CPGA age categories and race formats

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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 [email protected]and 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!

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5 Comments on "CPGA age categories and race formats"

  1. Darren

    I do consider that the min age of vets needs to be raised to something like 45 as many very good a and b crew rowers are already well over 40! The min age could be increased one year at a time so for example the 2011 season could see the min age raised to 41. Therefore by 2015 the min age could be 45. This would see more rowers racing rather that less rowers racing more.

    I also think there should be a minimum of 3 series events (I would perfer to see at least 5) and sharing them across the regions would seem fair. Perhaps Falmouth, Cawsand and Weymouth.



    • Musto

      Surely trying to phase in a change in age range over 5 years just means those aged 35,36,37,38 and 39 are discriminated against as it would take someone aged 35 a full 10 years to reach veterans rather than 5 as it is now.

      Ideally, any changes should be made to ensure no resentment or unfairness to any rower and the only way to do this would be to add categories at age points, as moving the age point “goalposts” will always mean some lose out. I’d prefer to see the 40/50/60 age groups implemented and clubs encouraged to offer prizes and recognition of older crews if/when they enter events.

      If gig rowing was in line with FISA World Rowing age ranges we’d have veteran categories as follows : 27, 36, 43, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75 (With “senior” fleet being 18-26 years old and juniors 12,13,14,15,16 and 17). Now, that’s a lot of categories but reflects that performance does alter with age!

  2. Patrick

    40/50/60 … fine for big clubs, but with Regattas tending to race Vet and Supervet at the same time it can be hard for smaller clubs getting 2 full crews on the water at the same time, and even more tricky getting 2 gigs towed to the Regatta. Adding a 60+ category …. which I generally support …. would compound this. Only large clubs could get 3 gigs to the Scillies! Perhaps we can start by having more “proper” supervet stand-alone races around the Regattas (CPGA and otherwise) in 2011. There is also something to be said for MIXED 60+ crews as physical abilities of the sexes tend to grow closer with age.

  3. Penny

    My vote would go to VETS: 40 and Over, 50 and Over, 60 and Over, (as opposed to Over 40, etc.)

    Also, I feel very very strongly that we should not have mixed juniors as the only category. We should have Junior Ladies and Junior Men with JL being allowed to row in JM for the benefit of small clubs. We shouldn’t then need a mixed category for juniors. Finally, we should stick with “Junior-U.14” and Junior U.18. thus we should have:

    LJ (Junior U.18)
    MJ (Junior U.18) If all juniors are U.18. then the oldest Junior categories only need to be called Junior or “J”.

    My views on the “Tribute” series is that they should be condensed into May, June and 1st 3 weeks of July – there should still be a 3-Event Format, but they should be organised in such a way as to give everyone at least 2 races, and preferably 3, ie., Heat – Final (A)- Losers Finals – B, C, D, as necessary. In this way all crews get at least 2 races, and in the 2nd race they are more likely to be racing again crews of similar ability – Perhaps have only 6 boats per Heat or Final.

  4. fred

    in my opinion as a junior boy approaching the end of my age group although ive rowed at newquay mens it is still a daunting prospect moving up to the mens section therefore i propose they add a under 18’s section to all main events-where teams of under 18’s race the mens course against each-other as it is unfair to dishearten young rowers by pitting them against the big a crews such as as looe, mounts bay, carodon and par for the sake of humiliating young rower and disguising it as character building.

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