Three space vans, two transporters and the rooster shop were loaded with grid work, flooring, lighting, computer network, electronic printers and hopefully enough stock to keep the customers happy. We were ready for action. I guess it had taken us about three weeks of pretty solid preparation work to this point as the first space van left Rooster in Emsworth loaded with show equipment on Thursday at 06:00. With some more last minute deliveries to pack into the two stock vans and two Streakers and our half Laser® for our Rooster 8.1 loaded on the Rooster Shop, we were finally ready for our early start on Friday am.
Some meticulous planning gets the right stock in the right bays on our stand plan and sooner than I could finish preparing the two Streakers and the Rooster 8.1 than we were almost looking like a shop complete with changing rooms, three electronic tills with bar code scanning, thermal printers, lighting, show stock hanging and store room backup stock.
The Finished Artcile.
In Rooster's early days we would be still putting stock onto the pegs longafter everyone else had left. The show coordinator, Jenny Curry, used to send reinforcements to help smooth out our predicament when it seemed obvious we were behind for which I will always be greateful.
It was not like I had not put the committemnet in to the show in previous years; I was often asked to coach on the Show's main stage. I was always a sucker for a quick demo and coaching session at the show, long before Rooster Sailing was hatched. I think back on my most memorable slot. I was tasked to explain how to use a laser sail to gain best performance. At the same time I was keen to stress that it was not as bad a sail as everyone would like to make out - since it set on two standard extrusion aluminium tubes. I found myself with 10 mins to spare towards the end and I started to take some questions, one of which was to explain to the now very large crowd how to tack a laser. With the benefit of a hands free mic I asked the crowd to pick up the boat and hold me at shoulder height. The experience was surreal, sailing on a sea of hands; I don't think I will ever forget that one. I never saw a photo of this, I imagine Health and Safety was perhaps the reason. I asked the RYA to look at their archive pictures of the Dinghy Show with my hope to show it to you, but if you have a photo - please share it with us.
Despite my pre Rooster Sailing history with the Dinghy Show, I was shocked and honoured to be asked to present the flowers to Jenny Curry, on behalf of the exhibitors, thanking her for her dedicated service at the helm of the Dinghy Show management. Jenny had steered this show over her 18 years service to make it the best dinghy show on the planet. From my point of view, I would often think: "another year, another show", but from Jenny's point of view, it had been "another show, another year! " I wish her well in her retirement and pass on my continued support to the new Team headed by Helen Waterhouse, jovially assisted by Charlotte Pearson.
Packing up on Sunday evening is always a bit manic. To calm down and gather our thoughts from the day, we always arrange for 8 pitza's to be delivered to the stand. Yum yum - we are eating as everyone else is busy dismatntling madly around us; this helps to buy us some time so we can bring our vans into the hall after everyone has cleared away which works out far easier and has far more calories than packing away too quickly.
By Monday at midday we were unpacked but we were still swimming in boxes. Back to the main priority - keeping the customers happy.
We have set about this week trying to normalise our serivce. From a personal note I am looking forward to loosing my boatshow cold, I am also looking forward to Rooster finally moving its head office to a much larger more efficient unit with super quick acccss at junction 11 of the M27.