Letter to Worldloppet 2009

 Letter to Worldloppet from the

International Association of Worldloppet Skiers

March 2009

In this letter we present five proposals that have came up recently.

1) Race results

Different races publish the race results on the internet in many different formats. It is mostly difficult if not impossible to exploit them as the skiers wish to do. We need to be able to find immediately a skier’s result by name or bib number, and to make different selections, e.g. the skiers between 4 h and 4 h 30 min, or all female skiers from Poland. Therefore we strongly recommend that all races publish the results in Excel format, or compatible.
This is in harmony with what Angelo expects from you. The Worldloppet data bank is something indispensable. The compliance with the format requirement is really an essential task for race organizers. In many other domains each race organizer can use a different system, depending on their habits, but for race results we need a uniform system.

2) Confirmation of registration

We propose that all races use some system to confirm the registration to skiers. It happens that if after a reasonable time, say two weeks after registration, the skier has received no confirmation, he/she becomes nervous. That leads to unnecessary e-mails or phone calls to the race office and a loss of time. The confirmation can be made by sending the skier a confirmation card (that can serve at the same time for picking up the bib), by updating the start list, sending the skier an e-mail or any other convenient method.

3) Unified application form

Some degree of uniformity of registration forms would be useful and make the skiers’ life easier. One item that all registration forms should contain is the list of results in previous years in the same race (if this is not automatically recorded in the race’s data bank, a very useful feature!) and in other Worldloppet races. There should be space for at least three races: year, race name, distance and time.

4) Time limits for slow skiers

Amongst the Worldloppet participants there are slow skiers. Their performance is as admirable as that of the faster skiers; some people say even that they have more merit because they struggle for a longer time and may have worse conditions such as deteriorating tracks. It seems that in some races the time limits are rather hard. We propose that all Worldloppet races calculate the time limits so as to allow skiers with a certain, relatively low average speed to finish the race. Tentatively we propose as the average speed 7.5 km/h.

5) Markers for slow/fast tracks

Usually there is no right for a free track in Worldloppet races. We have observed that in a classic race where there were three tracks all three were occupied by slow skiers who had no intention to overtake each other but discussed together. Not everybody wishes to make a good time but at least for all those who wish to do it, there should be no obstacles of the described kind. We propose that race organizers remind the skiers that the right hand tracks are for slow skiers and the left tracks for fast skiers (or the contrary in countries with left hand traffic). The same holds for FT races. Vasaloppet made an interesting innovation this year: all along the course there were posters symbolizing this recommendation, as shown in the picture.

Hannes Larsson
IAWLS president

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