From September 1st 2012, Wild Water Racing will become more fun, more competitive and easier to take part in.
The structures are being simplified and improved to make the sport accessible and affordable. There will be one ranking list, which will be updated after every event enabling paddlers to watch their progress throughout the season.
This will be based on a number of Wavehopper, Regional and National events, with one ranking list for Regional/National and one for Wavehopper, the National Champion being declared as the person who wins the British Open Championship Race in each class.
The Wild Water Racing season will run from September 1st each year till August 31st the following year. For age related competitions, the cut of date will be 31st December in the middle of the season. So for example if some is 17 on the 31stDecember, then they will be classified as an under 18 for the whole season or Junior 18. For Masters the same date will be used so to be counted as a Master you need to be 35 or over on 31st December.
The Wavehopper series remains an important introductory event. More details of the aims of the wavehopper series can be found here. The Wavehopper series has been opend up to all age groups, not just youngsters in recognition of it's important role in giving paddlers of all ages an opportunity to have a go at wildwater racing in a relatively stable and resilient craft.
There will be a series of local competitions in each region of the British Canoe Union each season, these will be Regional Events. Each Region will have a regional champion in each age group each season. However, there will be no residential qualification to enter a regional event; they will be open to anybody, so in theory the same person could win every region in a season.
At each regional event paddlers will be allocated MS points (the system currently used in Division A), these will be used to create both the national ranking and the ranking list for the local region in which that event took place.
Each Region should have a champion in each class and age group. And maybe a regional club champion, based on the total number of points each club gets.
Regional events should be a mix of classic and sprint events, with the recommendation that sprint vents should be held in the warmer months, as having youngsters hanging about in wet canoeing kit waiting for their second run is not advantageous, and if they get changed it is often difficult to persuade them they want to get back on.
There will be five national ranking events each season, in each of the Sprint and Classic format. At each event double MS points will be awarded.
The five events should be, but not in this order:
- The British Open; the winners of these events will be declared the national champions in each category.
- The English Open - This must take place in England
- The Scottish Open – Somewhere in Scotland
- The Welsh Open – In Wales
- Another Event – This will take place at the direction of the WWR Executive and does not necessarily have to be on mainland Britain.
Qualification for National Events
To enter a nation event or a selection event, a paddler must have raced in at least three regional events in the current season, (if the national event takes place before January 1st 3 regional events in the current calendar year will suffice) and have reached the minimum standards set by the WWR Executive Committee for that race (technical competency). As the sport develops and numbers increase the Executive may introduce a ranking standard for entry (i.e. you must be ranked in the top 100 to qualify or even better, must have more than so many MS points).
In order to make the transition to the new system, all currently ranked (i.e. have raced this season (2012) in a ranking race) Division A paddlers will be able to enter any national events before January 1st 2013.
At the organiser’s discretion, it will be possible to run Open events alongside National Events, but the paddlers in Open events will not get MS points or be able to be considered for selection to either Senior or Junior British Teams. Any paddlers entering an Open event must still meet the competency requirements.
Ideally the Calendar should be designed to have regional events predominantly in the early part of the season, with the national events taking part in the later part of the season. Given the nature of access and water levels in GB, this may not always be possible.
A national ranking system which lists each individual paddler in Great Britain should be maintained and updated after each race.
There also needs to be a ranking list for each region, which essentially does the same thing on a regional basis. This is based n the regional competition structure and not the residence of the paddlers.
The MS system provides the simplest and probably the fairest way of doing this as it measures each participants performance in relation to the person who won the race.
There should be a national list for each class in both Classic and Sprint. The results used should be the paddlers best 3 performances in the season added together.
At national events double MS points will be awarded.
At events that are not quorate; i.e., have less than three boast racing, then for ranking purposes, the handicap advantage system can be used to compare them against another class that is quorate (please note these results should not affect the quorate class, the paddlers modified results should be inserted to get the MS points and then removed before publication).
The National Ranking list should be updated as often as possible, preferably after each event (but we have to be mindful of the fact we are asking volunteers to do this and it may not always be possible). The list should be published on the WWR website, should include the paddlers name, club and best three results as well as their total and their ranking position. (Realistically it may not be possible to display all their results as hopefully there will be quite a few regional events to include.)
At the end of the season and at times appropriate during the season (maybe after each National event), it would be good to extricate the age group lists, which would simply be taken from their position on the national list, so the top ranked under at would be top of the under 18 list.
Suggested age groups should be:
Seniors, under 23, under 18, under 16, under 14, under 12, under 10 and if required under 8. Masters should initially be over 35, although if numbers permit, over 45, over 55, over 65 etc
There should be a list maintained for each region, all though this may require getting more volunteers in the regions or a person to undertake all the regional lists.
For the regional list there will be no differentiation between Classic and Sprint, there will be just one list per region for each class, but the same rules would apply.