How Much is too much for Div 1s

General slalom chatter...rant about the bad, rave about the good
Mike Mitchell
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by Mike Mitchell » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:06 pm

Arrowcraft wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:14 pm
The problem is that we do not have any div 3's and two's apart from TIDS etc as there's no point in clubs developing paddlers only to lose them to the huge squads...that the rest of us basically pay for. Support the clubs to get 50 racers each and we have a chance of keeping costs under control at the top level. Trouble is, not everyone can be at the top level which seems to be the mathematics of our current system. And people are leaving as soon as they drop off squads as they are no longer "special." Build the base and the costs will stay low.
Diferent post needed for this but I agree with this paragraph 100%.
So mush that I am considering not to bring on any more beginners.

JBS
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by JBS » Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:57 am

I'm not sure who you are Arrowcraft, but I suspect you have never raced on LV so I think to describe LV as a shallow boat breaking ditch is both inaccurate and unfair if you have not.
As a race venue it is standout. I have been fortunate enough to race (and paddle) around the world and I would put LV right up there with anything I have raced on.
Is it like a real river? Well in short no,...not too look at it....because it has grey square edged plastic blocks instead of rounded boulders or jagged rocks. However, if you stood somewhere in the Alps and looked up at that stretch of water you would give it some respect before hurtling down.

You are entirely correct about the home advantage though and the apparent lack of forethought about slalom use before these venues are handed over to commercial companies to manage.

WindsorCC
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by WindsorCC » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:57 pm

Appreciate that it's all a bit off the original topic but...

I agree that there's a challenge with juniors dropping off the RTA/SRS squads and then giving up as they suddenly lose the status and access to water/coaching, but I do question if some of that is down to parents who make that the focus rather than just enjoying the sport for it's own sake.

Others may have a different experience, but from what I've seen of the RTA/SRS, they aren't necessarily robbing clubs of paddlers. At Shepperton they have a thriving group of juniors who are paddling there 2-3 times a week. Some of those are also doing RTA/SRS sessions, but they are still paddling with and racing for the club. TID is different, but that's because it's bringing non-paddlers in from outside the club system, not taking them away from clubs (as far as I'm aware?)

We've always had an issue with paddlers leaving the sport at 18 when they head off to uni/work, unless they are really keen and generally already in Prem/top of div 1.

I'd agree with Joel regarding Lee Valley, having paddled and raced the Olympic, it's a great course. It's hosted a worlds and the world cup race is coming up, so it can't be that bad. We're not talking about Cardington.... Yea, we'd all love to be padding rivers all the time, but it's just not a reality. Already everywhere is pretty low, without places like Lee Valley, HPP, Cardiff etc, which are fundamentally all concrete ditches, there would be nowhere in the UK to paddle from May to October. Rafts are a pain, but it does mean that I can get over to LV and do a couple of sessions during the week, ok I have to dodge a few rafts, and it's on 4 pumps rather than 3 so it's a bit more mushy, but I'll take that any day over not paddling. They aren't going to run the pumps and provide safety cover for a dozen slalom paddlers. I actually prefer a raft session with a few paddlers than trying to paddle any of these sites with 30-40 playboats who are using the water very differently and aren't aware of the lines we're taking.

Niciss
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by Niciss » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:25 pm

I wouldn’t pay £60 for race entry at LV. There’d be no point going up against those paddlers who are there 6 times a week. I feel at least at HPP there is a choice to go there prior to a race, pay your water fee and practice /train. LV doesn’t offer that.

Dee
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by Dee » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:49 pm

Niciss wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:25 pm
I wouldn’t pay £60 for race entry at LV. There’d be no point going up against those paddlers who are there 6 times a week. I feel at least at HPP there is a choice to go there prior to a race, pay your water fee and practice /train. LV doesn’t offer that.
I suspect that depends on where you live!
Those closest to a venue will always get more chances to practice there. You can book practice sessions at LV and you don't even have to leave the boat to get back to the start.
That aside I accept that you would not be prepared to pay £60 - so thanks for getting back on topic :)
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Anything I post under this user is my personal opinion; I am not posting as a member of the Slalom Committee!

JimW
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by JimW » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:18 pm

I would probably pay £60 for a double at LV, most of the other vets won't have had much training time there so home course advantage should not be an issue, just life-long experience (which for me is only about 4 years in slalom, although nearly 30 of WW).
Also I'm not sure if I could just book a practise session, I have never managed to go there on a day when assessments are running and as a Vet I'm not ranked in a division that bypasses the assessment requirement. I can race there though, I have and I loved it!

I fully intend to enter the British open as a vet this year and pay my £50 instead of racing as a forerunner for free/some labour (which is an exceptionally good deal!).

lesf
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by lesf » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:10 am

I'd pay £50 (& probably £60) for a double on LV Olympic course. And like pinkston I'd probably pay for a Friday practice slot if they were available

As has been said there are plenty of div 1s prepared to pay £50 to paddle up at the British Open where most are likely to get only 1 days race.

Also there are almost 100 people so far prepared to pay for a paddle up at Tees, so are already prepared to commit to paying £50 for a double event. And most paddlers won't get to Tees for any practice time before the event - I know it's not as difficult as LV but it does have its own idocincatic boils and surges.

Nick Penfold
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by Nick Penfold » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:19 pm

Actually. Rafting is killing these venues for slalom.
Actually, without rafting and playboating the artificial courses couldn't survive. It costs millions to build a Lee Valley or a Cardiff, tens of thousands to run and maintain it, and thousands to pump it for a day. We need to be grateful that there's a revenue source big enough to support the capital and running costs, and to be big enough to bite the cost bullet when we want to use the course ourselves.

