Here at GigRower we don’t think the progression of crews through a regatta based on lap times are fair or much fun, especially for large events – are you racing the clock and conditions, or are you racing the crew next to you?
A perfect example of this was on day one of the 2011 Ladies Championships at Newquay. Round 1 races 14 and 15 were started with an altered course due to problems with sea conditions on the start line. A time adjustment (of an unknown formula) was to be added to their course time – how is this fun or fair for the 13 races that had just taken place? The 16th race was also abandoned and run the following day when conditions had again changed. Who knows how many crews were disadvantaged overall?
Whilst an event may produce the “right” top 12 crews, it’s not about these crews. It’s about taking the bulk of the fleet seriously (not just expecting them to make up the numbers), and giving all comers a chance to race and perform fairly as well as taking a result away that they feel they have achieved on merit and not at the mercy of the weather, conditions or organisation (as much as possible).
Here’s an alternative purely as a means to generate discussion, for 96 entrants, for a weekend championships and assumes we have from 9am until 6pm to race (9 hours) each day to work with.
- Multiple opening rounds, random lane and boat selections.
- Seeding is carried out so that the top 16 are evenly spread out.
- Round 1 and round 2 use a short course so races are around 10 minutes, still with 2 turns but so best crews take 8-9 mins, and worst 11-12mins (not 20+ minutes of slogging
away for the same result).
- The opening rounds are used to split the fleet into two tiers “TIER_1” and “TIER_2” (48 crews in each).
- ROUND 1, ROUND 2, ROUND 3, QUARTER FINALS, SEMI FINALS, FINAL.
- more racing (all crews race at least twice – and up to 6 times).
- more chances to prove yourself.
- more recognition for crews.
- more crews present on both days to enjoy the atmosphere and hospitality.
races at 22 mins is 8 x 22 = 176 minutes
Time required for ROUND 3 = 4 x 22 = 88 mins.
** Race course now switches to the “long” course for next 7 races **
QUARTER FINALS (24 “TEIR 1” crews) = 4 races of 6 crews.
Progression : Top 3 crews progress to SEMI FINALS.
Time required for QUARTER FINALS = 4 x 30 = 120 mins.
Time required for SEMI FINALS = 2 x 23 (18 min race plus 5 min changeover) = 46 mins.
Progression : 1 race of 6 boats, optional “double lap” final course.
Time required for FINALS is between 18 and 36 mins.
Total time to run day 2 : 272 mins or 4.5 hours.
Other thoughts :
Your thoughts? Please leave them below…