Communications solutions specialist, Surfhire, has provided essential mission critical services for UK Athletics (UKA), the governing body of athletics in the UK, for the 10th consecutive year.
Responsible for overseeing the governance of athletics events in the UK as well as its athletes, their development, and athletics officials, the UKA hosts a programme of key events throughout the British summer.
For the 2019 season, Surfhire deployed a vast amount of kit, including: walkie talkies, matrix intercom, commentator systems and extensive networking services across six events.
The comms, radios and networking infrastructure – with comms for the UK Athletics Sport Presentation being carefully run by head of communications Paul Carter – is a multi-faceted operation. A central control area and several remote locations, as well as interfacing to the host broadcaster, The BBC, all come under Carter’s supervision.
For the comms rack, Surfhire utilised an RTS Adam 80-way Intercom Matrix, an RVON IO IP Convertor, Optocore X6R-FX Fibre Convertor, Wohler VAMP-SDR Audio monitor, Canford Audio patch bay, and Sonifex Redbox Audio DA with assorted panels; KP32 CLD, KP32 and KP12.
Glen Fuller, working for Surfhire, took charge of the radio shack and RF base. The RF Rack boasted Bolero V2 Base, Bolero Beltpacks, Bolero Active Antennae, two TAIT TB7100 bases and four Surfhire SiFace simplex radio interfaces.
Surfhire’s Simon Hodge, who has provided comms packages for Hugh Jackman, Drake, Take That, Coldplay, Robbie Williams, Sam Smith, One Direction, Queen + Adam Lambert and Radiohead tours explains why special projects such as the UKA are a much-loved part of his business: “It’s great to be involved with such prestigious sporting events for UKA. Each event is fully bespoke and must be highly developed for an effortless delivery from the track to the broadcast team. UK Athletics is watched by millions of fans in both the stadiums and at home and we’re pleased to have been part of the delivery for another successful year.”
Hodge continues: “The radio system is quite busy, with four repeated channels – one of which is talkback for the important UKA Sports Presentation. There are eight simplex channels integrated with PTT from the comms crate using the SiFace interfaces.”
The system also utilises three TAIT TB7100s, two Hytera RD985s repeaters, Surfhire UHF Circulators, Surfhire UHF Antenna distribution and a Radio Services’ Colinear Antennae Array. Networking is looked after by Fabrice Quirin, working in conjunction with UKA’s Andy Lakin.