We are now just weeks away from the 2012 Stockton Open on the 10, 11 & 12 of February. The Stockton Surf Club and Hunter Branch along with the Newcastle City Council are doing a great job to showcase this event for us.
The program can be found on the website and will be updated with actual times etc as soon as we have final entries and drawers sorted.
ASRL Open a Three-Day Event
Just to confirm that we do understand the difficulties some crew will face if they are drawn to compete on the Friday but this is a feature of the growth of this event. Sure some will argue that we can cram everybody into two days finishing late on Sunday and hope like hell that we have no stoppages, tough conditions or anything else to holds us up. Others will argue that races can be run with shorter turn around times but the reality is that at just about all events including the Australians where we have the best Officials available the best that can be achieved is a seven minute turn around.
The majority of members, (over 80%) when asked in a recent survey responded that they wanted the event to run over three days so everybody gets better less rushed racing and most importantly soft cuts.
This will be a great three days of racing featuring the full-blown National Interstate on Friday, the Battle of the Ditch for Open Men & Open Women against the top NZ crews on Saturday and then all finals on Sunday. If your serious about your competition the Open with close to 300 crew entries is a must go.
Elimination V Round Robin at Nationals
In a thread on the website several questions have been asked about the process on how this decision was reached and if the ASRL had been consulted. A glitch did occur in that the SLS Circular was released prior to the ASRL being conferred with for which acknowledgment has been made by SLS. We accept that this was a simple mistake as the SBC is still in its infancy and processes still need to be understood by all involved.
That said we have in the last week conferred back through our committee to seek comment and some direction to put back to SLSA on the issue. The membership must remember that each year for the last 3 or 4 we have conducted an all of membership survey where we seek your response and input to a wide range of questions. In the last three years one of the questions was to your preference for RR of Elimination at the National Championship. The majority response to this question was for Elimination racing and that was discussed at a May conference of the ASRL and ultimately reported back to SLSA.
The following is an email that has been sent to SLSA but just to be clear when we spoke to the Referee about this issue the very reasonable points that were made by him in explaining the reasons for the decision included:
- In previous years we could run from 7am to 5pm – we are now restricted to 8am- 4pm at the Nationals
- We have ditched Tuesday from this year's calendar starting on Wednesday
- They have to plan for only 4 hours racing on Friday
- Boats have to finished by around 1pm on Sunday
- A lot of available time has been lost under the new arrangements and with the expected number of crews attending it will become very hard to fit in if racing RR in adverse conditions
- Last year with reasonable conditions the best they could achieve was an 7 minute turn round time
- All these things when put together could force severe cuts if racing RR
- By running elimination of 6 boats – 4 through in R1 and then a soft cut repechage almost all crews get to round three
- Under elimination it means that the cuts can be soft the whole way through i.e. 6 boats drop 2 and that the officials do have the ability to make change to the format in adverse conditions from round one unlike RR where the three rounds must be completed before change can happen
"The SBC wishes to advise that we have in the past as the ASRL taken a poll of our members and at that time the majority supported Elimination racing at the National Championship and consequentially this has previously been advised in writing to SLSA.
This is always a tricky subject, as many rowers believe it is better to ensure three rows at all events, maybe at the expense a harsh cut if conditions dictate. While others are firmly in the camp that at the National Championship racing should always be elimination.
At this time based on a very short lead time for us to properly hold a full face to face committee discussion and certainly no time to go back to the full rowing community for consultation we can only base our comment on what we have previously canvassed which resulted in majority supporting Elimination racing at the National Championship. That said we are comfortable that for this year if time permits that the event be held under RR rules with a reasonable soft cut at the end of the RR if that suits the program. If however the Referee isn't confident that a reasonable cut can be assured after the RR then we ask that Elimination be the order of the day with Repecharge and soft cuts of 4 crews through each time."
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