Since 15 years, Guntram Kraus is responsible for the Equipment Control in Nordic Combined World Cups. In our latest Tuesday Talk the German gave an insight on the control process, the importance of the team’s trust and which points on his to-do list have to be worked through during the upcoming Summer Grand Prix.
How long have you been responsible for Nordic Combined and how did you become an Equipment Controller?
I have been working as an Equipment Controller for the Nordic Combined World Cup since the 2007/2008 season.
The job posting was announced after the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Sapporo (JPN) in March 2007. I called the then Race Director Ulrich Wehling and expressed interest. The confirmation came shortly before the start of the new World Cup season in Kuusamo (FIN) in November.
For someone who’s not familiar with the process: Which parts of the equipment do you and your colleagues check during a World Cup control?
We check all parts of the equipment that are anchored in the World Cup rules with fixed measurements. These include the air permeability of the suit and its measurements, such as the inseam length, the size of the shoes, the length of the skis and, in relation to this, the weight of the athlete.
Together with the women’s Equipment Controller Kerstin Löscher, you share the controls during a competition. Can everyone control everything, or how does your task distribution look like?
I’m very happy that we were able to win Kerstin as the controller for the women. Thanks to her support, we are now able to fulfill a big wish of the teams: Constant checks by the same people throughout the winter.
Basically, we check our own athletes after the jumps, separated by gender. Kerstin takes over the women and I the men in the control room.
For the start controls on the tower, we swap positions, which we were able to test last season. I think it has worked very well so far.
In the future, the ban on fluor wax in the World Cup is to be enforced with controls. What is the process for implementation?
That’s an exciting question. So far, we have been able to run many test procedures and are in constant contact with the other disciplines. Good logistics are required with the teams, especially with the service people, to ensure that the controls run smoothly. In the end, the time factor must be consistent with the TV broadcast, and the technical requirements must also be agreed with the local organizing committee.