UK Fours Head

UK Fours Head

Post by Jon Anderso » Mon, 14 Nov 2005 08:08:08


Nice conditions.

Anyone know if the organisers will see fit to add in missing crews to
the finish list? They seem to have missed off two of ours who weren't
disqualified and weren't racing time only.
Bizarre.

Jon
--


    [ All views expressed are personal unless otherwise stated ]

 
 
 

UK Fours Head

Post by Jon Anderso » Mon, 14 Nov 2005 14:46:51

Quote:

> Anyone know if the organisers will see fit to add in missing crews to
> the finish list? They seem to have missed off two of ours who weren't
> disqualified and weren't racing time only.
> Bizarre.

Nope, I am talking crap. They *were* time only. I obviously have no clue
as to what crews we originally entered!

Still, nice conditions...

Jon
--


    [ All views expressed are personal unless otherwise stated ]

 
 
 

UK Fours Head

Post by Rob Colling » Tue, 15 Nov 2005 01:14:30

Quote:

> Nice conditions.

> Anyone know if the organisers will see fit to add in missing crews to
> the finish list? They seem to have missed off two of ours who weren't
> disqualified and weren't racing time only.
> Bizarre.

And what of the 40 crews that did not race and so deprived others of
the chance? 491 finishers, 17 tim only and 2 disqualified makes 510 out
of 550 entries actually turning up on the day.

Rob.

 
 
 

UK Fours Head

Post by Christopher She » Tue, 15 Nov 2005 02:30:08

We do ask the withdrawals the reasons.  Most seem legitimate and we even got
a couple of jpgs showing injuries.  The reason range through the tragic,
bizarre, incompetent and banal.

Christopher Shea
Honorary Secretary
Head of the River Fours


Quote:

>> Nice conditions.

>> Anyone know if the organisers will see fit to add in missing crews to
>> the finish list? They seem to have missed off two of ours who weren't
>> disqualified and weren't racing time only.
>> Bizarre.

> And what of the 40 crews that did not race and so deprived others of
> the chance? 491 finishers, 17 tim only and 2 disqualified makes 510 out
> of 550 entries actually turning up on the day.

> Rob.

 
 
 

UK Fours Head

Post by Phil » Tue, 15 Nov 2005 20:07:32

A warning, though, to anyone else leaving boats on a trailer on the
embankment overnight (like us, doing the vets HORR). Some low-life scum
vandalised one four that was tied on, and removed another four -
throwing it in the water. Thanks to Cygnet for spotting and recovering
it......
 
 
 

UK Fours Head

Post by chris harriso » Tue, 15 Nov 2005 21:24:35

Quote:

> Still, nice conditions...

Amen to that - a bit nippy, but as good a November day as could have
been hoped for.

We've copied the order for Saturday week and the Scullers Head!

 
 
 

UK Fours Head

Post by rebecca.ca.. » Tue, 15 Nov 2005 22:27:19

For over-subscribed London heads (4s, scullers, 8s) would there be a
case for a web-based "last-minute" entry option to take the place of
crews that can't race on the day?
Most people who don't race know they won't the day before and that is
usually enough time for people to organise boat transport......
Quote:

> We do ask the withdrawals the reasons.  Most seem legitimate and we even got
> a couple of jpgs showing injuries.  The reason range through the tragic,
> bizarre, incompetent and banal.

> Christopher Shea
> Honorary Secretary
> Head of the River Fours

 
 
 

UK Fours Head

Post by mprusco » Tue, 15 Nov 2005 22:54:54

Quote:

> For over-subscribed London heads (4s, scullers, 8s) would there be a
> case for a web-based "last-minute" entry option to take the place of
> crews that can't race on the day?
> Most people who don't race know they won't the day before and that is
> usually enough time for people to organise boat transport......

I understand part of the agreement with the PLA over the current 550
entry count is that there is no waiting list - 550 covers the expected
number of drop-outs.
 
 
 

UK Fours Head

Post by chris harriso » Wed, 16 Nov 2005 01:14:33

Quote:

> I understand part of the agreement with the PLA over the current 550
> entry count is that there is no waiting list - 550 covers the expected
> number of drop-outs.

Indeed so. Also, under ARA rules, once the draw is published, the event
cannot accept any new entries. Some events (the Scullers Head included
and, by the looks of it, the Fours Head too) make an effort to push this
rule by allowing unentered crews to race in the place of a withdrawn
crew for time-only.

The PLA restricts the river closure to 3 hours (and will not extend
this, even on a quiet Saturday in November) This includes an amount of
time to sweep the extent of the closed river prior to the advertised
race start time. Based on the previous years' experiences (and they do
keep records) all races will have an agreed limit of competitors. They
do allow races to number higher than this given that we can expect to
receive a number of drop-outs.

(I remember that the Fours Head in 2004 had a very high appearance rate,
I presume that the PLA were not unhappy with the time that race took
given that the number in the draw was the same this year.)

If a race successfully started all their crews well within the allowed
closure every year for a few years in a row they might be able to lobby
the PLA to raise the bar - but it's a tight calculation.

The PLA ask for an hour to sweep the river, leaving 2 hours of the
closure for the race itself. Allowing, say, 25 minutes for the last crew
to complete the course gives 95 minutes to clear the start line.
Assuming all of the permitted 500 crews appear that's 5.25 per minute,
or one crew every 11.4 seconds. For 95 minutes. And a stressed starter.

The PLA are loath to increase the allowance as any hold-up (a handful of
prevaricating crews, any large gap between divisions, whatever) requires
this average to increase. This is the major reason that the marshalling
instructions make such a big hairy deal about getting to your start
positions in plenty of time as they generally can't afford 10 minutes
late starting without incurring the wrath of the PLA.

