2020 Championship Event Offering

In the last five years the Championship Regatta has grown each year and is now over 40% larger than it was in 2014. (see Table 1 below). As a result the regatta has grown to a stage where three long days are now the norm and every aspect of the regatta is under pressure. This includes trailer parking and certain services, which we cannot operate in shifts, such as rescue boat and ambulance. Any scope we have for reorganising the programme in the event of bad weather is also severely restricted. The feedback provided to the Committee members at the regatta and through the feedback questionnaire has been that the regatta has become too large.

At the 2019 Championships the Committee took action to try to reduce participating numbers. Caps were placed on single scull entries in some non-championship grades. These however did not have the desired effect and entries rose by 36 crews. To make matters worse we had to accommodate Home International Trials which contributed a further 61 crews making the total increase this year 97 crews. While it is hoped the inclusion of Home International trials will not recur in the future, we should be in a situation where we can accommodate them in an emergency situation.

In their post 2019 regatta review, the Championship Committee (made up of club representatives) once again considered the number of entries. It concluded that in order to provide a better experience for all stakeholders including athletes, coaches, supporters and volunteers, the length of the days needs to be reduced. To achieve this the number of entries needs to be reduced to roughly 1000 crews, a reduction of 200 on the 2019 entries. From the 2019 experience it has concluded that minor adjustments will not work and without a significant change numbers will continue to rise as outlined in the table below.

Table 1

Year Entry Change
2019 1224 +97
2018 1,127 +78
2017 1,049 +132
2016 917 +25
2015 892 +21
2014 871  

 

 

At its review meeting the committee considered a number of options such as extending the regatta to four days and possibly splitting the championships into two weekends. Doing so would have resulted in difficulties in finding sufficient volunteers to run a quality event(s) and would also result in increased costs. The committee was also took into account that its priority is to run the 40+ Championship events and it concluded that these can be comfortably run in the three days allocated. To illustrate the lengthy days the 2019 start and finish times are shown below in Table 2

Table 2

Start Finish
Friday 08:30 18:00
Saturday 08:00 19:10
Sunday 08:00 18:50

 

The main consideration was to reduce the number of entries while at the same time maximising the opportunity for as many competitors as possible to compete.

Having considered all options the Committee concluded that the best way of doing this is to change all non-championship single scull events to double scull events. This will achieve both primary objectives of reducing crew numbers while allowing the same number of competitors to participate. As a result of this measure we anticipate a reduction of 200 crews in 2020. (see Table 3 below). This includes a reduction of 61 crews arising from the removal of the Home International Trial.

Table 3

Home International (will happen anyway) 61
Change J16 1X to 2X 50
Change J14 & J15 1X to 2X 70
Change Masters 1X to 2X 20
201

 

We appreciate that this solution will not suit all clubs. We would however emphasise that the Championship Committee only came to the decision following considered deliberation over several years and having tried other options which did not succeed. This solution allows us retain the same number of non-championship events and competitors while permitting us to reduce the regatta to a more manageable level.

If clubs have any comments regarding the proposed change outlined above, we would ask that the Club Secretary e-mail championships@rowingireland.ie before 30th November 2019.

 

 

Kieran Kerr

Championship Secretary

10th Oct 2019

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