Thread: Discussion Some thoughts on Kiev
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Old Sep 23, 2008, 01:53 PM
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Some thoughts on Kiev

After the joys of the official hotel for the 2008 F5B&D WC in Kiev, my wife and I decided to spend one night in the centre of the city before we flew out of the Ukraine. We chose the Hotel Rus from the web. What a difference! A good room, heating, HOT water, lifts, Internet access, and best of all - a HOT BUFFET breakfast featuring edible food! And what did this luxury cost.... 115Euro for the night. Compare this to the 90Euro paid to the organizer for the "official" hotel (70E single), which featured a location next to the E40 freeway racetrack, no heating possible until 15th October (no matter how deep the snow was), small rooms with very limited cupboard space, precious few lights actually turned on, “hot” water at 30C available generally only from 08:00 – 16:00, and the food that defied description most of the time. The promised Internet connection did finally appear at the hotel, but only well into the event, and then with limited capacity. There were regularly some 20+ people gathered in the lobby (just about the only place that you could gain access to it), and even then it was hard to see the keyboard as the hotel only turned on around 25% of the available lights at any time presumably to save money. The hotel was reasonably clean but that was just about all that could be said for it. It was also some 40Km from the field where the event took place.

One could well ask what happened to all the funds gathered from the participants for the 2008 WC? It does not appear to me that they were substantially used to benefit the event itself which featured only really basic facilities for the competitors; two wooden toilet boxes covering a shallow hole in the ground for the ~150 people present, and never moved during the 10 days of the event; a tent for serving food that held around 30 people, but was so old that it did little to fend off the constant rain; no visible medical facilities in case of accidents, shelters for the competitors (at a cost of 45Euro each) that blew down after a couple of days as they were totally inadequate for the conditions, etc.

Despite all this, and the bad weather that accompanied the event, the ambience amongst the competitors was excellent and the local people were very friendly and helpful despite the evident language difficulties. We do, however, need more control over when and where such events are held. Electric flying at the WC level is a highly demanding and costly activity. Facilities and accommodation best suited to boy scouts are NOT appreciated! It is well past time that the FAI updated its specifications for such events to take account of the requirements of competitors in what have become highly technical areas, and although it is understandable that the FAI would like WC events to take place in as many different countries as possible, it is also essential that these countries have the ability and knowledge to run such events successfully.
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