak, which enabled fans to track the yachts on a map on the race's official website.

The sponsorship deal with TracerTrak owners, Pivotel Group, led to about
1.6 million hits on the race website, a major leap above last year's record of 80,000 in total.

Of the 1.6 million hits, more than 300,000 were from unique users, representing the total amount of people who used the Internet to monitor the race.

The TracerTrak service, more usually applied to trucks and commercial vehicles, uses a satellite tracking unit, which regularly sends updates to the Globalstar constellation of 40 low earth orbit satellites.

The location and behaviour of the asset are then reported to a map that can be updated at intervals as short as two minutes apart.

Plain sailing

Pivotel Group managing director Peter Bolger said the partnership was an enormous success and highlighted the tracking abilities of the service.

"The fantastic thing about the integration of the Internet into the TracerTrak service, is that it allows people to track or monitor assets from anywhere that the Internet is accessible," said Bolger.

"The event organisers had emails coming from people in places like Canada and Honolulu who were following the fleet through the TracerTrak system.

"The event was the perfect way to give people a sample of what the TracerTrak can do when it is applied to boats and other vehicles."

Queensland Cruising Yacht Club Commodore Ian Gidlow said the satellite yacht tracking was a real coup for the 60th anniversary of the race.

"We were thrilled to have Pivotel TracerTrak devices fitted to every yacht and be able to enable people from around the globe to track the fleet in real time," Gidlow said.

Bolger said that tracking was only one component of the "versatile and cutting-edge technology".

"With TracerTrak you can predefine areas so that if the asset leaves those boundaries, an alarm is sent via email or SMS to your phone," said Bolger. "These sorts of features are great not just for the consumers wanting the added security for their boat,  but also for commercial markets.

"Some of the major clients of TracerTrak are logistics companies wanting to have the ability to monitor vital business assets such as shipping containers and trucks. With
satellite coverage extending well out into the oceans surrounding Australia, such as the islands of Vanuatu and Noumea and up through PNG, the traditional tracking limitations of cellular networks are a thing of the past.

"In a nutshell, the device can be attached to anything you want to track, from caravans, to farm equipment, giant coal mining equipment, you name it, and we will track it."

Pivotel Group also provides wholesale carrier services such as bulk messaging and so-called 'white labelled' call centre services through its wholly owned subsidiary Pivotel Communications, headquartered on the Gold Coast.

Pivotel Satellite Pty Limited and Think Mobile Pty Limited are both wholly owned subsidiaries of Pivotel Group.