And I'd find £60 for a double for the paddler I pay for.

CeeBee
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by CeeBee » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:59 am

If you are running an event at Lee Valley, I think that where possible water time should be booked to allow paddlers who are not local to train on the water/course before the race. This gives non local paddlers a better chance of competing well in the race and improves the race outcome ie paddler more likely to think they have raced well. This in turn makes paddlers more likely to continue as it a more positive experience.

At the Lee valley div 1 race, they had practice the night before which was great. If water time needs to be paid for them that is a commercial reality and paddlers will be charged.

What is not acceptable is trying to get access to water slots at Lee valley where it is really difficult to get pre race training as an individual. In the days leading up to a race, all paddlers who want to train should be treated equally for available water time. It is only once or twice per year and goes some way to a more level playing field

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davebrads
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by davebrads » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:51 am

Nick Penfold wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:19 pm
Actually. Rafting is killing these venues for slalom.
Actually, without rafting and playboating the artificial courses couldn't survive. It costs millions to build a Lee Valley or a Cardiff, tens of thousands to run and maintain it, and thousands to pump it for a day. We need to be grateful that there's a revenue source big enough to support the capital and running costs, and to be big enough to bite the cost bullet when we want to use the course ourselves.
This is undoubtedly true, but it doesn't apply to HPP. HPP was funded by public money and donations from paddlers and running costs could be low enough for there to be no need for rafting to keep the place open.

For whatever reasons the situation is different at Augsburg and Bourg-St-Maurice, so it is not necessarily the case that an artificial course needs to have rafting to support it, although it is unlikely to be possible with a pumped site. I believe maintenance of Bourg-St-Maurice is funded by EDF as part of a commitment they made to be allowed to build the hydro scheme which also included guaranteed releases for slalom training. But even the French have had to face up to the realities of commerce, access to the new course at Pau was fairly easy for a while after it was built but has been severely curtailed as of a couple of years ago due to the centre making unsustainable losses.

TBH the biggest obstacle to LV for non-locals is the requirement to be assessed, the French and Germans have a much more chilled (some would say cavalier) attitude to personal responsibility for safety.

Zacharyfranklin
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by Zacharyfranklin » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:15 pm

I would like to add to this discussion that there is currently the ability for Premier division paddlers to access the Olympic channel at LV every day and Division 1 paddlers can access it during Talent slots of which there are on average 2 per week. There is also a significantly increased number in the week leading into races and would most likely be an Olympic session available to access every day running into a division 1, if there was one.
Views are my own!

rose
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by rose » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:08 pm

We need to develop slalom sites with permanent gates, accessible to all for training: I feel a div 1 on the Olympic site realistically is for squad paddlers only who have trained there? I feel a bit of investment is needed in the grassroots.

Dee
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by Dee » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:35 pm

Zacharyfranklin wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:15 pm
I would like to add to this discussion that there is currently the ability for Premier division paddlers to access the Olympic channel at LV every day and Division 1 paddlers can access it during Talent slots of which there are on average 2 per week. There is also a significantly increased number in the week leading into races and would most likely be an Olympic session available to access every day running into a division 1, if there was one.
Zach - just to clarify - in these circumstances
- Is it any Div 1 paddler or only those on a scheme?
- Do they have to have done the LV assessment or is being in P/1 enough?
Kit Washer, Entry Clerk, Chauffeur, Reluctant Organiser, Online Entry Advocate .....
Anything I post under this user is my personal opinion; I am not posting as a member of the Slalom Committee!

Zacharyfranklin
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by Zacharyfranklin » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:58 pm

Dee wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:35 pm
Zacharyfranklin wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:15 pm
I would like to add to this discussion that there is currently the ability for Premier division paddlers to access the Olympic channel at LV every day and Division 1 paddlers can access it during Talent slots of which there are on average 2 per week. There is also a significantly increased number in the week leading into races and would most likely be an Olympic session available to access every day running into a division 1, if there was one.
Zach - just to clarify - in these circumstances
- Is it any Div 1 paddler or only those on a scheme?
- Do they have to have done the LV assessment or is being in P/1 enough?
For British Canoeing UK programme sessions they need to be in Prem and for the Talent Sessions they need to be in Div 1 and assessments aren't needed, there is also no requirement for them to be on any sort of programme. There is a cost (which I think is set at a quite reasonable level) and there needs to be space, which there often is unless its peak times of the year (eg. the month before selection).

The issue with this is for a Division 1 paddler who would like to paddle it is a long way to come for just one 7-8pm session on the Olympic, and as of yet I haven't got a good answer for that, because weekend water is hard to come by because of commercial use and it isn't best suited to the training needs of the kids on the programme who are the ones who pay for the water.
Views are my own!

CeeBee
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Re: How Much is too much for Div 1s

Post by CeeBee » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:00 am

Zachary

My experience is that it’s not easy to access the slots. You can be added to the list but don’t get confirmation until all squads have confirmed whether they want a space. This means you might not know you have a space until a couple of weeks in advance and if you are a small group, this makes planning accommodation and coaching challenging.

Most non local paddlers need weekend slots. We try to come down for 2-3 days and the desirable available weekend slots are all booked out to talent groups. This is getting harder with the growth in talent paddlers. The SCA tried to get water time in January and had 0700-0800 and 1800-1900. We can book our own slots but then need to find sufficient paddlers to fill the spaces which is feasible but takes hours to arrange and manage.

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