 
 
 

UK Fours Head

Post by Christopher Anto » Wed, 16 Nov 2005 03:06:31


Quote:
> For over-subscribed London heads (4s, scullers, 8s) would there be a
> case for a web-based "last-minute" entry option to take the place of
> crews that can't race on the day?
> Most people who don't race know they won't the day before and that is
> usually enough time for people to organise boat transport......

Not according to the Rules of Racing which allow for no changes to the draw
after it's been done. In principle people could be added in for time only
but as someone will point out the PLA don't want 550 crews racing and expect
that there will be fewer on the day.
 
 
 

UK Fours Head

Post by Christopher She » Wed, 16 Nov 2005 03:35:32

I agree with most of what Chris says.  A couple of additional points
relating specifically to HOR4s.  The large numbers cause a number of
pressures but one of the greatest is the pressure on boating.  Getting such
a large number of boats on the water and on the right side of the river
before the race starts is a considerable logistical exercise which falls on
the home clubs.  This is one area that we will be reviewing and we will need
to be satisfied we are not operating outside the safe envelope if we are
continue with the same numbers.

Even if the PLA was not sitting on our backs we would still need to be
fairly 'hairy' about crews getting to their start position on time.  This is
not a warm time of year.  It takes over an hour and a half to get crews
across the start line.  Due to the numbers, crews are boating an hour and a
half, (sometimes more,) before the start.  It is essential to reduce the
risk of hypothermia by ensuring the race runs as much to timetable as
possible.  It is in any case simply not fair on the latter crews to keep
them waiting any longer than necessary.  After all the first crews off will
probably have had a hot shower and be drinking in the bar before the last
crew starts.

Chris


Quote:

>> I understand part of the agreement with the PLA over the current 550
>> entry count is that there is no waiting list - 550 covers the expected
>> number of drop-outs.

> Indeed so. Also, under ARA rules, once the draw is published, the event
> cannot accept any new entries. Some events (the Scullers Head included
> and, by the looks of it, the Fours Head too) make an effort to push this
> rule by allowing unentered crews to race in the place of a withdrawn crew
> for time-only.

> The PLA restricts the river closure to 3 hours (and will not extend this,
> even on a quiet Saturday in November) This includes an amount of time to
> sweep the extent of the closed river prior to the advertised race start
> time. Based on the previous years' experiences (and they do keep records)
> all races will have an agreed limit of competitors. They do allow races to
> number higher than this given that we can expect to receive a number of
> drop-outs.

> (I remember that the Fours Head in 2004 had a very high appearance rate, I
> presume that the PLA were not unhappy with the time that race took given
> that the number in the draw was the same this year.)

> If a race successfully started all their crews well within the allowed
> closure every year for a few years in a row they might be able to lobby
> the PLA to raise the bar - but it's a tight calculation.

> The PLA ask for an hour to sweep the river, leaving 2 hours of the closure
> for the race itself. Allowing, say, 25 minutes for the last crew to
> complete the course gives 95 minutes to clear the start line. Assuming all
> of the permitted 500 crews appear that's 5.25 per minute, or one crew
> every 11.4 seconds. For 95 minutes. And a stressed starter.

> The PLA are loath to increase the allowance as any hold-up (a handful of
> prevaricating crews, any large gap between divisions, whatever) requires
> this average to increase. This is the major reason that the marshalling
> instructions make such a big hairy deal about getting to your start
> positions in plenty of time as they generally can't afford 10 minutes late
> starting without incurring the wrath of the PLA.

 
 
 

UK Fours Head

Post by JY » Wed, 16 Nov 2005 17:57:40

Is it time to consider a split?
Have a separate women's and/or juniors Fours Head?
Or combine the women and/or juniors with the veteran fours head?
Or shift all the S34s to the next day?
 
 
 

UK Fours Head

Post by frasermunr.. » Wed, 16 Nov 2005 22:52:36

or is it time for people to get their entries in on time..........we
were all warned!
 
 
 

UK Fours Head

Post by chris harriso » Wed, 16 Nov 2005 23:23:45

Quote:

> or is it time for people to get their entries in on time..........we
> were all warned!

No, because then you've just got an escalating war between entries
secretaries.

With that line you'll see an increasing number of time-only crews who've
had to make substitutions because of injuries or selection decisions
that were necessitated by the entry being in a month or more before the
deadline. Partially because the race is at a time in the season when
many coaches don't know who will be in their fours until the weekend
before the race. But also because you might have a number of new
athletes who coaches are evaluating and integrating into your squad -
this is especially true of academic clubs.)

If you've more entries than can be accomodated it doesn't matter when
the deadline is.

The issue here is precisely that there are too many crews who want to
row in the event. Frankly, a number of the lower status crews shouldn't
have been there - but who's to say that just because some 'big' clubs or
high cat crews missed out, these minnows should be left on the bank to
miss the experience?

In part, the race has set the precedent. By omitting lower cat crews (no
novice or senior 4 at all, no senior 3 quads, nothing less than elite
for women's coxless boats). The race is already saying there is should
be a quality threshold (to paraphrase the old joke) now we're just
haggling over the details.

Rowing in a large event like the Fours Head is a great experience,
testing your mettle against internationals, wannabes, club oarsmen,
universities and all the rest. It's a real spectacle and quite fun to be
marshalling with dozens of other boats.

Even omitting veteran crews from the race hasn't been entirely
successful - the Vets events on the Sunday will have seen a number of
crews race a second time, which isn't the point.