Director’s Report: Breach of Mandatory Route Rule

I am grateful for the passionate engagement shown by athletes and teams regarding rule breaches in adventure racing. It underscores the commitment to the sport’s integrity, which I share wholeheartedly. In addressing the recent incident involving teams Merrell Songlines and De Fox, I acknowledge the importance of swift and fair resolution, recognizing the lessons learned as a rookie race director. Rest assured, I am dedicated to fostering an environment of enjoyable and equitable competition in all future races.

Incident Details:
During a hectic race day, it came to my attention that teams Merrell Songlines and De Fox may have deviated from the mandatory route by jumping the fence between CP3 and CP4. This action contradicted the directives provided during the race briefing and clearly outlined on the map. Subsequently, confirmation from the gate marshal validated this breach of rules.

Initial Response and Mistake:
Regrettably, my initial response to this breach was flawed. I erroneously suggested a 30-minute penalty for the involved teams without referring the matter to the ARWS race referee for proper adjudication. This oversight was a misstep on my part, and for that, I extend my sincere apologies to the affected teams and the entire adventure racing community.

Corrective Action:
Upon reconsideration and subsequent questioning of the penalty, I recognized the necessity of deferring the matter to the ARWS referees for a thorough investigation. I compiled a comprehensive document containing my findings, map copies, and initial recommendations, suggesting a yellow card offense with a penalty ranging from 2 to 3 hours.

After speaking to both teams, it is the opinion of both myself and the race referee that the breach of the rules was not deliberate or with ill intent, nor an attempt to gain an unfair advantage. Attached is the final report from Mark Goulding, the ARWS referee, outlining his investigation findings and recommendations. Following his assessment, both teams, Merrell Songlines and De Fox, will be issued yellow cards and a 3-hour penalty, and will be reflected in the final race results.

Moving forward, I am committed to upholding the standards of fair play and adherence to rules, ensuring that all participants can enjoy adventure racing with confidence in the integrity of the competition. Additionally, the importance of maintaining positive relations with farmers and landowners whose properties we traverse is paramount. To this end, I will continue to enforce strict penalties for rule breaches, ensuring respect for the environment and the communities in which we race.

Sincerely, and for the love of adventure,
Damian Giulietti

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