While I'm having a grizzle about all manner of things, I might as well harp on a bit more about the start line van problem. I have already mentioned in the last couple of days what a joke the old start line van is. It is many years past it's use by date. Depending on how the start lines are laid out in 2018 we either need one or two new vans. Bones just suggested that we have the two start lines converge and run T3 south from there, which has merit. This would mean we only needed one van. We would still need shade structures for outside as that is where most of the work is done.
To make life bearable for the starters and other volunteers slowing cooking themselves to death out there, this van would need the following, all of which are conspicuously absent from the current piece of junk van. Insulated walls and ceiling, the ceiling at a decent height for tall people, no shelving to be forever banging your head on. Much more space inside as we will be running all the start lines from it, good ventilation and/or air conditioning run by a quiet generator, tinted windows, good table space for working at, half a dozen good chairs at a height so that the officials can see over the heads of the people standing in front of them, no storage of crap, a rubbish bin, a fridge that also runs off the generator, an Esky, a clock and a thermometer that both work, a distinct lack of red dirt, a boot scraper to help keep salt out, sunscreen that isn't years out of date, etc, etc.
Before anyone complains that this van would cost a bomb, let me suggest this. There are damaged caravan auctions in all the capital cities and some regional cities as well. Google Manheim and Pickles auctions. They both sell a lot of repairable write off vans (which can be re-registered) and statutory write off vans (which can't be). I presume a statutory write off could get a one way travel permit to get it to the driver's camp. Some are water damaged and in otherwise good condition, assuming the manufacturer didn't use timber for the structure.
We could significantly reduce the time spent outside by modifying the van to control both start lines at once. Park the van slightly forward of the start line and directly between the two tracks. Install big windows on one side of the van facing the waiting competitors. Have a traffic light system at each end of the van which are controlled by each starter by a button inside the van. Have a big FAQ board out there somewhere to keep stupid questions to a minimum and life would be just about perfect.
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