Thirty minutes now from the start of hostilities.
Just outside the officials' room the players slowly gather, catching up with old friends, while I see a few prepping up at the last minute. I think most would rather normally be outside, what with that long stretch of beach just a short walk from here, but the weather has been unkind. It's pouring rain! Not exactly what I'd expected in the Gold Coast.
As far as the venue is concerned, who can complain? We are, of course, inside the Outrigger Twin Towns Resort, so as one might expect the facilities are almost perfect. The floor space is a bit smaller than at the SIO or Doeberl, but there's still plenty of room left for players. So, it's comfy for them. I don't know, however, if that will remain true once the spectators start piling in.
For our online fans, action can be viewed via 4 DGT broadcasts plus 10 using the Monroi device. This is the first time I've seen these Monroi things and, on first impressions, these could prove the death of DGTs. Heaven only knows why any proper-minded organiser should have to continue lugging around these DGT boards from event to event.
And, of course, you can also follow GM Ian Rogers' coverage online. That's something new!