Technical Officials – BTC Superheroes in Disguise!
Ever wanted to find out what it takes to be a technical official? With their fancy fluro vests and all of that power these superheros do a lot more work than you may think! Ben and Ray are two of our wonderful technical officials (TO’s) at BTC and we had a chat to them to find out what being a TO is really all about…
Why did you decide to become a technical official?
Ray: It is true that without the volunteers there wouldn’t be a race, possibly more so in triathlon than other sports, because of the safety issues and the distances covered. I like being a helper person and was inspired by my favourite Balmoral TOs – Jodie and Josh and of course Allan Harrison who has now moved to Foster, these are people who maximise their lives and those around them by being caring, fun, intelligent and INCREDIBLY hard working!
Ben: The club was missing out on a potential 30 points (10 points per TO) at the NSW club champs. I’ll never win my age group at the club champs, so this is a better use of my time! Besides, what better way to punish those filthy draft cheats!
What is the funniest thing you have had to pull someone up for / have observed while being a TO?
Ray: I haven’t been a TO for long and I haven’t pulled anyone up yet. Last year I rescued a poor lady in transition - she was trying to change her outfit but was being strangled by lycra, I ran over and offered assistance before she suffocated. She probably didn’t think it was funny at the time, but she survived, so hopefully she can look back at it now and think it was funny. We’ve probably all had wardrobe malfunctions like that, I know I have!
Ben: I’ve seen some absolute belters at some of the races I’ve officiated at. I’ve seen people with baskets on the front of their bikes, helmets and wetsuits on backwards, people asking if they can leave their bike in their car instead of putting it in transition, people securing their bikes to the racks with bike locks, people taking their bike helmets to the swim, people marking their bike in transition with helium balloons and my all-time favourite…some guy who tried to check his bike in with no saddle.
What is your favourite thing about being a technical official?
Ray: There is a fluro yellow vest and I’ve got a fluro orange whistle, and a penalty book – it’s still nice and clean and new and empty.
Ben: My favourite thing would have to be greeting my club mates at transition check-in. It’s always nice to see a friendly face on race morning. Other than that I quite enjoy marvelling at how fast the development squad kids are. Seriously, their flying mounts/dismounts are so good! I’m a bit of a gear freak, so I also enjoy transition to check out all the fancy bikes.
What are some of your roles as TO?
Ray: Some of the more experienced TOs do the ‘field of play’ assessment – such as take the water temperature, mark out the potholes / obstacles on the course, man the penalty box. We also check all the equipment brakes, helmets, numbers, wrist bands, timing bands, reiterate directions, check bike racking, removing bags from transition, manage the mount and dismount lines (that’s a scary job) and ride on the back of the motor bike watching for people breaking the rules (under taking, blocking, littering and drafting).
Ben: It could be any number of things. Manning the bike check-in, being out on the motorbike, policing the mount/dismount line (total carnage at Kurnell where it goes uphill at the start line), running the penalty box.
How long have you been a TO?
Ray: I earned my badge last year just in time to have the privilege of being a TO at Club Champs – will be doing it again this year.
Ben: Probably about a year now.
Thanks Ben and Ray for giving back to the sport, for all your help around the club and being such great TO representatives for BTC. If you want to find out how you can become a TO click here and make sure to give Ben and Ray a cheer and a smile when you see them out there and at club champs!