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The Storm Before The Calm – European Championships Spain

The 2010 European Water Ski Racing Championships have been scheduled for a long time to be hosted at Puerto Sherry, Cadiz, on the Southern tip of Spain by its national and local governing bodies of water skiing.

On 29th July 2010, the Spanish organisers were advised by the owner of Puerto Sherry, Pedro Bores, that he had decided to cancel the event.

Two weeks later on 11th August 2010, (just 10 days before the event) the organisers informed national Federations of this issue with this letter.

On 12th August 2010, local media company published the following article (translated by Google Translate from the Spanish original). According to the web site, the article was written by Puerto Sherry.

Statement in relation to the European Water Ski Championships

Given the variety of information disseminated in relation to the cancellation of the European Water Ski Championships, organized by the Andalusian Water Ski Federation chaired by Fernando Vega de Seoane, Puerto Sherry wants to communicate the following:

  1. The reasons for the cancellation of the event are solely the responsibility of the Andalusian Federation of Water Skiing
  2. Puerto Sherry has no responsibility for the reasons why the competition has been canceled
  3. The Andalusian Water Ski Federation did not have sufficient economic resources for the organization of the Championship, or permits required to conclude
  4. In the absence of sponsors, the Andalusian Water Ski Federation to Puerto Sherry required to bear all expenses for organizing the event, something that had never been referred to the agreements reached between the two entities
  5. Puerto Sherry has worked and contributed from the beginning all the resources provided to the Andalusian Water Ski Federation to hold Championship
  6. Puerto Sherry deeply regrets the lack of foresight of the Andalusian Water Ski Federation in organizing the competition and the resulting damage caused to Spain in the context of international water-skiing

The original in Spanish is here

In my view, regardless of the reasons, the consequences being suffered by many are suffice to indicate that the organisation of this event has been poorly managed. As a result, competitors and supporters have and will incur a great deal of inconvenience and expense. This is not how international sporting events should be managed.

Many similar views can be read across Facebook and if anyone else wishes to air their view or respond to Puerto Sherry’s article above, in public, they are free to do so in the comments section below (but keep it decent).

Furthermore, Arcos Gardens (the recommended accommodation for the new venue) yesterday advised Karen Brooks “We are fully booked. The accommodation was taken over by a Waterski Group two weeks ago“. You will raise your own questions, most of which I’m sure, will be similar in nature.

I am sure that people have worked hard to organise this event and then recover from the problems that have resulted. But questions need to be raised about the oversight that the IWWF has maintained over this event, the late communication of change in venue by the Spanish authorities, and the fact that the recommended accommodation is said to be full. Everyone means well, but goodwill and enthusiasm alone is not enough to organise international sporting events properly.

I am certain that the Europe and Africa division of the IWWF will investigate this issue and do what is both necessary and deserved by the competitors it represents, to provide a sufficient public report, appropriately address those accountable,  and ensure that such an embarrassment to the sport of water skiing on an international stage, never happens again under IWWF jurisdiction.

In the meantime, it’s worth noting that the event has not yet started. For the sake of the sport, its competitors and supporters, and in light of what has already happened, I do hope that all official bodies involved (local, national & IWWF) will do whatever is necessary, to ensure that there are no further blunders during the course of the event.

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