Grandtully Div.2 Rules Clarification Request

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Grandtully Div.2 Rules Clarification Request

Post by harratts » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:05 pm

I initially wish to thank all of the volunteers who worked hard before, during and now after the Grandtully Double Div.2 event that took place this weekend. They dealt with many challenging situations resulting in us having a race to paddle at on both days.

My first request for rules clarification surrounds the decision taken not to make a single change to the course from the Saturday to the Sunday. Is this within the rules and if it is then why do other events take the time and trouble to make changes to their course at the end of the first day of racing at a double event?

Unfortunately the river kept rising throughout Sunday and a decision was taken after all of the K1 Men had taken their 2nd runs to end the event. This was based on Safety concerns and is entirely within the jurisdiction of the Race Organiser and his appointed Jury Members.

My second request for rules clarification is how this decision affects the ranking points that are issued from today's race. K1 Men were awarded points based on their position after the best of their 2 runs. This is fine as they were all able to complete both runs.

K1 Women were awarded their ranking points based on their position after thier 1st and only run that they were able to complete which is also fine.

However it just so happens that the C1 Men and C1 Women classes were inquorate so have had their ranking points awarded to them based on a comparison against the K1 Men's time's. This is also the case with the Vet.'s and C2 classes but as the race was cancelled paddlers in these 4 classes only had the opportunity to complete their 1st run.

Should paddlers in those classes have been given the opportunity to take their 2nd runs if they wanted to do so? As they were not given this opportunity, then should they have their ranking points calculated against the K1 Men's 1st run times only?

Please don't anyone comment that it is only Vet.'s and they are not bothered about Ranking Points as many of us are and have never said otherwise.


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Re: Grandtully Div.2 Rules Clarification Request

Post by InsertUsernameHere » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:02 am

I’ve scanned the rule book and organisers handbook and found no reference to requirements (or not) to change the course at double events. Only thing in the same ballpark is that the organisers have discretion to change the course for finals/semifinals in super finals and championship formats (race formats 5.2)

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Re: Grandtully Div.2 Rules Clarification Request

Post by RobM » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:15 am

The organiser, course designer and Jury liaised with as many people as possible to run the races over the weekend. We understand that the only rules about changing the course is for international events between a semi-final and final.

First and foremost as the river levels have been high through the week and rising, and that this was a Div 2 (ie not exceptionally challenging) the course was set up to be navigable for Div 2 paddlers. Advice from the course designer was that changing the course, would make it more challenging and would have made the course beyond that of a Div 2 paddler.

Secondly, considering the difficulty we had had with the communication wires on Saturday (it took 5 hours to get the coms working on Saturday morning, in addition to most of the day on Friday resulting in starting late) it was decided to leave the set up, and judging positions as it had been set up, for both days. We actually found some vandalism on Sunday morning to the wires set up and this had to be repaired, along with adjusting gates, so Sunday was 30 mins late.

I am sorry that you are unhappy about being unable to do a second run. It was touch and go whether to cancel racing immediately it became obvious that the river was rising rapidly (it rose in total 500mm during the day). You may remember that we ran around telling everyone that racing would start in the afternoon as soon as possible, curtailing the lunch period. In discussions with as many as possible we decided to conclude the race at the end of the Div 2 men second run. It was simply not safe enough for anyone - including vets - to paddle after this time and we were not prepared to allow paddlers on the course to do their second runs.

Notwithstanding the safety aspect, and that managing the course and poles was becoming untenable, it was also obvious that virtually no paddlers results for DIv 2K1M second runs were faster than first runs. If you look at the results, the vast majority (23 out of 27) have their best runs as their first run, so as 3 classes were inquorate, comparing against best runs times is nearly always against Div2K1M first run times in any case. I had representations not only from Vets but other inquorate classes who take the points seriously also, but a quick look at the results, shows that the comparison and points given by Simplyslalom is fair.

I trust that this explains the reasons for making dynamic decisions for the course and the races, but in all cases, the decisions were made by not only the organiser and Jury, but in liaison with paddlers and coaches from visiting clubs and for the safety of all competitors, the race had to stop.

