Letter to Worldloppet 2004

Letter from IAWLS to Worldloppet

April 2004

Communication with Worldloppet

We have the pleasure to announce that IAWLS has now more than 200 members from 22 countries. Amongst them are many assiduous WL skiers but we have also newcomers whose opinions are valuable; they may identify problems that veterans do not see because of routine. Thus, IAWLS represents certainly a perfect cross-section of the whole community of WL skiers.

IAWLS has issued and continues to update documents called Advice for skiers containing general advice and chapters specific to each race. The latter are also accessible on the WL web-page of each race with the title Tips for travellers.

The IAWLS Committee has written letters to several races and suggested some improvements. Usually there were post-race briefings to discuss the experiences and later many skiers expressed their opinion in an email. Proposals to the races were based on consensus views. Our policy is to offer also praise for what is done well.

A more systematic system of contact between IAWLS and WL would be of benefit for both skiers and WL. In this way interactive discussions on points of general interest would assure that the skiers’ voice is heard. Skiers also wish to be consulted on important decisions like the calendar and the acceptance of new members. The IAWLS Committee has started collecting reports on potential future candidates.

Recommendations

Eleven recommendations were communicated to WL last year. After discussions with different races and the advice of the WL Executive Committee, it was decided to eliminate  the number 4 concerning photographs. If a skier receives pictures from a race photographer that he/she has not ordered, the obvious procedure is to keep the pictures and not pay them. Thus, it is superfluous to recommend to the WL races that their photographers should use a system avoiding any expenses for returning unwanted pictures.

We add a new recommendation. Several races provide stickers representing the country flags for the skiers’ bibs. This is a nice feature well in harmony with the spirit of WL, and interesting both for spectators and skiers. Our proposal is to generalize this system and we include it as recommendation number 4.

Recommendation 1, ensure the possibility of registration via Internet, has been completed with an addition. Many skiers prefer to send their registration form by fax or letter. Therefore, it is necessary that the registration form can be downloaded and printed. It has of course to contain the boxes for the credit card payment.

The revised set of recommendations is given on the following page. We wish to remind the WL race organizers that the more of these recommendations they comply with, the happier are the skiers who pay the registration fee and wish to get the maximum enjoyment from the race.

N.B. Recommendation 11 seems difficult to implement. We left it in the list as an item for the future – there will be more and more triple Masters.

  1. Ensure the possibility of registration for the race via Internet and allow downloading and printing of the registration form for those who wish to send it by fax or letter.
  2. Accept payment of the entry fee by credit card and apply the same price for foreigners as for locals.
  3. Ski stickers: use strong plastic material, length less than 6 cm, show clearly logo of the race, name of the race and year.
  4. Provide country flags for the skiers’ bibs.
  5. Result lists should be mailed to every participant. On Internet provide the possibility of search using multiple parameters.
  6. Info on Internet: include snow reports and weather forecasts.
  7. Skiers’ Motto “Everyone must be allowed to ski at his/her own pace” means that no bottlenecks occur.
  8. 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”.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Adopt a special and easily recognizable bib for all multiple Masters (e.g. triple Masters).
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