May 6, 2011
Contact: Chris McGee, Executive Director email@example.com
Dear ACA members-
The ACA, under the direction of Chris McGee, Executive Director, and Bill Barr, President of the Board of Directors, has decided to temporarily suspend use of the timing system as of today. The two exceptions to this suspension are KHMTT and the John Stenner Memorial State Time Trial (please see below).
Firstly, I want to thank everyone for working together in the last month to implement the system. We have experienced a great level of cooperation and understanding from our members, but it is not fair on any of us to continue in this current course of action. I apologize for the abruptness of this decision, but after Koppenberg and KHMTT this week, a decision had to be made.
Why? We are having significant problems with the system, and have not received the necessary equipment and technical support from our vendor to solve the problems. Please trust me - it is not for lack of effort on our part. Due diligence was given during the search for the system and vendor, and testing at a cross race last fall was a huge success. Despite the ACA's best efforts, the system still has significant issues to be addressed.
The last month: The system debuted one month ago to mixed results, and we have not been able to make significant progress to improve its performance. We thought we could make changes and get it working better, but this has not been the case. Rather than being an asset to our organization, it is detracting from our ability to deliver a quality race experience to our members. I am not going to insist that our racers, promoters, officials and staff continue to work with a system that is simply not ready to be deployed.
Action: Our vendor must supply:
1- The correct hardware, specifically decoders and a second programming tool
2- Fully functioning software for mass-start events
3- Diagnostic tools for all components of the system
4- Operating manuals in English
5- On-site technical support once the delivery has been made of these essential components
Only once these actions have been met, and we are able to conduct successful tests in a non-racing environment, will we deploy the system at races. I am not willing to experiment on our membership any longer. Please do not return your chips, as then we would have to ship them all again in a couple of months. For the foreseeable future, scoring and timing at ACA events will be done as it was last year - using proven technology and our trusted corps of officials.
What we need from racers: Your understanding and cooperation when it is time to resume use of the system. These chips are very valuable and will last 4-5 years, so please keep in a safe place until we deploy the system. As always, please take the time to fill out registration forms accurately, and check your results before leaving the race venue.
What we need from promoters: We need timely and accurate day-of registration, and the promoter to get this information to officials and the timing company during the race day. Without this, we will always struggle to get accurate results. Please communicate your needs with pre-registration providers, the timing company, and officials to ensure that we can create accurate, timely results for our members. D&L Sound Timing System will continue to be available to produce timing and results at ACA events.
Timeline: Two decoders were shipped from France two weeks ago. Unfortunately, we do not have a timeline for the delivery of functioning mass-start software. Our realistic goal is to have the system functioning by cyclocross season.
One note: Since we use the same start list, finish set up, and same riders each week at KHMTT, we are getting making progress with the system at this time trial series. KHMTT riders: please bring your chips for the duration of the 2011 Series, as this can really help us learn about the system. For the State Time Trial, please bring your timing chip to be checked and for use on race day. This ACA-promoted event provides a good opportunity to experiment with the system.
Contact: Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.