PWD chair (reluctantly) takes over the Raingutter regatta

Anything related to Raingutter Regatta racing and event coordination.
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dfscott
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PWD chair (reluctantly) takes over the Raingutter regatta

Post by dfscott » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:20 am

After several successful pinewood derbies, our CM has suckered our PWD to run the RGR this September (and guess who that is!).

One of the challenges that I'm running into is that contrary to the PWD, I need to squeeze this race into a single 2-hour window. Further complicating matters is that we're probably going to have around 60-65 racers, many of which will be Tigers racing for the first time. I want to avoid the double-elimination format for obvious reasons, but I'm worried that other approaches will make it difficult to complete in the allotted time. However, last year's RGR was the tear-filled single-elim format and the pack committee wants to make sure we don't have any quick exits this year.

Any suggestions are welcome -- here are the details:

- Only 2 hours from initial registration to final race
- Racing by rank only (no overall pack race)
- Breakdown is something like 20+ Tigers, 14 Wolves, 8 Bears, 12 Web I's, 5 Web II's
- Due to our "track", we're limited to 2 boats / heat (I think that's pretty standard for RGR -- just thought I'd state it)
- We do have two tracks, so we could run 2 heats at once (or at least in quick succession)
- We are only awarding first place for each rank, so determining 2nd and 3rd isn't needed (although we want to be pretty sure about first!)

We are using the trimaran boats, which seem to be faster and more stable than the old standard-hulled boats, so I'm thinking that the heats may run quicker, but I'm not sure how quick.

Thanks in advance for any and all comments!



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ah8tk
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Re: PWD chair (reluctantly) takes over the Raingutter regatt

Post by ah8tk » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:05 am

If you are trying to get 60 boys run through in 2 hours, I would setup both tracks and run 2 groups (ex. Tigers and Wolves) at the same time. If you get done too soon you could have a run off for the Pack RR champ.

For our last pack Raingutter Regatta we used ExcelDerby, it helped to organize the Raingutter Regatta. I could get all of the names in ExcelDerby and the scouts that did not show, I could simply enter an N in the racing column. It uses Perfect-N to generate charts so you can run the races quite quickly. With 14 Scouts we had 2 rounds (or 28 races) and we awarded 3 places for the pack.

Another thing you might try is to setup another gutter for boys to test out racing their boat, make sure you use a single gutter or there will be racing at the test gutter (this is what happens with boys). You may need someone posted at the gutter temporarily, or you may have some scouts that try to race to the center (Raingutter demolition derby). Others on DerbyTalk have also suggested giving the boys straws to help them direct the blowing force onto the sail.

Both times we did the Raingutter Regatta my son was happy we practiced at home, racing his boat in a gutter I had setup in the shop. He took 1st place both times, he said practicing in the shop helped him get his face in the proper position for racing. So have the boys practice (especially the Tigers) before check-in.

Also at check in have a glue gun to make sure the sails are firmly connected to the mast, so they do not spin when they are blown.



dfscott
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Re: PWD chair (reluctantly) takes over the Raingutter regatt

Post by dfscott » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:06 am

Thanks for the tips. I'll definitely take a look at Excel Derby. I normally do the races with the computer right there, but I like that you can print out the sheets since our CM has decided to have this one outside (i.e., no power for computers) and I'm not sure how long my laptop battery will last.

Also, great tip on the glue gun -- some of last year's boats had sails that spun like pinwheels!



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