Monday, August 10, 2009

The Pentser has now arrived at Crystal Palace with glorious sunshine all day. The shooting range is well on the way, the riding arena fences are all erected, the fencing pistes are installed, the computer network is working in the main building and the goody bags are done. And, that was really day one of the build. It is all mighty impressive with two days to go.

Weather forecast for the first two days of the competition is now on the quality forecast agenda and it is for temperatures around 24/25 C with light winds, no rain and little wind. Could is be better?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Weather - First look

Weather forecasts are now starting to cover the World Championships' period

Thursday Mens Semi: dry 21C 30% cloud little wind
Friday Womens Semi: dry 23C 30% cloud little wind
Weather at Crystal Place today has started well with a sunny morning.
It will even be dry for the Chippenfields erecting the range.

But remember this is UK and it might not follow the script. When did it last snow in August?
Bring it on!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Five Days to go

Well we are nearly there, five days to go to the biggest show on earth. Well for Pentathlon this year anyway. This is a blockbuster. Not been to Crystal Place this week myself but the spy tells me that it has been an exciting week there with all the big hitters there to set out the stall so that every blade of grass is in order when the athletes and punters arrive. The deadlines are all but done, the kit is arriving day by day and the volunteers begin to arrive from now onwards. Health and Safety is high on the agenda (how boring?) but at least we will all be safe. The computers are all tested, the timing practiced and the shooting range is about to arrive. If you want to see and get amongst the real Chipperfields then volunteer to help next week, they will be flexing their glistening muscles in the August sunshine all week. The UIPM is excited.

Maybe as part of the build up, who knows, Heather Fell the World number one woman Pentathlete is to appear on the National Lottery show live tomorrow. What a warm up?

More blogs, as much as I can, all next week with pics from between and behind the curtains.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Rig Team

The new shooting range has now been unveiled and it needs some real rig builders to put it all together. The riggers have all been training and sculpting their bodies in readiness for the next build for the World Championships in August. They have really taken the job seriously and here they are taking a break at their recent training camp at Hartpury.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Test Event and Some

Just had a brilliant weekend at Crystal Palace. 144 competitors, even more supporters, volunteers, officials, bosses, consultants, UIPM officials all enjoyed the NEW Crystal Palace that was bathed in sunshine for most of the weekend that saw the GBR National Tetrathlon test the facilities to be used in August for the World Championships. Me, the Pent-ster met Rae, Iris, Seb and Mauro from UIPM. I almost met Joel as well. I have fans at the UIPM in Monaco as I have seen my name on their website. Now they know they met me and hopefully won't have a clue about the real me. Ha Ha!

The new shooting range (never call it a shooting gallery as it upsets the boss) was the star of the weekend. It took hours to put together but didn't it look good. All that pristine glistening aluminium in the sunshine. Designed to the last millimetre and state of the art. Has anybody else gone to this much trouble to produce the perfect range. The new UIPM targets landed in UK for the first time with all the latest mods. and their designer Seb on board. They worked OK but I think a few more will be needed by August.

Fencing took all day and looked well organised. A big Hungarian man in charge should stop any arguments on the big day. It was Tamas Varga who is very friendly helpful man that everyone is pleased to have around. Istvan Utczás was there to support the superb Cardsys software, UK is now almost his second home. The special realtionship between UK and Hungary is growing folks. The swimming ran smoothly and including the first use of the new timing equipment where everyone learnt as they went. Still no slip ups. Young Jackie had itchy fingers as she has now handed the Swim event over to Les Debenham.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Piece by Piece the Story unfolds

Click on picture to enlarge.

Sneaked another visit to Crystal Palace. I just cannot stay away now. In fact I get there that often "Security" think I work there which saves climbing the wall after dark!! It gets better every time and we now know that the National Tetrathlon 25/26 April will be the very first use of the refurbished pool and facilities. I like Crystal Palace. There are 144 entries for the Nat Tet (from Bath mole agent) and so it is to be a very good test. The site for the combined event in the athletics stadium is looking pristine almost manicured.

Pool lane ropes have been test fitted, the timing equipment has been commissioned and boy was I lucky, the new big display in the pool was on the day I was there. It showed the World Championships promo video plus lots of other brilliant stuff. The new swim start blocks have a reaction timer built in that can be shown on the display. The block surface is very high friction and the little ramp at the back should give everyone a brill start.
The fencing salle is all but ready and the multi game lines have all been affixed and the floor looks so good it seems a shame to walk on it.

I am sorry to disappoint but news on the shooting gallery is very thin on the ground. I know it has had a trial construction but I missed it. All I can now say is it sounds ever so exciting and is sure to be a knock out when it arrives. You can't get the right moles, you know.

The Pent-ster will be working on the inside at the National Tetrathlon so watch out for the hot gossip. I am hoping that it will be a feast.

Monday, March 23, 2009

And now it is Full!

Well the long delayed commitee meeting took place with good weather. I hid away in the spot that I have found in the rafters and it didn't half go on and on. Frankly it was very boring. They seem to know what they are doing and I am sure it will be great when it happens.

Information is beginning leak out about the fantabulous shooting range. I am hoping to get a World exclusive on this soon but it is for sure a very special item. It has had to be very compliant with all sorts of constraints and from what I understand it has been checked out and is now being got ready for the test event 25/26 April.

