C1 Disaster Imminent?

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

Post by JimW » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:04 am

On the positive side, there were a lot of 'new' faces in C1 at the Legacy div 2 race on Sunday and it looks like it was a good competition - I was 30 seconds off the pace apparently with what I thought was an OK run so it looks more promising for the start of next year if all those lads keep up with C1. I note that some had raced earlier in the season so not entirely new faces, but most have only done 3 or 4 races.

In particular well done to William for his rapid promotion - he has won 3 out of 3 races in division 2, but thats not too surprising when I note that 4 out of 6 of his paddle ups were up into div 1 not up from div 3! (with respectable scores).

We still need more C1s though, with 6 races left, all in the south, we could see a couple more of those lads promoted before the end of the season.

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Re: C1 Disaster Imminent?

Post by humphr » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:30 am

Super frustrating for the ladies C1 at LV though. Entries were quorat but then a cancellation makes it not so. Faster first runs that were cancelled.
Another parent

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Re: C1 Disaster Imminent?

Post by JimW » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:16 pm

humphr wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:30 am
Super frustrating for the ladies C1 at LV though. Entries were quorat but then a cancellation makes it not so. Faster first runs that were cancelled.
Shame because it was one of the best ladies entries I can remember in div 2 recently...

First runs that some paddlers felt were faster were cancelled because the jury couldn't resolve timing issues and decided all times were unreliable - the provisional first run results may not have had the right time on them... Unless you were doing your own timing (some parents/coaches do) impossible to say for sure whether a faster time was scrapped. :cry:

Interesting contrast, on one side of the bridge a race was being run with beam timing, several experienced judges per gate, live commentary and live online results, 30 seconds walk away on the other side of the bridge another race was being run with 50 year old equipment that breaks down frequently, backup stopwatches, and I guess barely enough volunteers, some with relatively little experience. It was a bit odd paddling in both races on the same day, but a lot of fun!

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Re: C1 Disaster Imminent?

Post by djberriman » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:57 pm

Oddly I've never had any major issues with 50 year old kit in my whole time running Howsham slalom. Yes we've had boxes die, headsets break and even a switch fail on the tutty box but nothing that ever stopped the event.

Sorry if teaching any grannies to suck eggs but here is some advice for those that think it unreliable.

Problems are caused by organisers not returning faulty kit and ordering new leaving the next event with broken kit (sometimes labelled, sometimes not). If this happens for 2 or 3 events the next one has issues.

Fix kit if you can - cables are easy but the boxes usually harder but not always impossible.
Have a good 12v battery and charger.
Charge and test all kit inc wires before the event, it doesn't take long, a 5 year old can do it (believe me she has).
Test each wire before putting it out, simply plug a box and headset in each end and talk to each other
The new boxes do not need charging - they have 9v batteries - supply of which is in the boxes.
Run 2 cables to start and finish and any other hard to reach location (like an island), if a cable fails just switch
Put spare kit in a waterproof box in hard to get to locations (such as an island) so judges can just grab it
Once you've completed putting it out test it, inc dummy start/finish.
Test start and finish and judging points again each morning well before the event is due to start (preferably first thing)
Don't stop the event if you lose a judge, sort it out and then send someone to read the late results, worst case use a radio/runner
Possibly provide start and finish with a radio so if you lose them you can still talk to them.
2 day event, leave all the kit on charge after 1st day
Do not tie wires, or hang them from one tree to another, this breaks them, hang wires from ropes if you need to suspend them.
When trying to fix things change one thing at a time, ensuring what you are using actually works, work methodically.
Label faulty kit so you can return it and order spares after the event.
Make sure the switch on the box is in the right place, experiment during setup to determine what that is if you are not sure.
Don't forget you can link judges if you need to on the tutty box (to free up a spare headset if desperate)
You can also link start and finish if your backup times are out and they need to sync their stop watches.

Ensure judges use the string if hanging the boxes, don't hang the boxes by the wires (they break). Try and keep them dry and clean.

Finally make the wires easy to take down at the end, this means its easy to replace if broken and less likely to get broken in the rush after the event.

Do backup times using decent stop watches (decathalon do some very nice waterproof 300 memory stop watches - you can scroll back through if you have multiple boats finish close together) and check them every 10 paddlers - we put postit notes on every 10th card and have a spreadsheet to type them into to calculate the time as we are putting them into simply slalom. part of the process.

A can of WD40, some electrical tape, snips, wire strippers and a soldering iron can fix most things, although hanging upside down from a wall whilst using a gas soldering iron probably was going a bit far!

It is a bit much when start asks you were the battery charger is as the low battery alarm has just come on when you are on the start line but its all part of the fun!

If you ever need any help or advice and I'm around please come and ask me.

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Re: C1 Disaster Imminent?

Post by JimW » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:39 pm

I think we have digressed, the organisers were perfectly capable of getting the event back on track and I'm not even sure what aspect caused the problems, it might have been a weather issue rather than a kit issue, I was simply observing the difference in resource levels between the 2 events. The kit used for the Open requires a lot more people to operate in the first place and more specialist maintenance so I'm not in any way suggesting we should try to use it for all events.

I also don't think any of that has any bearing on the numbers racing in C1...

Mike Mitchell
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Re: C1 Disaster Imminent?

Post by Mike Mitchell » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:28 pm

I agree Jim, we have completely gone off topic again.

I belive we could have a record beetling discussion on 50 year Old Kit on its own.
I calculate it was one year old when I started paddling and is showing its age just like me.

I must say its good to see lots of new Girls doing C1, we need to encourage them all we can.

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