OC Slalom Nats

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OC Slalom Nats

Post by cbcboat » Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:19 pm

Seeing that Craig has made some comments about slalom nats in the downriver thread I wanted to start this one as I have some opinions on that as well.
First I agree with Craig on the Length classes, I don't remember what he had said but it was something like less than 10', 10'-13'2" and over 13'2", I don't think the 13' needs its own class. I do see the intrigue of the 15'. I don't know how many classes that would eliminate but probably a few.
As for material I think this conversation could go both ways, keeping the race and rec or eliminated and just making one class. I know that there are people that own and paddle composite exclusively and there are moreso that don't own composite. Also I know that it isn't uncommon for plastic boats to beat composite boats in time. I personally like the idea of race and rec class, keeping the rec class only plastic boats and the race class can use any material, because its nice to see plastic versus plastic and have the very rec paddlers or those that don't own composite boats not feel so intimidated or get like 43rd place because it would be a huge class. Just my opininon.
As for the combined, whihc I have done evry time I have been to Nats, I like the idea but mayve it needs to be modified depending on the 'course' For instance Wausa is a flatwater course after the actual slalom section, whreas when it was here in Montana there was actually some whitewater on the downriver portion of the course. Why not just have the downriver portion as a purely a sprint through the course simply from start to finish, no gates. Thiswould only need apply when the downriver portion is essentially flat (Wausa). Opinions on this?
I am not on the committee so these are just ideas.

B

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Craig Smerda
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Post by Craig Smerda » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:00 pm

These are just my own personal opinions as a competitor, former rules committee member, race organizer and chief hat wearer. As of the very moment... I don't know exactly how many classes there are at OCSlalom Nat's... but it's a LOT.

edit list of current classes...
http://www.cboats.net/cforum/viewtopic. ... ght=#47486

To see my most current suggestions for classes click... :lol:
http://www.cboats.net/cforum/viewtopic. ... 7357#47357

Gate Penalties... ditch the 10 seconds per pole and move it to 5 seconds per pole. 5 seconds for a touch you might make up on a race course... good luck making up 10 though. (I don't see a need to go to 2 second penalties like the decked boaters)

In regards to the "combined" class... if the venue can't have a suitable combined sprint section of river (long enough)... then skip the combined event at that nationals. NOC, Golden, and the Dead have the potential for a good combined event... Wausau, Minden, ASCI, Charolette and others do not. I don't see the point in paddling flatwater at a whitewater event.

There... all done... leave everything else alone. :lol:

(Didn't this come up in an ASCI thread about Nationals a while back? Also... would some of these changes assist in other venues taking the race? We've gladly hosted it here in Wausau every other year or so for the last 6 or 8 years... so you tell me...)

edit... yup :roll:
http://www.cboats.net/cforum/viewtopic. ... light=asci
Last edited by Craig Smerda on Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:30 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Post by cbcboat » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:25 pm

Yes the gate touches, I agree completely with the 5 seconds. The yearly race we do here we use the 5 second rule, its a nice compromise.
What exactly would the premier class be? kind of like the open class?
Having fewer classes would be nice, but at the same time it has to be enough for folks to want to drive to wherever the race is and then pay the $. I like your thinking though. The negative of so few classes is unless I could find a tandem female partner I could only race in 3 classes and even with finding a patnr for mixed only 4. This has partly to do with my age (young, but not young enough). Icouldn't enter a masters division but they could enter the premier, assuming this is the open class.
I can honestly say that I personlly wouldn't drive 24 hrs to Wis. to paddle in just 3 classes.
Also just my opinions, ultimately I don't think too many people even care, exceptthe race organizers.
B

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Post by Craig Smerda » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:35 pm

What if we gave you three runs? :lol:

I dunno... I'm just spitballin.

If you go back to the ASCI thread I think I my suggestion of a Race Class/REC Class with sub classes is actually better... but like I said... these are just my own idea's and opinions... which are always subject to change. :wink:

Also... would you drive to Maine to paddle in one class... and then burn your boat in protest? :lol:

To see my most current suggestions for classes click... :lol:
http://www.cboats.net/cforum/viewtopic. ... 7357#47357
Last edited by Craig Smerda on Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by kaz » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:07 pm

That's a legitimate point about the many classes we have for slalom racing. At Nationals you are allowed to enter 7 classes over 3 days. This is awesome. The more time on the water, the better. At Nationals racing is stretched over a 3 day period. Practice usually consumes the 2 days beforehand. A potential race organizer needs to keep this in mind if they are going to host this event. Wausau is a superb venue for our current racing format. While I always enjoy racing at Wausau, I like to see other regions of the country putting on the race too. Golden, CO was a nice site as I recall. I think that the Lehigh River in eastern PA could also be a good race site.
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Post by Craig Smerda » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:12 pm

Yeah... but we have all the electronic timing/scoring... a seasoned staff of judges and volunteers, etc. which makes it relatively easy for us... but not everyone else that might consider hosting it... which is kinda my point. How many people would come to Nationals knowing they'd have to gate judge and help out between runs? You know exactly what it's like John... I was at the Dead and saw how burned out you were by the end of that weekend. I'd love to see the Pacific Northwest hold it once... never been out there. Still kicking myself for not going to Montana. There's a lot of great places that could host it... but don't?

