C1 Disaster Imminent?

General slalom chatter...rant about the bad, rave about the good
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C1 Disaster Imminent?

Post by JimW » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:05 am

It is fair to say that my own performance in C1 this year has been absolutely appalling, partly down to not training in my slalom C1 (quite a lot of training in WWR C1) but partly due to other factors I can't even put my finger on. I am clearly not paddling anywhere near as well as I did last year, but when I look at the div 2 rankings I am still embarrassingly close to the top (although I should slip once yesterday's results are processed).

On closer inspection there is a real lack of numbers actually competing (vs ranked) in div 2 - 12 C1W and 18 C1M. Division 3 has a few more, and division 1 a few more again but with such low numbers how can we possibly continue to feed good paddlers into the top divisions? I suspect more people take up C1 as a second event and start in a higher division than actually work up through the divisions from scratch so perhaps it is to be expected that there are fewer C1s in lower divisions, but this suggests to me that we are all thinking about C1 as a second rate or second choice event.

I know a lot of clubs like to start paddlers out in K1 and then let them try C1 later, but is this just pertetuating the secondary status? Do we need to have a complete rethink at club/beginner level and try to take in equal numbers of kids to C1 as K1? Do clubs even have enough C1 paddlers to provide coaching support for this? Or boats to start kids in?

As things stand right now it looks as though C1 is heading for a slump, perhaps not at the top, we have a few truly world class C1's, but the problem is that we only have a few where other nations have tens or hundreds and not enough breadth in the lower divisions. How can we turn this around and make C1 as important as K1?

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Re: C1 Disaster Imminent?

Post by Mike Mitchell » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:44 pm

Not sure you are correct Jim.

We have Two new C1 Ladies at Wyedean and one at Taunton.

All started in one division below there rankings.

So lots of swimmers at HPP last weekend.

It looks like development squads get additional funding for C1s so everyone is now pushing C1.
Boats are a problem as all clubs get more Kayaks than C1s for teaching.
So it would be good to see some funding for C1s only in Clubs.

Its hard to start out in C1 especially as nearly everyone switches nowadays.
To be a good switcher you need to be able to paddle equally on both sides, so Kayak is the best for learning this.

I think numbers of new paddlers taking up Slalom is the problem.

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Re: C1 Disaster Imminent?

Post by davebrads » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:27 am

The jury's still out on switching, I got the distinct impression from recent races that Mallory and Kimberly are switching a lot less than they used to.
Mike Mitchell wrote:To be a good switcher you need to be able to paddle equally on both sides, so Kayak is the best for learning this.
You can't turn a kayaker into a C1 paddler just by telling them to switch whenever they need to paddle on the off side, a good C1 paddler has to have a good offside, and I think that the good switching C1 paddlers of the future will have good offsides on both sides. So the only way to coach C1 is in a C1 - and the earlier this is started the better. It's notable that our top C1M all started paddling C1 very early in their careers.

~Going back to Jim's point, we are seeing the upside-down pyramid structure across all classes, I think that it is just exaggerated in the smaller classes as it is easier to get promoted, after all it is obviously easier to get a 1st out 5 paddlers in C1M than 1st out of 40 paddlers in K1M, and then 20% of C1M paddlers get maximum points while 2.5% of K1M paddlers get maximum points, the result being that C1 paddlers get promoted more often. There are more K1W paddlers than C1M but still they will get promoted qucker than K1M. Perhaps the points system could somehow be tweaked to allow for the difference in size of the classes?

Of course the best option would be to have more equal numbers of paddlers racing across all the classes, which comes back to the issues of getting girls interested in the sport (and sport in general), having enough C1s available in clubs, and having coaches with the inclination to encourage their paddlers into C1s.

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Re: C1 Disaster Imminent?

Post by harratts » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:16 pm

I've thought that for a long time the way Ranking Points are awarded to the various Classes could be better.

If K1M was selected as being the control class (just because it is usually the largest and most capable class at any race) then all other classes could be compared against it for their ranking points as it is now for C2 and K1M Vet.'s.

This is not to be sexist or classist but when you are fast enough to secure high enough ranking points when compared against the K1M times (whether you class is quorate or not) then you get promoted.

If several paddlers are fast at the same event then they can all secure promotion ranking points.

If no paddler is fast enough when compared to the K1M times at the same event then none of them are awarded with promotion ranking points.

Some time adjustment % values may need to be used as they are currently for none quorate C1M, K1W and C1W classes at all events.

This approach seems to work fine for C2.

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Re: C1 Disaster Imminent?

Post by davebrads » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:56 pm

The only issue is that percentages aren't consistent across different courses. An open course favours the speed of the K1M, while a technical course reduces the advantage over the other classes. So if we go over to % based system a clever C1 or K1W paddler should target the more technical courses, and avoid other courses where it will be difficult to score maximum points.

Nevertheless I still think it's better than what we've got now.

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Re: C1 Disaster Imminent?

Post by JoS » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:12 pm

Disaster Imminent is exactly what my legs say every time I try to sit in a C1. Much harder when you start as a grownup!

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