Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Super Bowl of Ski Racing

Well, the story has gradually leaked out, it's public knowledge now, so you may as well hear it from The Horse's Mouth: Broder's Skunkware and Precision Timing International (Ted Savage and myself) have been selected by the Austrian Team and the Kitzbuehler Ski Club to provide timing for what has been the world's biggest, oldest, and most prestigious ski race since 1929: The Hahnenkamm Downhill at Kitzbuehel in January of 2007. Even better, we were selected over Swiss Timing / Swatch, which has provided timing to Kitzbuehel for the past 70 years. And to sweeten the pot, the timing sponsor is Rolex, their first big involvement in ski-sport in a long time.

I hear the Swiss slimebags aren't too happy about it.

I'll tell you something else I heard. I heard the KSC was originally going to keep Swatch, whose contract was up after the Jan, 2006 Hahnenkamm, as official TIMING & DATA provider. Swatch knew KSC was looking around, and they upped the stakes considerably, made KSC a really sweet deal. But then the Rolex sponsorship presented itself, and the arrogant Swissfucks refused to cooperate, as they always do. Swatch would not agree to put any branding on their TIMING or DATA other than their own. They never thought KSC would drop them like a used rubber, which KSC did only because they had sent two guys to Lake Louise in 2005 to see our DH solution. From that visit, it was reported back to Austria that our client/server DH solution kicked ass and was, in fact, far superior to Swatch's rag-tag collection of 1970's-era aluminum boxes.

Another factor is that the OESV (Oesterreich Ski Verbund, aka Austrian Ski Team) has been the victim in three situations in the past 2 seasons where Swatch has attempted to ruin Austrian events over TIMING & DATA rights. That's right - Swatch engaged in corporate blackmail and a whole host of other dirty tricks at Soelden 2004, Lake Louise 2004, and Altenmarkt Zauchansee 2004. So KSC dumped Swatch, and KSC's host Federation, the OESV, which had frowned upon KSC's renewal with Swatch, was pleased as punch.

Again, the above two paragraphs are what I heard. I don't really get involved in the politics, I just make the bits & bytes work.