The new format at the British Champs has brought forth a string of bloggers with their opinions and also a lot of Twitter commentary.
Take a read
- Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell reasons broadly in favour BUT has a big suggestion about creating an NFL-style draft system and regional high performance centres where clubs who lose athletes because they are drafted get paid by British Rowing for their absence.
- Pete Reed was totally against the whole event because he sees it as a distraction from his main job – getting a gold in Rio
- Daniel Spring’s Fat Sculler blog suggests several adaptations which could improve the racig format.
I wrote a comment on Daniel’s blog
The New Zealand national championships has a format similar to one of your options for the future. May encourage others to consider this as an option.
1 – it’s held in February and final trials for the squad are in March/April. If you want to go to trials you have to do the champs
2 – there are status races so you can go there and race novice, club, intermediate or premier races (equivalent to novice, IM3, IM1, Open). You get to be national champion in YOUR category racing your peers. You still get to see the Olympians but you aren’t racing against stacked opposition. As a consequence the regatta takes 8 days to run BUT the entire sport from every club (excluding juniors and masters) is present at a single venue, all racing to become national title holders.
3 – the national team development programme is run in 4 regional performance centres – all the aspiring internationals trial in September to get into these squads – they train through to February and as a result of this national champs regatta get selected for final trials for U23 and Senior crews. If you want to get to final trials you have to race 1x or 2- as well as other events with development athletes as decided by the RPC coaches.
Advantage – nat champs is integrated into the national team selection system. Everyone has to be there
Advantage – everyone races at the level that reflects their experience and skill.
Advantage – up-coming athletes get to race in crews with the greats.
Disadvantage – the regatta takes a week to run BUT it has a full programme of heats, A/B and C/D finals so you get a full speed order.
Disadvantage – once athletes are in the RPC they can’t row for their club although they wear club colours to race. Therefore clubs are only participating in the bottom categories. Everyone in an RPC has to race premier (open).
Comments / Observations?