Saturday, July 25, 2015

Portsmouth ACWS Organisation Disappoints

Two good results for Ben Ainslie Racing but there's still the double points Sunday to come so lets hold off judgement and instead focus on the organisation of the America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth today.

Lets start with the queues, which were long. There were lots of orange volunteers doing nothing while a long queue snaked slowly in. Half an hour each was the general rule and there were lots of them.

Then directions, or rather the lack of. Take the queue above, which I spent a long time in. Turned out there was no point as it wasn't for the "fan zone", yet the marshals said it was the right queue for those with that ticket.

Inside the "fan zone" the facilities were insufficient. The rule was no food allowed to be brought in but the catering queues were another half an hour wasted. Maybe the VIPs got their canap├ęs and champagne quicker.

Another requirement are the "facilities" which in this case had broken doors, no locks and had run out of water in at least two trailers. So I ended up wandering around with soupy hands trying to find some water to wash & rinse them off. I saw one man use his water bottle.

There was lots of glitz by the sponsors, such as BMW and this bubbly:
But what would be more in the budget of most of those there were t-shirts, and there wasn't a single AC or BAR clothing stand there. Not one, zero, zilch. There was, however, room for this fancy car:
To get merchandise you had to leave the "fan zone" and enter the festival area, which should have been easy as they were next to each other. Except of course it wasn't, as that was considered "no entry" so one had to walk around the fenced off block.

Then the small Team BAR half-stall was as packed as Oxford Street on Christmas Eve and had as little stock. There were many sailing enthusiasts with questions about when they'd get some more and whether there was any other place selling (say) AC clothing, to which the staff knew nothing.

They weren't alone. I asked a policeman if he knew if there was a way out by the stage and he had no idea. His fellow officer didn't either but she had a map so we three had a look and found out that yes there was another exit.

But given that the police would be responsible in an emergency to direct the public this lack of information was a bit disturbing.

Maybe we were spoiled by the wonderful Olympics.

There was plenty of time in the queues to talk to neighbours and the contrast in organisation between the two was a conversation topic that came up again and again.

The only resource that seemed over supplied and hence empty were the bars:
Hmmm..... did the organisers make the mistake of giving Buff a job?

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