Rob (retired)

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Re: Grandtully Div.2 Rules Clarification Request

Post by Canadian Paddler » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:14 pm

Several Questions in one post. So with secretary hat on :roll:

Firstly I applaud the organisers in taking the difficult decision to curtail the racing. This is never an easy decision, and is a no win one. Stop early and people complain, try to keep going, but have to keep adjusting the pole heights, people complain about delays, or that the water was so different only 1 run really counted (sounds like that was the situation this weekend anyway). Even worse, try to keep going and have an accident - you would never forgive yourself, let alone the liabilities. Allowing Vets and others to take a run if they want goes against the safety aspect. Steve may have been able to handle it, but if he did, there would be pressure on others to also take runs. If the organisers say cancel on safety that is it, the race is cancelled.

This is not the first race that was stopped during second runs, and there is precedent for doing this. The rules do not say anything about comparison to the 1st runs only, just to the results. As Rob says, in this case there was very little difference. I suppose if someone was that aggrieved, they could apply to the slalom committee for a review of the points awarded.

Then changing the course. There is no requirement in the rules to change the course between the two days of a double, although there could be arguments at Div 1 and Prem relating to practice on the course.. I believe organisers do so partly out of consideration for the paddlers - different courses are more fun, and partly out of habit, we always have.
PLUG TIME: It's not too late to think about this, and any other rule changes you may want to champion and get a motion submitted for the ACM.
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Re: Grandtully Div.2 Rules Clarification Request

Post by Dee » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:38 pm

I must admit that I could have sworn that there was a requirement to change at least x gates, I wonder whether this used to be a recommendation in the organisers guide or something or just my memory playing tricks :mrgreen: It sounds like Tully had really good reasons for not changing the course on this occasion (and quite a battle to keep the competition running at all!), but I'd hate to see this becoming the norm. It would be really unfair to those unable to attend on Saturday as they'd be at a distinct disadvantage; I've also heard said that sometimes the course changes can help to even things out between C1 lefties and righties so that if the course has slightly favoured one on Saturday the reverse may be true on Sunday.

I'd hate to see another raft of rules around too many special cases though, whether for ranking points or anything else; the rules are long enough at it is! I think 5.4, which gives jury the right to finalise results in these circumstances, is sufficient.
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Re: Grandtully Div.2 Rules Clarification Request

Post by Dee » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:39 pm

PS I believe the deadline for new rule submissions is 25th October.

PPS for absolute clarity, unlike CP, I am posting as me not a committee member, and the rest of the committee may (or may not; I haven't asked) disagree!
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Re: Grandtully Div.2 Rules Clarification Request

Post by CeeBee » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:54 pm

It is an exceedingly difficult decision to cancel a race or cancel second runs but it was absolutely the right decision.

The organising club have put a lot of effort into running the race before the weekend and the paddlers have often travelled far and forked out on accommodation etc to enable them to race. It is why it becomes so important to have an experienced chair of the jury at races.

You can monitor Grandtully water levels using the SEPA data - ... t&lc=14935

An ideal division 2 race at Tully is 0.8 and certainly less than 1.

The gates may have been the same on Sunday as Saturday but the course most certainly was different due to the change in water levels. The weekend started off at around 1.1 for the Saturday which was already challenging but from 06:00 on Sunday the water started rising. The water becomes too powerful for young Div 2 paddlers - they don't have the strength and we are all mindful of the what happened many years ago when the water was that height.

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Re: Grandtully Div.2 Rules Clarification Request

Post by Dee » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:58 pm

:cry: :cry: :cry:

Yes, safety first has to be the right decision
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Re: Grandtully Div.2 Rules Clarification Request

Post by JimW » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:01 pm

I ended up wearing lots of different hats at the weekend.

I was one of the people the course designer spoke to and whilst I didn't check the yearbook myself at the time I agreed with his view that changing the course would have made it significantly more difficult, and that it was already about as straightforward a course as could be achieved given the water level, and that the rules only require a change where there is a progression from heats to finals. Others have clearly checked and confirmed this now.

