From the outside, it may not look like a lot, but running a tournament isn’t all champagne, cocaine and hookers, it’s a big task. I’ve helped ABT out on a couple of occasions, most recently at the Sydney Harbour Qualifier. I know a lot goes into these events but the weekend just passed, really reinforced the amount of time, organization, logistics, blood, sweat and tears that actually make them successfull. Over breakfast each morning and a few brain picking moments, I managed to extract a bit of information out of Chris Byrnes that might give anglers a better understanding.
Preparation of the event:
Among many, one of the questions I asked Chris was how much time goes into organizing an event. I guess it was a pretty loaded question and although some answers seemed pretty logical there were a few facts that surprised me. Here is a list of some of the things taken into consideration when preparing a tournament:
- Logistically, ABT considers a huge variety of factors including availability of venue, briefing location, accommodation, event staffing and travel to and from the event, just to name a few.
- Permission must be sought and granted from local waterway managers and councils. On places like Sydney Harbour, this can sometimes be a number of permits costing hundreds of dollars each, depending on the location.
- These permits often come with conditions attached. The 4 knot limit before midday in Hen and Chicken Bay as well as the lead-out boat each morning are an example of these imposed conditions.
- Permits can often have a minimum of two months to approve and process.
- Processing of entries and pairings on the eve of the event.
- Checking insurance coverage.
- Event preparation can take anywhere between 8 hours for small local events up to days for some of the larger events.
Did you know?
What are the things about your job that most people don’t know about or may not realise? For a tournament organiser:
- You are the first to arrive and the last to leave
- Preparation for organising and running a tournament begins anywhere up to 12 months in advance
- They will weigh more fish than any angler, yet won’t have the opportunity to cast a line.
- Contrary to popular belief they don’t spend their weekends off fishing, more likely spending time with family and friends.
Keep in Mind:
As per the title of this article, running and organising tournament it is a tough gig and a few things to be mindful of at your next event are:
- Organisers love your constructive criticism. Preferably not during the actual tournament though or via the incorrect channels such as social media.
- Attend the briefing and listen. It’s for your benefit.
- Organisers are as passionate about fishing as the anglers, but when running a tournament they are a focussed, collective team striving to provide the best possible experience to competitors. Please understand if we come off as abrupt it is not personal.
- A lot of queries can be answered by reading the rules.
Next time you see that a tournament has wound down and is all packed up, keep in mind this is a significant milestone for the event organisers and that their job actually facilitates our recreational activities.