Newquay men's championships 2013 part 2

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Final results and thoughts.

The 28th of September 2013 saw flat waters and a gusty E-SE wind. The remaining and revised quarter finals, semis and finals ran smoothly, but with a great deal of crew disruption due to the two week delay from “part 1” of the event, some benefited but most were adversely affected.

With ever closer and more evenly matched crews, are the championships becoming less about the performance of the rowers, and more about the luck of a lane draw and being stuck in a queue rounding a mark? We’re sure the usual voices will cry “that’s Newquay” or “it’s tradition”, but does it make for a compelling and closely fought end-of-season spectacle for the sport we all enjoy as well as one to act as a focus for those who are looking to take up the sport?

The semi finals were hotly contested with 2.5% covering the top 6, and then another 2.5% covering the next 6. Maybe there’s room for a “B” final at the 2014 championships for places 7 to 12? Perhaps only a single lap – although, we’re still at a loss as to the merits of a training for, and racing multiple single lap heats (and similar races through the season), only to have a double-lap final. Can’t think of another sport that does that, is the football world cup final suddenly 3hrs long? Answers on a postcard…

Congratulations to overall winners Falmouth, with Caradon 2nd and Newquay 3rd. Caradon managed to get 3 crews into the final, which is probably some sort of record in itself, but were unable to convert this embarrassment of riches into a win at the event.

PDF download of GigRower lap analysis (not the official CPGA / NRC results ) :

DOWNLOAD : Newquay2013 MENS analysis final

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8 Comments on "Newquay men's championships 2013 part 2"

  1. Teignrower

    Very frank article, but something very real that ought to be seriously thought about! Newquay can be so changeable and good crews can lose out, which after a season of dedicated training is just not right. To lose out due to the change in direction of the wind or the force of it from one race to another… well… it is heartbreaking!

    Yes! That is the way it goes at Newquay, but as the above article states there aren’t just 3 or 4 great crews anymore if you look at both the women’s and men’s competitions now there is not much that separates the top 20 really but a mere matter of seconds and to be honest a change in weather conditions is not what I consider to be fair when trying to compare myself against my rivals. I know it is incredibly difficult in the sea to keep everything fair but as the sport becomes more professional, more scientific and more competitive there comes a time where things need to be reassessed in order for the sport to continue to flourish.
    If I lost out because I knew that our crew just weren’t good enough that is one thing but to lose out, and I know I have already said it, to sea state is completely different. I would feel cheated, gutted. I know that personally I would keep going every year to reach that Newquay final, but for others they may not feel the same way and lose interest. I already know of people that don’t come to Newquay because of how unfair they feel it can be and for a lot of us it is a long way to travel to be kicked out in the second round unjustly.
    I’m not saying change the format completely but maybe the way that crews progress could be changed? I like a B final or maybe just increase the number of boats in the final?

    • miles

      Regarding you comment on the men’s competition, there still only about 5-6 clubs in it, and out of that there is a clear division between the top 3 and the remaining 3 clubs.

      This season could be seen as slightly different in regards to Par weren’t rowing since scillys, Falmouth mixed crew all year, Caradon partly through season, Roseland didn’t really show up to much (this goes for Looe too), etc etc. This gave way to other lesser clubs to have the opportunity to achieve good results for example Fowey did really well all season and ‘flopped’ at Newquay, Newquay mens had up and down season and came home 3rd in championships???

      It all comes down to how you cope on the day with the ever changing cornish weather!! Enough said!

  2. Matt P

    To be honest, year on year, it’s generally the best crews that win at Newquay. The problems usually manifest themselves with the “also-rans”.
    If you really want totally controllable, “fair” conditions, take up sliding seat rowing and go and row on a purpose built lake.
    Whinging about changing sea conditions is pretty absurd when related to any form of coastal rowing, especially gig rowing.
    It has nothing to do with tradition, but rather the entire point and ethos of gig rowing.
    Yes it’s disappointing to loose out to factors which it may be felt are nothing to do with your performance in the gym, but if you’re really that good, ask yourself why are you struggling in the wake of other crews instead of controlling the race from the front ?
    Buoy turns can be tricky and cause unpredictable situations, but, except on Scilly we all do them week in week out. There are rules which should prevent most problems. Maybe we should concentrate on taking them a little more seriously.
    Quite frankly, the often wildly inconsistent umpiring decisions which seem to be particularly prevalent at the Newquay Champs are more of a concern. But that’s a different issue, and one which would apply equally to any sport.

    • Musto

      Good comments Matt but if you think sliding seat lane rowing is automatically fair, think again. There’s all sorts of lane bias, the difference is that an event will have a fairness committee and there’s a focus on trying to eliminate randomness not introduce it. Races are unsurprisingly much closer…

      • Matt P

        I’m aware of that and was speaking in relative terms.
        The conditions in which such sliding seat races take place are inevitably far more controllable than rowing around marks in the sea.
        Ultimately I supposes that if “fairness” becomes the be-all and end-all of the sport, we’d all end up competing solely on rowing machines in strictly controlled, air conditioned gyms.
        Kind of defeats the object of the exercise to my way of thinking.
        I guess all forms of rowing have their own challenges and idiosyncrasies(yes, I did have to look up the spelling of that one). I just happen to believe that Cornish rowing in gigs, skiffs and flashboats,enjoys a very high state of development. If you have the skill to row well given the boats, equipment, and likely rowing conditions, you can probably row anything, anywhere.
        I’m not saying that we have nothing to learn from other forms, far from it. Fixed seat rowing theory, such as it is, is often confused and sometimes just plain contradictory to the laws of physics. But that too is changing.
        I just hope we don’t throw the baby out with the bath water and loose what’s really special about what we have.

        • miles

          Matt your comments hit the nail on the head about newquay champs! The people who are moaning are the ones who dont win. i’m sorry for them but try harder or except your crew’s ability and just ENJOY the sport for what it is!

          Any sport competing in open seas off the north atlantic will have its challenges, you need to be able to cope with whats thrown at you on the day.

          Finally, the top 6 clubs in competition all stem from CRA rowing!? May be that’s something to look at? Technique, skills, ability and so on….????

  3. Charlotte

    Just to clear up a point Mount’s Bay have not stemmed from a CRA club, however the mens A crew they fielded at Newquay contained 3 people with CRA experience (cox and two rowers.

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