In Military time it’s 1600 hrs and our trucks are lined up in a convoy in preparation for entry onto the airfield for the 2nd installment of Race the Base in Cold lake Alberta. Two escort vehicles’ arrive and accompany our eight trucks, one by one, onto the airfield. For the technicians who didn’t have the opportunity to see the airfield during July’s’ site survey, they were amazed at the sheer size of the venue. I could tell by the looks on their faces, but they were excited and looking forward to the challenge.
Race the Base is labeled at the Ultimate performance showdown. Ultimate performance was very important for ColossoVision when it came to video and audio support. Truckloads of high performance video production, Modular LED screens, Mobile LED Screens, and Audio resources were to be deployed for the second edition of Race the Base. ColossoVision made sure everyone attending the race would have good sight-lines to the screens and have the ability to hear and understand the audio.
Round two was bigger, better and included new thrilling elements such as the “Wet Drift Challenge” and the “Freestyle Donut Contest”. These additions meant two new zones were added to this year’s event that required more video and sound support.
Screens and Sound were provided for the following areas (approximate size of areas included).
- VIP 80,000 sq ft of area
- Main Spectator along the taxiway 360,000 sq ft of area
- Spectator zone for two new events for 2012 120,000 sq ft of area
Video Production included the following:
- Coverage of races on the 12,000ft runway
- Informational packages
- Commercials / advertising
- Rider information
Time available for setup: 18 hrs. – non stop continuous .
I remember the first time I approached our management team and told them about the time allocated for the install. They all went silent. From a technology perspective, the installation of the equipment wasn’t the concern. The time available was! With nearly 500,000 sq ft of venue to work with , not including the 12,000ft runway, we had some concerns at first. But working as a team we developed a logistics workflow and felt we could very well accomplish the deadlines the military presented us.
Although Race the base is a public event, 4 Wing is an operational airforce base, and its main function could not be forgotten or altered as national security is a reality. The limitations that were imposed on ColossoVision and PK Sound while setting up were understandable. A challenge both companies looked at as small bumps in the road. We were determined to meet the deadline of a noon opening the next day for “Race the Base”.
Joining ColossoVision and PK Sound were 12 military volunteers, several drivers, all of whom were incredible, positive, and excited about helping from the moment equipment was unloaded till the completion of the install.
As all installs go, there’s always the potential of a small glitch that adds another minor bump in the process. The glitch in this case was bad weather moving in north of Cold Lake. While installing the screens and sound, we watched the light show off in the distance generated by nature. The entire crew hoping the impending storm would pass, but it wasn’t to be. Lightning, heavy winds, and monsoon like rain forced the installation to stop and resume the next morning. Postponing the installation was a smart move for safety reasons. None the less we were concerned about meeting our deadlines. The storm and rains were not going to let up for the night. We were about to loose six hours from our time table for the install. Management met to discuss the deadlines and remaining work that was to still to be completed.
It’s 0630 Friday and the trucks are once again lined up outside the airfield awaiting escort for entry. ColossoVision, PK Sound and the Military volunteers knew the mountain we had to climb, and that we all did. Sound, Video Production, and Screens were all ready for the first race and we were on schedule!
This was not a traditional installation. Then again, non-traditional installations are something ColossoVision and PK Sound have experience with. Accomplishing this near impossible task was all possible with the help and support of an incredible team of volunteers from the base. Regardless of how wet, cold, or inclement the conditions were, every one of the Volunteers had a smile on their face, and were always ready to lend a hand. Thank you!
In the end, there were some important winners in Cold Lake. The ” goal of this event is to support the 4 Wing Morale and Welfare Fund and to raise funds for select charities including the Canadian Forces’ Soldier On Program, the Cold Lake Food Bank and Hearts for Healthcare Cold Lake”.