I hope that this finds you well. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the trophy! As I wait for the trophy to arrive, I can't help but reflect on the season past.
It was an exciting year! There were multiple records broken, many great regional events, and one heck of a week put on by the City of Montgomery for worlds 24. Even with all that awesomeness, there is something bothering me. I am not one to complain without at least offering a solution, so please bare with me.
My issue comes from who is able to enter a "team" into the team category. For the 9 seasons I've been competing, there has always been one City that has won the World Championship Team time trophy. Worlds 24 was 2 seconds away from rewarding said trophy, to a country. In fact, 4 of the top 5 teams and 5 of the top 10 teams were represented by Nations instead of Cities(whether their name states it or not, this is true). Is this the direction in which your company is trying to go? Or has it been a non issue in the past due to these teams not being as fast? I fear for the day that this competition turns into a Nation vs Nation slugfest with only the fastest from each country attending. Smaller cities will have no chance at winning and big cities will only have a slightly better chance. Would it ultimately be the death of our great sport? After all, isn't this about building a fitter firefighting community? I do see an opportunity though.
I propose that unless you are from the same city, or run mutual aid you can't win the Team time trophy. I also propose that there is a new category created. One where no matter what city you are from in any Country, if you are one of the fastest racers in your Country you become 1/5 of that Countries team time. For example: Graham Mackenzie from Kamloops, Justin Cooperus from Hamilton and Ian Van Reenan of Oakville have the 3 fastest Canadian times, these times make up Team Canada's time for that year. So, not only would everyone be racing for themselves or their cities, they would also have a shot at being one of the representitives for their home nation. I think this would grow the sport. I think you would see some of our faster racers who's teams are now defunct attend again to race for their nation.(a good example would be Darren Hillman from Windsor) It would ad another exciting angle for everyone to compete for. I would be very proud to have my countries flag draped over my shoulders with brothers or sisters from across our great country! I look forward to having some dialogue with you when you are in town next week.
FF Graham MacKenzie