Well it’s Sunday, officially practice day and bib collection for the majority of snowboarders and skiers entering the British Snowboard & Ski Championships, so after dropping my stuff off in the apartment I headed to the registration point at 2:10pm, 10 minutes after the office should have been open. I do this every year because if you leave it too late there’s a huge queue and it takes ages to get sorted. I was greeted by a sign saying the office would not be open until 3:30pm. So back home I went, grabbed some food and a shower before heading back at about 3:40pm. To be greeted by a big queue and the start of the whinging. When you pre-register on line you’re told you need to bring your passport with you when you collect your bib to prove your eligibility (a non-British national won the Big Air in 2007 so they’re clamped down after that minor embarrassment). Of course if you haven’t pre-registered then you don’t know this, so lots of people turn up and then when they find out (often not till they’ve been queuing for a while) they have to head back to pick up their passports.
Now I am a prepared person, I’ve preregistered and prepaid online, I’ve also sorted out my year’s licence and have my passport & bib deposit with me….so it would be nice to think that there’d be an express line for pre-registered competitors to whizz through. It seems that that’s too easy, no, I had to queue in a hot, windowless room for 90 minutes! Trying to keep your place and avoid queue jumpers and help out the kids who need a parent or guardian to sign their entry form but whose parents haven’t come down with them. When I finally made it to the front of the line it became apparent that the 3 girls handling the registration/collection were not processing a person each, no, one was handing out the wrist band, one took the bib deposit and gave you the bib and then one entered your info on the spreadsheet (or checked your details if you were pre-registered). The whole process took me 30 seconds, yes I waited 90 minutes to spend 30 seconds proving my nationality & getting my bib…..and there certainly weren’t 180 people in front of me.
So please pretty please can we have a bit more organisation next year Mr Brass? Perhaps a sign or someone outside to remind people that they need a passport, that you only accept CHFs for bib deposits but CHFs or GBPs for competition entry and that you won’t take Euros at all and can we also have a pre-registration collection point for those of us that try and make your life a bit easier by paying for everything online and ahead of time.
Oh and it would be a bonus if your staff were able to tell people where the Rider’s Meeting is (or even perhaps say to people as they gave them their bib “Don’t forget it’s Rider’s Meeting at 7pm in Location X”. I asked where it was and was told they didn’t know but probably in the Rider’s Palace. Since your programme has bad weather meetings in the Rocks then I’m guessing that it’s actually outside at the AprÃ¨s Arena, but I shouldn’t have to guess, I should be able to politely ask and informed member of the team and get a correct answer.
I know you all do this for the love of the sport, and that the people doing registrations etc are effectively volunteers and I appreciate they you all have to put up with a lot of unnecessary hassle, but it’s an experience like this that starts the week off in a frustrated manner and makes you wonder if anything is going to run to plan. I’m hoping that this is the bad dress rehearsal before the main event….fingers crossed!
Since heading back to the apartment and typing my post queue mini-rant, we headed back out into the snow (yes it’s still snowing!) to hunt down the location for the Rider’s Meeting, after a bit of wandering and bumoing in to people it transpired that the Rider’s Meeting was cancelled, becuase they’d not put the location in the programme and because they were over running with registration (at least I heard that was the reason). Unfortunately they hadn’t told everyone, or put a note on the wall outside the registration room so there were plenty of lost looking people wandering from the Rider’s Palace, where the meeting used to be held in previous years, the Rocks, where it said bad weather meetings would be (it’s snowing, seems bad to me) and the Crap Bar.
I’m counting this as the same day, same problems, so hopefully tomorrow will be a little bit smoother.