Managed to get over the wall again at Crystal Palace just to check all is in order and that no one is pulling any flankers. The pool is now full and up to temperatureand it looks absolutely stunning. It is quite an old pool though but the work that has been done makes it looks tremendous. No sign of the new scoreboard though. See picture above. Fencing hall now has its new floor, new lighting, new air conditioning and lots of new paint.

I stood in the stadium where the ride and CE will be run. It was just empty and ideal for meditation. It is difficult to believe that this pristine place, beautiful green grass with the inevitable football pitch on it will be the theatre for the World Championships. Everyone should stand in an empty stadium once in their lives. It is a refreshing and wonderful experience. It was a crisp March day with gentle breeze and warm sun, just perfect.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Water at the Palace - Dry in Bath

Took a leap over the wall and just checked that Crystal Palace is on schedule to deliver the venue for the Championships and the test competition in April aka the National Tetrathlon. Well all is looking well and the pool is now being refilled - click on picture to enlarge. This takes time so as not deprive South London of its water supply. (Scaffolding on right is for the erection of the super all purpose scoreboard with live pictures etc.)

All of the big wigs have been trialling their organisation down at Bath. Lots of athletes there too and everyone drove home with smiles on their faces so the inevitable Combined Event has been adopted and tackled with relish. The course in Bath has been a bit soft though with it being part indoors and some of it on carpet! I cannot believe that. Strangely the familiar faces are still topping the leader board but with some Russell fellow muscling in amongst them. Well the Crystal folks should toughen up the whole affair with it being in the open air. With any luck it will blow a gale, with near zero temperatures and lots of rain , that'll show em'.

The cancelled planning meeting looks to be back on again, so watch this space. I will try to hide in my usual place to get all the goss. Bye

Friday, February 6, 2009

It Snowed!

Last Monday I braved snow and ice during my trek to Slough for the organising meeting. Got nicely hidden away in my special place and no one showed up! Check the date - OK, checked the place - OK. OH YES the weather. M25 closed in three places, no trains, no buses (this is UK with 150mm of snow) and nothing moving so what did they do: called it off ! What a load of wimps. No sandwiches. Nothing. I was hoping for loads of goss but nothing. Trouble is Pentster is not on any many email lists so no one tells me what is going on. I have to rely on leaks, leaks in this weather, you have got to be joking!

See the British Pentathletes on the M&S website modelling their kit:

Frightening Eh?

Factoid 4
These World Championships will be the first World Championships for any Olympic Sport to be held in London for over 25 years. Not a lot of people know that!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What is Crystal Palace?

Crystal Palace is a large park located about 7 miles South of central London. It takes its name from a large cast iron and glass structure (see photo) that was moved from the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, London to Crystal Palace. It was destroyed by fire in 1936. The site has an amazing history and has been home to the first ever FA Cup Final in 1895, a prestige motor racing circuit and many other great activities. There is a railway station on site that connects with London and Croydon. For more history and a detailed plan see

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Relays and things

I see that the Guv'nor has launched the Real Official website. Doesn't it look goood? He has found out about me already and linked me in!! I had to do a bit of work harmonising the colours as he is SOooo fussy but what an honour, maybe he thinks that I will blow the whistle on him now and again and this is a bribe so that I am kept in order. Time will tell.

From a special correspondent:

It has been decided this week that the Relay for the World Championships 2009 will be of the mixed variety. This is one boy and one girl in each team with 20 teams to compete in a single day. This will be held the day after the Individual World Championships, Monday 17th August and shorten the WC programme by a day. If you want to get technical see UIPM rule: 1.10.3 Don't forget you read it here first and not a lot of people know about this!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Start of Something Big

The ball is now well and truly rolling for the UIPM World Championships to be held at Crystal Palace August cancel any ideas about holidays and be there.

The organising committee has had its first recce to CP and sussed out the facilities. So thorough was the visit, it even inspected the changing rooms and boiler room. In fact the organsers were so impressed with the "Hungarian Pool" idea of the empty swimming pool concept they thought that would be where they started empty swimming pool (see pic.)

Follow these pages over the weeks and months leading up to this fantastic competition and get the inside story from the "Pent-ster". Nothing official you understand, but loads of goss and stories that you will not find elsewhere.

Here is a picture of the management approving the Palace.

Crystal Palace Refurbishment

No doubt you have heard that the main arena and swimming pool at Crystal Palace has been closed since latish 2007.

The work is now nearly done and the pool is due to be refilled and heated in about six weeks time. The refurbishment has removed all asbestos, completely renewed all mechanical services, renewed all lighting over the pool and arena and carried out rewiring of many other areas. The changing rooms have been gutted and refitted to the highest and most modern standards. You may not notice much difference as a visitor but believe the Pent-ster when he says that beneath the skin, Crystal Palalce has had the Heineken treatment. Most impressive.

Anoraks Corner

Factoid 1: Crystal Palace Arena and Pool is a Grade 2 listed building
Factoid 2: The 10m diving platform is a Grade 1 listed structure, being the first reinforced concrete diving platform ever built.
Factoid 3: Crystal Palace pool was originally built as a 55 yard pool. Some thirty years ago it was shortened to 50m by reducing its length by 29.2cm but was measured with only one touch pad. During the current work it has been increased in length by about 30mm to fully meet FINA standards when using touchpads at each end. It has now been approved by FINA.