WPGC boat handicapping scheme proposed

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In a development that is sure to have all clubs reaching for their calculators, a handicapping scheme based on the age of gigs has been proposed by committee for use at the 2013 championships on the Isles of Scilly.

All races to be timed and the adjustments applied, with 3 seconds given for each year of age of the gig. Progression through the race groups is then based on the adjusted time.

Each gig entered already has had its build year assigned at http://worldgigs.co.uk/entrants2013.htm .

Base formula : ( 2013 – GIG_BUILD_YEAR ) x 3 = time bonus (seconds)

Example : gig “Energy”…
( 2013 – 1985 ) x 3 = 84 seconds.

For gigs that have had refits over the years, the date of the refit and amount of replacement wood used will be taken into account to adjust the basic formula.

Refit formula :  ( ( 2013 – GIG_BUILD_YEAR + 2013 – REFIT_YEAR ) x 3 ) x ORIGINAL_PERCENTAGE = time bonus (seconds)

Example : gig built in 1870 with a 50% refit in 1980.
(2013 – 1870 – ( 2013 – 1980 ) ) x 3 x 50% = 165 seconds

If successful, this scheme is set to run through the 2013 season at all events, and will be reviewed again on 1st April 2014 where a similar scheme based on age and amount of refit work done to each crew member may be introduced in tandem.

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  1. Sam

    Before I am completely dismissive I can see the obvious benefits of a handicapping system, trying to determine the best crew on an even playing field is what I’m sure everyone wants.

    However there is no way that I can see this system working in gig rowing yet. A handicap should be applied at the start of a race allowing for two boats with evenly matched crews to cross the finish line together, I can see no way that you can explain to the first boat across the line on Sunday afternoon that they’ve come second to the boat 5th over the line because they were rowing a newer boat. I daren’t suggest complicating start procedures any more to incorporate a handicap.

    Races are so often rowed for position and having a boat alongside you can summon the extra squeeze required to win or beat a particular boat, that is what racing is about, this handicapping is more like time trailing.

    To take an example I have no doubt that Caradon A would choose to row Millers Daughter in order to gain a 30 second advantage on the new builds, or else the equivalent of almost 20 strokes.

    I could go on but I’ll start to rant, I can’t see any sense in this idea yet.


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