Had the course designer known the river would rise so much (the forecast was exactly the same as previous days, intermittant showers, we believe the key difference on Sunday was that there was an unscheduled release or overspill from the Lyon hydro) there were a couple of options which would have made the course easier (moving 7 left (probably requiring 8 and 9 to move left) which would have made the cross shorter, and moving 11 and 12 left into the eddy making 10-13 almost entirely a slog down the big eddy), but neither of these made any sense when we expected similar level fluctuations as Saturday and all but 1 paddler had already got the hang of the course as set. Crucially it has long been identified that the safer line past the island in medium water and above is to the left, which for a div 2 in those conditions meant it was not suitable to put any gates river right in the middle section.

The points calculation for inquorate classes and vets is something I hadn't thought of on the day (I ended up as an assistant chief judge for Sunday), but I was happy at the time that putting all the other classes second runs in as DNS into simply slalom was the best approach.
Looking through the results, everyone in the inquorate classes had at least one 50 second penalty in their first run, I seriously doubt if any of them will be upset about the exact nunber of points scored so low down the field - none of them were going to be able to get promoted from a reasult with a 50 second penalty in it.
Vets are another matter, Andy didn't have a 50 and one of the 2K1M who finished ahead of him did clear several 50s in his second run so potentially he might want to argue about the difference (19 points), the rest of you have 50s so don't really have grounds for complaint.

Obviously this race was exceptional in being very difficult for C boats and veterans(?) and there could be future cases where a race needs to be cancelled where the classes scoring by comparison might generally have competitive times so it would matter. The only way I can see to deal with this is to cancel second run results for all classes if they can only be completed for some. I have no idea what happened at Symonds Yat last year when the river chased them off the course, the only similar situation I can recall was a Tully Prem where first runs were cancelled mid way through C1W (first class off) because rapidly rising levels required a complete course change - in that case we started at lunchtime with a new race based on a single run, so there was no issue with some classes getting more runs than others. Maybe we should have a rule, or at least guidance for what to do if a race has be be cancelled part way through (which is possible at artificial sites as well as natural ones)

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Re: Grandtully Div.2 Rules Clarification Request

Post by harratts » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:15 am

Thanks for all of your replies which in the main were made in the spirit the original post was intended - discussion stimulating, thought provoking and knowledge seeking.

I was personally disappointed with my 1st run performance where I failed to read the water correctly which resulted in several 50s. I was then even more disappointed when stood on the bank in my paddling kit I was told that I would not be allowed to take my second run.

I do understand why the decision was taken but wanted to prove to myself that I could get all of the gates even with the higher water level than during 1st runs which I then did anyway even though I wasn't being timed or judged. It mattered to me.

But thanks once again for everyone's comments about the matters raised.

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Re: Grandtully Div.2 Rules Clarification Request

Post by djberriman » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:56 pm

The question is what is a change? Moving a gate a few inches can make a difference, we proved this once at Washburn when Les and I moved 3 gates in a stagger a few inches, you couldn't tell unless you'd triangulated each pole, paddlers came past muttering about lack of changes, flew down the course and then stopped below the stagger scratching their heads, looking puzzled as to why they'd just missed a gate. That small change meant most paddlers had to add a spin.

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Re: Grandtully Div.2 Rules Clarification Request

Post by Mike Mitchell » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:48 pm

Its interesting to discover that there is No need to change the course from one Day to the Next.
I always believed that there had to be at least 4 changes in a course.

Obviously if the water level changes so douse the course and it sounds like Grandtully div 2 was lucky to even run on the Sunday.

So this weekends Div1 at Grandtully was in my opinion the best and most challenging course so far this year on Both days.
Also the course was totally different each Day.
There were Right Hand moves and Left Hand moves.
The organisers alway run this event smoothly and proficiently, so well done everyone.

Do we need to take this as an example and make some proposals for the Next ACM.
I personally would like to see a rule that required a certain amount of change to a course.
I would also like to see guidelines to course designs and difficulty for each division.
We have a timing team, section judges team. Is it time for a course building team.

If there is a seconding Club out there I will make a proposal on the chat page.

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