Given almost half of the players are travelling from outside New South Wales, some concerns have been expressed regarding the volcanic ash cloud currently disrupting flights around Australia and New Zealand and how it could affect travel plans for the 2011 Australian Continentals, scheduled to start in under two weeks.
At the time of writing, domestic and international airline services in the south-east of Australia have been disrupted. Current reports suggest that the ash clouds will begin to directly affect the south-western part of Australia over the next few days, which will disrupt commercial aircraft travel from Perth to the eastern states. The good news is that current models are reported to say the ash will dissipate in a matter of days, sped up by the significant rain activity we are currently experiencing on this side of the Nullarbor.
Exacerbating the problem is the backlog of passengers and cargo, which depending on how long the ash clouds blow over Australian air space, may take until the AC and beyond to clear out.
Given I have in my possession many of the materials required for many of the tournaments, in event that I (as well as my fellow members of Team WA) are not able to get to Sydney on time (or at all), the 2011 Australian Continentals will go ahead, but with some alterations to the tournaments.
As we approach the end of next week, if it still looks bad, I will look at alternative options of getting tournament materials (e.g. draft packs, prizes) to Sydney. In addition, an alternate judging structure will be nominated, and alterations to the scheduled tournament will be announced.
If you have any comments or questions, please PM me or post them in the 2011 Australian Continentals thread.