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Post by cbcboat » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:03 pm

I also would love to see it out in the PNW as well. As you know Craig and John its a lot of work and its all about getting someone to put in the time and money. If I recall corectly the only reason it wa in MT in 04 is because the person in CA bagged at the last minute. How many folks from the East Coast would drive to Oregon for a race weekend?, thats a really long way. I also like Wausau as it is centraly located. Co would also be great, maybe somone from there would put in a bid.
So as I am not on the committee I have put this Alan B's ear as he is the representative from here, the Combined-
I am just looking for opinions. First off I know this is a small class overall and I have heard that it is commonly on the table to be rid of, my vote is change it. Make it a sprint not a 4 mile downriver, thats what Downriver Nats are for.
A-it would be a shorter less tiring race
B-it would be more spectator friendly
C-it wouldn't take up so much time overall
D-maybe more participants
seeing as there are a lot more clases on friday this year (maybe a ploy to drop the combined by having no participation) it woul be very tiring to try and do the combined, open rec and open race in one day (nice planning :() but having just a 300M sprint instead of a 4 mile flatwater race could be doable.
Thats my thought
B

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Post by Alan B » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:16 pm

Some excellent ideas thrown out there... As much as I would like to reduce the number of classes, Brandon's comments about Craig's list of 13 classes have merit. With that format, I (over 40) could enter 7 classes but Brandon only 4. I think we should keep the citizen classes even if they are not that well utilized, and pare down the other 27 classes to the upper teens, making sure no under 40 guy is left short. Andrew Westwood, I recall, had a well thought out proposal a few years back. If you are reading cboats, maybe you could weigh in on this. I don't have a specific idea at the moment but do think we should move towards length classes and away from RAC and REC.
Off to the NW Territories!
Hope to see you all in Wausau.
Brandon, I am 99% in!
A

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OC Slalom Classes/Compined

Post by Stingray » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:37 pm

Even thou I'm a master of nothing.
I think there are to many master classes, they should elimate length requirement for masters and have just one class for solo no matter what length or boat material rubber/class. Maybe have differant class for glass or rubber, but the length should be elimated.
They should do the same thing with tandem classes, one master tandem class reguardless of sex and boat material.
This would elimate alot of classes.
If oldertime have the physical apply to paddle in more classes they can sign up for any age class both in solo and tandem.
This may convince more people to sign up for combine race.
I raced combined at wausau and they had us race down the slalom site twice with out going through pole and added the times togeather. I really enjoyed the combine event that year. I was thinking we could do it three for four time since it was short.
It also allowed more racer to sign out becuase they weren't so burnt out from the long flats. You could to admit 3 mile in flat water is like 6 mile in white water when comparing amount of time paddling.

Unfortunately I'm not going to make it to wausau. I surely will miss it. I haven't been whitewater once this year. I ran a slalom event and didn't even try out my own course.
Good luck to those who go. Wausau is awesome.

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Post by Stingray » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:45 pm

I thought my proof reading had inproved, but I guess I sill miss stuff.
two word changes.
It also allowed more racer to sign up becuase they weren't so burnt out from the long flats. You got to admit 3 mile in flat water is like 6 mile in white water when comparing amount of time paddling.

Not sweating over the small stuff, Just getting better the next time I do it.

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Post by kaz » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:13 pm

Here is a paraphrased comment from a racer regarding reducing the number of classes. This racer is also a race organizer.
If you reduce the number of classes, it's less money for the race organizer. Simple, right? Instead of a race organizer taking in $1,000, with reduced classes they will take in less money to cover expenses and guess what, they will have to take money out of their own bank account to pay the bills. Either that or start charging each racer $50 per class instead of $10. Just thinkin.......

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Post by sbroam » Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:08 am

I've only been to one Nats and was frankly bewildered by the shere number of classes - I am still not clear how there were so many "mixed" classes or what criteria (singular? plural?) determine that a team is "mixed".

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Post by kaz » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:52 pm

I agree that we have too many classes but let's be careful on how many we slash. Like Brandon said, who wants to drive to 1,000 miles to Nationals and only be able to enter 2or 3 classes?
I'm all for the 5 second gate penalty. Undecided on combining race and rec.

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Post by Dooleyoc-1 » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:24 pm

I am in favor of:

-5 second gate penalties

-cutting some classes (agree that we don't need to cut too many because people want to get a lot of runs in and we need revenue at the races but there are way too many tandem classes)

-Overall national championship awards. These should be nice trophies and go to the fastest solo male, fastest solo female, and the fastest mens tandem, womens tandem and mixed tandem. Regardless of age boat length, race vs rec etc... We are talking about 5 trophies and they could be nice. (They do this at downriver nationals and it is really cool)

The idea above makes sense because if you don't beat Kaz's best solo time or Andy Walker's if Kaz isn't there then you aren't really an overall national champion (Quoting Phil Foti here and I agree)

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Post by Craig Smerda » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:23 am

Here's one reason... we have to find volunteers for Friday to accomodate "Friday Classes"... which isn't easy... plus Saturday and Sunday. Ever sat on shore for three days watching boats go by and you aren't even a boater? How about sitting in a room full of computers and monitors? How about doing any of the menial tasks involved with running an event?

To me... that's enough. I'm a boater first... but I know what it's like on the other side of the fence as well. It's all great when we as racers/paddlers get to relax/socialize... have fun... and enjoy the Nationals experience... but as an organizer and as someone who has donated thousands of his own hours to our local organization I can tell you that the one extra day... is a lot.

My suggestion has been and will continue to be... trim it down to two days of racing and do it in a logical and practical way.

These comments and opinions are purely my own... not those of WKCC.

A small irony to this is... I just got home from another 2-1/2 hour brushing session on the course this evening so we can use some of our eddies again. That's 27 hours of brushing and pruning here and there in the past couple weeks... and I've just chipped the tip off the iceberg. Nationals is in a few weeks and there's loads of work to be done.

P.S. I will be at the rules committee meeting this year.

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