BMAF News “REPORT ON RECCE TO VENICE 2019”

Author: Maurice Doogan

Apologies for the lateness of this report, but following Maurice’s visit to Jesolo in early May, the Minutes of Meetings and Reports on the Venue Inspections have not materialised.

At present there has been very little confirmations on the various discussions and ‘agreements’ reached. In reality some have been reversed, so athletes who book hotels independently are being discriminated against, as they will be prevented from having access to Confirmation of their events on-line. This could have serious percussions as it means you have to physical go to the TIC to Confirm for your event, which if not staying in Lido di Jesolo itself, will not be without its problems.

Most matters still appear to be influx, as although getting answers to various queries some of these are being backtracked on, so let he outline to you what we do know, some of which is disturbing. The LOC website is also lamentable by its lack of Information, as a lot appears to be disbursed via Facebook Groups etc. which a lot of you will not see timetable.    Something missed, was that the Timetable had got updated on 4th March. There is an Air Display event in Lido di Jesolo on 15th September, so the 4x400m Relays and Closing Ceremony have been transferred to Carole, as have two Women’s High Jump Competitions. This appears innocuous in itself, until we were told that the Air Display attracts HALF A MILLION people, so getting out of Lido di Jesolo on the Sunday morning to get to the Caorle Stadium is going to be a fraught matter, due to traffic. Getting back into Lido on Sunday night appears to be an even worse problem, when you consider that just outside of the Jesolo area the roads become single lane roads each way. Having experienced them, I can now understand why Jesolo lost the vote for a WMA Championship a few years back.

Venues        These are the positives, the main stadium in Lido di Jesolo was refurbished last year and the facilities look good. The Stadium in Caorle, a six lane track, is currently being refurbished/upgraded to an eight lane track so should be good, but the time to completion looks tight. The third Stadium in Earaclea is ‘tired’, but not that many events are taking place there which is good, as there is no cover to the Grandstand so spectators will get scorched. However there are issues, as there is limited parking at all three, which will be a cause of concern, especially if the planned for 8000 athletes [including 3500 Italians] enter.

Transport     It is only local shuttle buses within Lido di Jesolo and Caorle that are FREE, to all athletes [but not to Accompanying Persons, so that €25 fee looks a rip off as you appear to get nothing for it, as entry to all stadiums is free], although you will have to walk to your nearest LOC listed hotel, to get on them. However these only go to the Transport Hub initially [before some continue on to the Main Stadium] which is a big Car Park behind the Casa del Turismo, Piazza Brescia [1500m south west of the Main Stadium] This is where the Coaches from the two Airports and two Railway Stations will allegedly drop athletes off at, not the Bus Station up by the Stadium, for the duration of the Championships. This is also where the Accreditation Centre [Registration – pick up Athletes Package incl. Numbers etc. from 13.00 on 3rd September] is, within the Palainvent Building.

From here, because of very limited parking at all three stadiums, further Shuttle Buses will take you to the two outlying Stadiums, but these are NOT FREE. The Discounted Charge for ALL athletes will be advised in mid August, two weeks after entries close.

They state that this Transport to the Stadiums has a limit of 3000 athletes per hour. This equates to 60 coaches of 50 seaters, on mainly single lane each way roads, which is ‘Mission Impossible country’.

We were told they are expecting 8000 athletes [3500 Italians] which again appears fantasyland, as 60 coaches and 3000 cars [on top 3500 Italians are 1500 further Athletes driving in from Mainland Europe] on top of the normal local and holiday traffic on these roads, suggests gridlock.

The Timetable for Buses back to Airports and Train Stations will be extended beyond the 15/09 currently available. We are told all of this info will be available within two weeks of the closing date for entries but it gives nobody time to do preplanning about getting back to airports etc…

Confirmation[Declaration]We were told this could be 19.00 on the day before events up to and including 12.00 Noon, and 3 hours prior to events after 12.00 Noon. These could possibly be done at each Stadium where there will also be TIC’s.

However none of this has been confirmed, but we have been told that a decision will be made at the end of June.

The rumoured confirmations by a Mobile Phone App. [developed by FIDAL] is nothing of the sort, but they have backtracked on the proposal that it would be available to all athletes. It has now been confirmed [allegedly, as they admit their English is poor] it will only be available to athletes booking Hotels through the LOC’s portal.

So the rest of you need to attend the TIC at least once, and against all TM’s previous advice, I suggest you declare for all your events on your first visit. The reasons for this is that getting around will be a problem especially if you are not staying in Lido di Jesolo, so it would be easy to miss a confirmation time. Also no athlete will be disqualified from all further events if they fail to show, which in itself is ludicrous as we will have empty lanes and athletes will be deprived of a place in Semi’s and Finals, which will have empty lanes. That is not what you will have paid a fortune for.

Medal Ceremonies These will be held at each Stadium and possibly each Non-Stadia venue, within an hour of the finish of each Event.

Half Marathon/ 10K Road Race Like the 4x400m Relays the proposed Course has ‘bit the dust’, and being rehashed, presumably also because of the Air Display. However the Courses on the LOC website are still the original Courses.

Looking at the Timetables and facilities further, there appear to be issues at the Caorle Stadium. On Day 2, we have the 6 youngest age groups for the Decathlon, 6 age groups for the Heptathlon and 12 age group hammer competitions, with only two discus/hammer cages, one of which has the sector overlapping with one javelin sector. All of this to run concurrently with the Women’s 100m Semi’s and Finals. That looks very tight to me, and seems to ensure some very near midnight finishes. What is new you say. Exactly, so why is this still happening, and what about the athletes NOT staying in Caorle for various reasons, will there be shuttle buses to take them home.

The last day in Caorle looks nearly as ‘exciting’, as there are the 6 youngest age groups in the Throws Pentathlon, now competing alongside 5 Women’s High Jump competitions, all of the 4x400m Relays and the Closing Ceremony. That is before the return to ‘Hell’ in Lido di Jesolo, following the Air Display. What is the Italian for Plan ahead. Whatever, we will certainly know it by the time we leave.

Sorry, most of the above raises as many further questions as providing answers, which will only resolve themselves in the coming months, which includes the refurbishment of the Stadium in Caorle. It all appears a bit of ‘a wing and a pray’.

Finally, be aware this part of Italy is not cheap, apart from the basic wine. So keep to a Main Course for Lunch/Dinner if you do not want to many visits to the ATM.

Also on one of the Facebook sites, someone stated it is ‘midge’ country, which I suppose should be obvious from all the still water rivers/streams/lakes in this flat landscape, so take plenty of repellent.