BC Diary: NAC A, Day 4

Last day. Same number of events as yesterday but about 100 fewer fencers.

The largest event today is the Div I MS. It was originally planned for 12 strips for both pools and DEs, but the assigners decide we should send out all 18 pools at the same time, and then put them on only 8 strips for the DEs. Doesn’t change the length of the event much, but reduces the number of referees needed later in the day, always good on the last day when many will be leaving for home before the fencing is done.

We’ve also got 11 pools of Div II ME, 3 pools of Vet50 WF, and 1 pool each in Vet 60 and Vet 70 WF, so there’s plenty of room for everything to start. It’s a pretty easy schedule to assign strips for, but as the day progresses I’ll need to move the fencing in toward the BC stage so I can release strips to the armorers for teardown.

At some point, I hear that sabre coaches are trying to persuade the assigners to use the replay systems for the 32 on for the MS. With as few replay systems as we have, that’s not going to happen today, but maybe someday.

The officials’ lunch today is Domino’s Pizza. Sigh.

I’m always mildly frustrated on the last day. I’ve got my plan for releasing strips all figured out, but the fencing needs to catch up to the plan before I can do anything about it. Once the Div II WS—the largest of the afternoon events—is into DEs, though, we’re on the downhill slope, so the armorers can have pods J and K.

Within another couple of hours, we’re into the 8 for all of the last four events, so fencing is down to just pods D through G, and the armorers are taking down and packing up the scoring machines on all the rest. Looks like they’ll get that pretty well done by the time the hired crew shows up to pack the strips. Now it’s just a race to see which way the gold medal bouts will queue up to use the finals strip.

While those 8s are fencing out, we start to collect our stuff for packing. Somebody retrieves our pushpins from the bulletin boards and others collect abandoned pencils and clipboards from the empty scoring tables. (With the numbering experiment, we don’t need to track down laminated strip numbers this time.)

We end up beating the projected finish time by a few minutes.

Once the fencing’s finished, we get serious about packing up. We’ve reduced the gear we haul around substantially over the last season or two, and labeled all our bins so we pack everything into the same containers they came from. The computers go into their nice padded crate, and the printers into their boxes, and we line up all our bins and boxes and crates ready for our big black shipping crate.

When I first started working BC, we stacked all our boxes on a pallet and wrapped it all up in shrinkwrap. Now it’s a 3-dimensional jigsaw puzzle to place all the assorted crates and bins into the big crate so that the lid will fit. This time we even have a foot or so of room left on the top .

We’re done and out by shortly after 7:00 pm. The armorers will be there for a while longer, but it doesn’t look like it will be a long evening for them, either.

Monday stats:
10 events
387 competitors
End of competition: approximately 6:00 pm

Alarm’s set for 5:45 am, so I won’t miss my shuttle to the airport.

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