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In-depth look on the event layouts with Helene Tolloti

Hélène Tottoli joined the Normandie 2014 Organising Committee as layout manager in May 2008. Her role? Manage building/upgrade work at the venues, construction of equestrian footing/flooring, layout plans, temporary facilities, decoration, on-site cleaning services etc. It’s up to her to make sure that the 1,000 competitors, the 1,000 horses and the 500,000 spectators expected during the Games’ fortnight will all enjoy the best possible conditions. Quite an adventure lies ahead… 

In-depth look on the event layouts with Helene Tolloti
© Comité d'Organisation Normandie 2014

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE LAYOUT DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBLE FOR?


We have a wide range of responsibilities as layout and planning covers a number of different areas. Our event requires particular attention since we have seven competition venues to manage in three different towns. And don’t forget, we’ve also got two types of athlete to take care of: humans and horses!

On a practical level, we deal with different types of layout/building work needed at certain competition venues. This in itself is quite unusual as when it comes to sporting events, this is usually done by the local authorities or venue owners themselves. It’s our job to oversee the construction of the cross-country tracks, the driving track, the flooring and footing for all the different venues etc. Our other areas of responsibility are what you would call “pretty standard”: development of layout plans, temporary facilities (tents, bungalows, stadium stands etc), decoration (carpets, furnishings, lighting, flowers), fluids (electricity, water), cleaning services and waste management, with notably 450 tons of horse manure to remove during the Games’ fortnight…!

We have already put in a lot of work, for example, we are currently in the middle of finalising the cross-country track. We aim to forge ahead with all this work so that we can deliver a turnkey event and thereby guarantee the success of the Games in 2014!


The Games start in a year and a half but the cross country track already looks pretty good !

SO, WHAT ARE THE NEWT BIG PLANNING PHASES ?

At the moment, we are really getting to grips with the minute details relating to projects like the three test events scheduled for August: Driving at the Prairie Racecourse in Caen and Endurance in Sartilly, as well as Eventing at the Le Pin National Stud and in Caen. 

We are currently looking to finalise deals with service providers for sports flooring, cross-country obstacles, stables and temporary facilities to ensure that we will be ready for these major deadlines. We plan to start installation work beginning of July.

Meanwhile, we’re going to start getting the Prairie Racecourse ready for the Driving competition in a few days time.  We’ve been working on this project with the town of Caen since 2009. We have had to pay particular attention to this venue: to identify its features, its advantages and more than anything, the delicate environmental balance to be respected. Tests will be done at the end of the month to confirm whether we’re on the right track.

After these test events, we’ll be reviewing everything that’s been done so far: flooring, stables, horse/rider pathways etc.  There will undoubtedly be things to change and improvements to be made.

Beginning of 2014, we’ll be meeting with service providers for the stadium stands, on-site cleaning services and waste management. We will then enter the final stage of the project - we need to determine the design plans, budgets, assembly and dismantling timetables … We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us!


3 major competition venues during the Games. From left to right : the Prairie racecourse (in Caen), Haras du Pin National Stud, The Bay of Mont Saint-Michel

THAT'S QUITE A TASK YOU HAVE THERE... SO PLEASE REASSURE US : YOU WON'T DO EVERYTHING ON YOUR OWN RIGHT ?


No, of course not! For the time being, there are six of us working in the Layout department. Working alongside me, I have Philippe Vincent (temporary facilities manager), Hippolyte Fesnien (project manager for building work and floral decoration), Mathieu Grujard (data base and planning assistant), Maxime Plotin (layout trainee), and Hugo Bouillie who has just joined – he’ll be handling everything to do with hygiene, waste management and water supplies.

Our team will be bolstered by the arrival of four more recruits over the coming months; bringing us up to a total of ten by the time the event kicks off. Our priority is to find a site manager whose main task will be to get the car parks and the endurance tracks in the Manche area ready. He/she will also oversee the logistics platform. This autumn, we will be recruiting a construction and schedule supervision/coordination manager. His/her role will be to manage our service providers, as well as assembly, maintenance and dismantling work. In addition to these two new staff members, we will also be taking on two full-time trainees to help out with general layout organisation.

WILL THE WORK CARRIED OUT HAVE A LONG-TERM EFFECT ONCE THE EVENT IS OVER ?

Certain venues require temporary layout work to meet the specific needs of the competition – as with the Prairie Racecourse for example – but others need long-term upgrade work, which means that Lower Normandy will reap the benefits well after the event. This is particularly the case for the cross-country track and the endurance trail. We also hope to leave our mark thanks to our expertise and know-how and influence future equestrian competitions in the region. We’re going to do our best to make sure that it’s the case!
 

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