Need opinions

Anything related to Space Derby racing and event coordination.
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jmalsa
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Need opinions

Post by jmalsa » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:16 am

First I would like to say I think this was the best space derby I have been involved in but I need to do better. Okay this was my second year as derby chair for our pack (I run all three pinewood, space, and raingutter) and third year involved with space derby. We have check in and lunch going on at the same time and opening activities for the kids during lunch. I use the wonderful Race Replay software and also showed short movie clips in between heats/rounds while we were setting up for the next heat/rounds. We have an average of 50 vehicles racing. We use a 4 lane track(50 lb test spiderwire under a good amount of tension)with supertimer hardware and software. First two years we struggled through 2 heats. Last year same. This year a long 3 heats. Parents are stating on my online survey it was too long which I agree. We have an auto winder which will wind 4 rockets at once and I have adapted the finish line to make it removable so we can hang 12 carriers on the line and race all 12 and then reset for the next 12. I am having a brainstorming meeting next week with my pit crew to see what took so long especially at the start gate end. So I have a few questions and thoughts that I would like answers and opinions on.

1. My pit crew wanted to pre-wind more rockets than 16. We can pre-wind and have a hook that keeps them from unwinding. My thought is that the rockets waiting to race will loose energy being wound longer. Is this true?

2. I am thinking about scrapping the timing system because we have yet to perfect the finish line yet. I am thinking about going this route. The kids just want to see their rockets race and parents want a shorter day but still keep it a competion. So here is my thought. I will modify my existing track set up to have eight lanes. I will extend my track and go for distance and a points system. The rocket that goes the farthest is in first place and so on. Assign the points and run the next eight and so on. I should easily get through three if not maybe four heats/rounds of all racers in a timely manner. I know no lane equality but I do not think anyone really cares. What do you think?

3. What kind of scheduling method would best accommodate this? Can GPRM handle this and let me manually enter the points for the racers after each run?

Any other thoughts? Thanks to all of you who share your expertise.



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gpraceman
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Re: Need opinions

Post by gpraceman » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:29 pm

I'll touch on a couple of your items.
jmalsa wrote:2. I am thinking about scrapping the timing system because we have yet to perfect the finish line yet. I am thinking about going this route. The kids just want to see their rockets race and parents want a shorter day but still keep it a competion. So here is my thought. I will modify my existing track set up to have eight lanes. I will extend my track and go for distance and a points system. The rocket that goes the farthest is in first place and so on. Assign the points and run the next eight and so on. I should easily get through three if not maybe four heats/rounds of all racers in a timely manner. I know no lane equality but I do not think anyone really cares. What do you think?
Running a Points race may or may not be easier. If two or more rockets make it all the way to the finish line, you would need to depend on eyeball judging if you are not using a timing system. If a race is close, that can be difficult and lead to arguments. Is your intent to make it so no rocket will go the entire length of the track? If so, then your length based finish idea would work.

However, I do see a potential for lane differences due to the start mechanism and the running lines. The start mechanism should be able to release each rocket at the same time (none getting even slightly hung up). Each running line should be free from nicks and be at the same tension.
jmalsa wrote:3. What kind of scheduling method would best accommodate this? Can GPRM handle this and let me manually enter the points for the racers after each run?
GPRM is flexible. You would not be able to run a Perfect-N Type or Lane Rotation schedule, as those would require each rocket to run in each lane. You can use Dynamic scheduling and stop after your chosen number of phases (one phase is one run down the track for all racers) or you can import or enter a custom schedule.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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