South American Adventurers “Protected” with mobile satellite communication.
Perhaps better known as the “last wild race”, the 2011 Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race takes competitors on the annual 10-day challenge, routing them on a secret and isolated route across plains, mountain glaciers, forests and lakes – on foot and by Kayak and mountain bike. The 15 teams were given general, landmark-oriented instructions for the route on the night before the start of the race.
Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of mobile satellite communications, was chosen by race organizers to provide portable satellite emergency communications equipment and service for the race competitors. Participants are forbidden the use of modern navigational aids such as GPS.
Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN Service) terminals and handheld portable IsatPhone Pro satellite phones, supplied by a local Inmarsat Service Provider, enabled race officials stationed at the checkpoints throughout the course to stay in touch with other. BGAN satellite terminals were also used to relay information back to the official race Headquarters in Punta Arenas, for distribution to Twitter and Facebook feeds, the race website and Chilean and international media.
Held last February, the race was won by British team Adidas Terrex / Prunesco, who claimed their third consecutive victory after completing the course with two days to spare. They endured some of the toughest conditions in the event’s history, including high winds and torrential rain. Eight teams failed even to finish.
“This is an amazing race that tests endurance, skill and determination, and we’re proud to be a part of it,” said Kate Montgomery, Inmarsat land services manager in the Americas. “The event brings together many of the conditions that our clients experience in their everyday business, which makes this an exciting testing ground for our services.” For this reason, mobile satellite communications was chosen as a second line of defense for redundancy communications