On Sunday we had the privilege of doing demo's and Exhibiting Stand Up Paddle to 300+ Paddlers at the Canoeing WA race event in Bayswater. One of the things we did was to trial a new race format we have been talking about for a while now.
Pursuit racing - Similar to cycle pursuit, we laid out two inflatable marker buoys just 15m off the shoreline and set them ~40m apart. One rider starts at each end adjacent to the marker buoy. Competitors race in a figure 8 fashion around the buoys. The winner is the paddler who puts the nose of his board ahead of his competitors tail at the beginning of an over take. A time limit of 4 or 5 minutes can be set for riders of equal fitness and speed in case a clear overtake is not possible. It is easy to see who is ahead after 5 minutes at the turn buoys.
This racing is flat out sprinting and requires excellent kick turning ability as well as the ability to start and accelerate quickly, trim the board on the fly and fast paddle changes, not to mention a high level of fitness and stamina. It's exciting to watch, it's exciting to race, easy to judge, requires very little space so spectators get a good view of the full course and an obvious winner.
The idea is to run through heats in a knockout to a final. Heats can be started almost as soon as the two previous paddlers clear the course. Easy to do up to 15 heats per hour.
We had a lot of fun with this format of racing and encourage others to give it a go!
Interested? Discuss ....
who's boards do you use- it could get a bit roller derby ish
We initially ran an even shorter course and ran the marks in an anti-clock direction for fear of issues of crossing. Problem was that all the paddling was on the R/H side.
By widening the markers, it allowed a paddle side change in the straight. We then added the figure 8 to force riders to pivot turn in both directions so that lefties wouldn't be disadvantaged. I initially thought the riders crossing in the middle may pose an issue but nothing could be further from the truth. Both riders come out of the turn at a wide angle and pass with plenty of water between them, then turn in the opposite direction thus relieving the tired paddling arm.
I am keen to hear of others input after you have given it a go. It really is a hoot and it is the only format of racing where I had a big on my face the whole race.
Sounds like it would be great to watch, and fun to do, high intensity workout
OOOh... new format.... DEMOLITION SUP!
Would work well with the figure 8 course....
Winner is the one who has the lowest repair bill....
Sounds good DM we have being looking at different race formats SUPWA as you might know ,
Will be happy to put forward
Don't worry Hilly you haven't missed anything, all will be revealed in the not too distant future, just a few more details to iron out. But I can tell you it is going to be an exciting 12 months ahead for SUP in WA whether you race, surf or just in it for fun and socialising there will be something for you.
Sounds like fun actually. You could even cut a 3 minute time limit, and verbalise the final lap, to achieve/decide a winner to advance.
You do all right on the flat hilly but yes wind DW the go got the holes fixed in that board yet ?
it sounds really cool. We were discussing it this morning at training, do the boards cross at a point halfway between the turning buoys and that is the place you judge the overlap?
If so, you could have a 'gate' of two smaller buoys (that the paddler go thru at the cross over point) to ensure both paddlers are close and therefore easier to measure the distance between the two or is it easy to judge?
Yes, both boards cross in between the turning buoys but that isn't how you judge who's in front, it's simply the first rider to the turn buoy. If one rider makes it to the turn buoy at his/her end before the other rider gets to the buoy at the other end, then they are deemed in front. Very precise to judge and no need for any other buoys.
If you place crossing buoys, you may introduce the possibility of collision as two boards approach the intersection. As it stands in our exhibition racing, the riders cross to begin the figure 8, quite late down the lap as a result of the urgency to start off down the straight making the 180 turn only partially complete, this creates a wide arc outside the course which means the two riders are quite a good distance apart at the crossing. They would only pass close in theory, in practice, they are nowhere near each other.
It's easy to have a run and try it. Grab Kevin and find two mooring buoys ~40m apart and give it a run, it's fun, simple and exciting. It just works well in practice.
Got it....of course you can see who's in front at the buoys!
So basically the winner is the paddler that catches up 40m and puts his nose past the tail. We were thinking it was like the cycling pursuit where you cross in the middle and the first guy to pass the other guys board fully at the crossover - hence the gate idea.
Sounds great, a test of agility, sprint and endurance (if the guys are evenly matched). Fantastic idea.