Jackson Laundry calls for draft zone tech to be “at every pro race”

News Director

Jackson Laundry, the multiple winner of IRONMAN 70.3 races, has called for the RaceRanger draft-technology system to become the “standard” at every pro race.

And he’s added his voice to those criticising the disqualification of fellow Canadian Lionel Sanders at the recent IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in Finland.

There were multiple penalties in both the women’s and men’s races in Lahti, leading to the likes of Laura Philipp and Frederic Funk to press for change in top tier IRONMAN races, including moving the prohibited draft zone up from 12 metres to 20 metres as well as introducing RaceRanger, which helps both the athletes and the referees see when there are potential infringements.

The system has been adopted by the PTO this season and it’s also been trialled – to widespread praise – in several other events.

‘Hopefully IRONMAN is open to doing that’

Speaking on the Real Triathlon Squad’s video podcast which he co-hosted with Nicholas Chase, Laundry said: “The RaceRanger just needs to become a standard. Definitely for the pro side it needs to just come in. It needs to be at every pro race in my opinion. And I don’t think it’s that hard. It’s not that crazy to do that.

“Hopefully, IRONMAN is open to doing that.

“For slotting-in penalties and all that stuff, I think that’s where RaceRanger just comes in huge. Because if somebody slots in you can see immediately whether there was space or not. That would just really help with the consistency.”

Laundry, who saw it in action at the PTO US Open in Milwaukee, also feels that the next phase for the technology is to use it to the full – something RaceRanger co-founder and CEO James Elvery discusses in more detail later in the same podcast when he’s interviewed by Chase.

Laundry added: “And also the referees actually calling the penalties when RaceRanger is showing people with multiple violations. We just haven’t seen that.”

‘This centre line thing was weird’

In his interview, Elvery explains what the next phase is for RaceRanger after an encouraging year and admits that recent controversies do give them a “little boost” in terms of wider adoption of the technology.

On IRONMAN in particular he adds: “They do care about the sport. We’ll get there eventually with them, we’re working on it.”

But back to that Sanders DQ for crossing the “imaginary” centre line and Laundry didn’t pull any punches as he said: “This centre line thing was weird.

I don’t really see how or why that’s getting called.

“I guarantee you that 100% of that pro field crossed that imaginary centre line at some point. We had the whole road, there was no traffic the other way, why would we not? And there was no line on the road.”

IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside 2022: Men's podium - Jackson Laundry, Lionel Sanders, Rudy Von Berg
Laundry and Sanders were first and second at 70.3 Oceanside last season [Photo Credit: Donald Miralle / IRONMAN]
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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