Preparing a World Championships in 17 Easy Steps -- by Asbjorn Johnsen (Chairman of the 2006 World Championships in Norway)
At our AGM 2004 I took on the task to chair the committee for 2005 Worlds. To me it was essential to have the early commitment of fleet members for each of the key regatta roles. Also, from day one I had a backup to everybody involved, including my self. And of course, I had already made certain that our local sailing club, the Tonsberg Seilforening (TS) was willing to host the world’s at Fjaerholmen.
The web site was up and running at an early stage, but like so many times before, information was posted a little late and not enough. This really is something to be aware of, depending on what you want to achieve from having the web site.
If you don’t cover every kind of information on the web site, be prepared to stay put by the computer, answering questions, at least the last couple of weeks before the event. One thing I tried, was to get the e-mail address of all skippers, put them together in a group, and by that make it easier to pass on answers or generally distribute information. During the actual week of racing; after day two we ended up with results, with pictures and a short comment about racing. To those interested people staying home, from all fleets, this is not all they want. We really have a challenge around this. From mail I got when results were missing, I know that quite a few are looking for, and demanding, this information.
Prizes are sometimes hard to decide on what to do about. This time we wanted to have fairly simple prizes, reflecting somehow Norway, and add medals to top three. Medals given were gold- and silver-plated.
We cut time for the event by one day, knowing we didn’t take much of a change at doing so. Actually I was pretty certain we could have cut another day. I don’t know the reaction to this line of development for future world’s, but I guess, traveling far and seeing new places, you do not want to stay for to short a period. Again, some might want to have sailing finished in three days, and be home again. I believe there is to many aspects to this to ever be able to balance to everybody’s satisfaction. More freedom to number of races and length of race could have some impact on this.
I have not mentioned the races so far. Part of our plan was to host this event later on in summer, than last time ('95). Last part of July seemed to be the best choice. Having Tonsberg Seilforening (TS) and these waters at our disposal, I never was worried about what actually is important, the sailing. We had to be completely out of luck if we should experience a miss. As it happened, all races were sailed according to plan.
It is important that you make things happen, get things done in the months ahead of the event. Don’t let it all wait till last week. The last two months we didn’t have any meetings. I called on everybody every so often, pushing on all the different issues.
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