Letter to Worldloppet 2003

Letter from IAWLS to Worldloppet

March 2003


This letter contains two proposals. The first is a proposal to swap the dates between Tartu and Transjurassienne to obtain a more convenient travelling sequence for skiers who make several races in a row in February. The second proposal is a summary of the major suggestions forwarded by IAWLS to Worldloppet in the previous letters, presented here in a condensed form of 11 recommendations. The IAWLS Committee wishes to thank the more than 100 skiers who have supported these proposals by email, signed the corresponding petitions and encouraged the Committee in general.

Proposal for a Change in the WL Schedule

Worldloppet skiers who go to two or more Worldloppet races in a row have noticed that the sequence Tartu Maraton (2 nd Sunday in February) – Transjurassienne (3 rd Sunday in February) leads to   complicated travels back and forth. We will show here that inverting these two races would strongly simplify travelling. The following table compares the actual sequence with the proposed new sequence (Transjurassienne on the 2 nd Sunday of February and Tartu Maraton on the 3 rd Sunday in February). All possible situations are accounted for, each situation consisting in the skier participating in WL races on two, three or four consecutive week-ends of February.

The abbreviations are:

KLL     König-Ludwig-Lauf

TM       Tartu Maraton

TJ         Transjurassienne

FH        Finlandia-Hiihto

Actual schedule
New schedule
4 week-ends
1 st-2 nd-3 rd-4 th
3 week-ends
1 st-2 nd-3 rd
2 nd-3 rd-4 th
2 week-ends
1 st-2 nd
2 nd-3 rd
3 rd-4 th

In only one case, when a skier’s programme includes the 2 nd and the 3 rd week-ends in February, are the two schedules equal. In all other cases the new schedude is overwhelmingly better. (The analysis is made for overseas skiers and skiers from Central and Western Europe; for Estonian and Finnish skiers the last column would look different while still showing an advantage for the new schedule). In the new schedule, Transjurassienne is in the continuation of the Central European races J50, DL, ML and KLL, and Tartu Maraton forms with FH and Vasaloppet another series of easily connected races. Shifting from the first series of races to the second involves a longer travel. In the proposed new schedule this longer travel is made only once whereas in the actual schedule it has to be made up to three times.

Therefore, we propose that Worldloppet adopts the proposed new schedule. The result could well be an increased participation especially for TM and TJ. The current schedule results in needlessly high travel costs. Most skiers tend to choose a series September 24, 2007

Skiers’ Recommendations for Worldloppet Races

  • Ensure the possibility of registration for the race via Internet.
  • Accept payment of the entry fee by credit card and apply the same price for foreigners as for locals.
  • Ski stickers: use strong plastic material, length less than 6 cm, show clearly logo of the race, name of the race and year.
  • Photographs: use a system avoiding any expenses for skiers for returning unwanted pictures. Accept credit card payment for ordering pictures.
  • Result lists should be mailed to every participant. On Internet provide the possibility of search using multiple parameters.
  • Info on Internet: include snow reports and weather forecasts.
  • Skiers’ Motto “Everyone must be allowed to ski at his/her own pace” means that no bottlenecks occur.
  • Adopt a seeding system based on the equivalence principle stating that “N % back in any WL race over the last two years = N % back at the local race”.
  • Every WL race does its best to avoid the cancellation of the race. If the cancellation is unavoidable, early announcement (at least one week before the race) will be given.
  • Provide a heated place in the start area where skiers can keep warm. In the arrival area, provide a warm room for changing clothes, and a guarded ski storage area.
  • Adopt a special and easily recognizable bib for all multiple Masters (e.g. triple Masters).

Some comments

Point 2 : WL is a special series of races with, by definition, many foreigners. Whereas payment by cheque or other means bear a negligible cost for locals, a bank transfer from abroad leads to high costs for foreigners.

Point 3 : Ski stickers are signs of recognition for WL skiers. Stickers which drop off or are not readable do not allow assiduous WL skiers to be the ”Ambassadors” of WL.

Point 5 : The majority of WL skiers do not yet have the possibility to use Internet. A printed result list should be part of the service package included in the registration fee. The software used for consulting the results on Internet should be user-friendly and offer a search by multiple parameters (by name, time bracket, age group, sex, country etc., and combinations thereof).

Point 7 : Bottlenecks are proscribed by the FIS rules, thereore this recommendation appears redundant. It has been included in this proposal because WL races are a series of high-end races and the skiers’ Motto is an attractive way to express this important point.

Point 8 : Since WL forms a coherent series of events, this recommendation is self-evident. A skier who comes for the first time to a WL race, will thus be placed in the starting group/wave corresponding to his/her level. The level is measured by the ratio between the skier’s time and the winner’s time obtained in other WL races.

Point 9 : WL races move skiers around the world and the cancellation of a race is dramatic in particular for skiers coming from other continents who often need several years to achieve a Master’s title. It is important to maintain a race even in bad conditions, possibly as a shortened and non-competitive event without classification but valid for a stamp in the WL passport. This possibility should be kept in mind before taking a decision on cancellation. Ensure that accurate, daily snow reports are available via Internet and telephone.

Point 11 : The recommendation is an idea intended to strengthen the WL community. It will stimulate WL skiers to become multiple Masters.

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