You’re probably already aware that there’s a consultation process ongoing at the moment to see what changes (if any) to age categories and race formats CPGA clubs would like to see for the 2011 season. If your club hasn’t submitted its votes to the CPGA yet, you have until the 17th of October 2010 to do so.
The areas of discussion are veteran age categories, junior age categories, a CPGA event series (currently the “Tribute” series) and a format for any CPGA series.
The veteran and junior age groups are indeed probably worthy of adjustment. The veteran age range options (currently just “over 40”) could be changed to formally recognise 40 (vet), 50 (super vet), and optionally over 60 years old (super super vet). There is also an option to adjust the veteran threshold age to 45 and super vet to 55. However, this seems rather unfair as it would mean that 5 year’s worth of rowers are suddenly unable to compete in veterans races and would have to take part in the already huge age group that spans 16 to 39 years olds!
It would be interesting to see an age category breakdown of all gig rowers – if your club has figures available, why not email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org we’ll post the results online anonymously. NB : At WPGC2010 there were 46 ladies vet crews (just 8 crews in 2004!) and 62 mens vets (24 crews in 2004). The “over 40’s” are a substantial fleet in their own right.
The junior race category options have a sensible option for boys, girls and mixed (3+3). It’s a shame that as juniors move towards the adult fleet that girls are penalised against and not recognised by having to complete against ever maturing boys. Far better to encourage boys, girls and mixed crews as in the adult fleet.
When it comes to a CPGA race series and format, the options reflect the ever expanding size and popularity of the gig racing fleet and location of clubs. From Lands End to Swanage, Bristol and Porthgain, the race season can seem relentless. So, should a CPGA series be condensed into one grand weekend event (witness WPGC, Mixed & Vets, and the Newquay weekends), or still spread out over multiple events – or no “CPGA event” at all?
Similarly, splitting the fleet into defined regions of West/Central/East with their own major series may prove popular but depends very much on how the boundry lines are drawn!
If you want to read a copy of the document there’s one here – CPGA races and organised events questionnaire
We’d love to have your comments below regarding the options available that are all about making positive adjustments to the vibrant and successful sport that we all enjoy!