28 Jun 2004 09:38:25
Jay
where did we go wrong?

Hey all,

Interesting article on FISA website

http://www.worldrowing.com/news/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=76010&itype=

Now I'd like to know why people don't consider rowing a spectator sport?
as recently as the 1950's we had 20000 people watching World Champs
(at the regatta!). I suppose it came down to some people fervently
believing that we MUST stay amateur... Oh well, I'll just continue
studying in the hope of someday being able to pay off my study loan
through some massive endorsement... :)

J


28 Jun 2004 10:44:04
chris harrison
Re: where did we go wrong?

Jay wrote:

> Hey all,
>
> Interesting article on FISA website
>
> http://www.worldrowing.com/news/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=76010&itype=
>
> Now I'd like to know why people don't consider rowing a spectator sport?
> as recently as the 1950's we had 20000 people watching World Champs (at
> the regatta!). I suppose it came down to some people fervently believing
> that we MUST stay amateur... Oh well, I'll just continue studying in the
> hope of someday being able to pay off my study loan through some massive
> endorsement... :)


This matter is discussed periodically on RSR, but rowing as a sport,
particularly 6-lanes, is fairly dull unless you've some emotional
connection to one of the entries or it is a particularly exciting race
(which does happen, although it's got to be luck if you're seeing it
from a grandstand - it's far more conducive to televising where you can
follow the action developing).

"This house believes that 2000 metre multi-lane racing, while a test of
fitness and racing ability, is fundamentally dull and not a true test of
watermanship and general rowing capability."

I believe that rather than just differing in boat size and class, there
should be different lengths of rowing races within the World
Champs/Olympics. Steering a meandering Head course or sprinting over
500m would be far more entertaining than all this ML monotony.


28 Jun 2004 11:09:22
Neil Wallace
Re: where did we go wrong?

chris harrison wrote:
> "This house believes that 2000 metre multi-lane racing, while a test
> of fitness and racing ability, is fundamentally dull and not a true
> test of watermanship and general rowing capability."
>
> I believe that rather than just differing in boat size and class,
> there should be different lengths of rowing races within the World
> Champs/Olympics. Steering a meandering Head course or sprinting over
> 500m would be far more entertaining than all this ML monotony.

Here! Here!

I could not agree more.

As a related aside I was watching Paula Radcliffe (UK runner, favourite to
win the marathon in Athens) knocking out the laps of a 10K at the weekend.
As she is so outstanding (she lapped everyone, including the reigning
Olympic 10,000m champion!), there was no tension as to the result, it was
simply her against the conditions and the clock.

I have never been involved in Athletics, yet for me this was great
television.

It is my belief that the sculler's head would capture the imagination of
non-rowers in the same way. Unlike other rowing events, you get people with
distinctly different styles, builds, ages etc. and often with some
surprising results (how often is it a lightweight that wins it?).
It would be prohibitively expensive to cover, of course. So will probably
never happen. More's the pity.





28 Jun 2004 13:34:04
Ewoud Dronkert
Re: where did we go wrong?

On Monday 28 June 2004 12:09%, Neil Wallace wrote:
> chris harrison wrote:
>> Steering a meandering Head course or sprinting over
>> 500m would be far more entertaining than all this ML monotony.
>
> Here! Here!

What, on the Caledonian Canal?


28 Jun 2004 12:45:07
Neil Wallace
Re: where did we go wrong?

Ewoud Dronkert wrote:
> On Monday 28 June 2004 12:09%, Neil Wallace wrote:
>> chris harrison wrote:
>>> Steering a meandering Head course or sprinting over
>>> 500m would be far more entertaining than all this ML monotony.
>>
>> Here! Here!
>
> What, on the Caledonian Canal?

Yes - that would be as entertaining as a Penalty shootout.
(congratulations by the way!)




28 Jun 2004 13:07:36
Douglas MacFarlane
Re: where did we go wrong?

In article <2ka92dF192ihhU1@uni-berlin.de >, rowing.golfer*NOSPAM*@virgin.net
says...
>
>
>chris harrison wrote:
>> "This house believes that 2000 metre multi-lane racing, while a test
>> of fitness and racing ability, is fundamentally dull and not a true
>> test of watermanship and general rowing capability."
>>
>> I believe that rather than just differing in boat size and class,
>> there should be different lengths of rowing races within the World
>> Champs/Olympics. Steering a meandering Head course or sprinting over
>> 500m would be far more entertaining than all this ML monotony.
>
>Here! Here!
>
>I could not agree more.
>
>As a related aside I was watching Paula Radcliffe (UK runner, favourite to
>win the marathon in Athens) knocking out the laps of a 10K at the weekend.
>As she is so outstanding (she lapped everyone, including the reigning
>Olympic 10,000m champion!), there was no tension as to the result, it was
>simply her against the conditions and the clock.
>
>I have never been involved in Athletics, yet for me this was great
>television.
>
>It is my belief that the sculler's head would capture the imagination of
>non-rowers in the same way. Unlike other rowing events, you get people with
>distinctly different styles, builds, ages etc. and often with some
>surprising results (how often is it a lightweight that wins it?).
>It would be prohibitively expensive to cover, of course. So will probably
>never happen. More's the pity.
>
>


The challenge with head races is it is hard to see at the time who is
winning!! If you are interested in rowing then seeing a large colletion
of scullers with different styles and abilities may be of interest, but
I think your average sports fan probably wants to follow who is winning -
it is a race after all.

I do agree that the 2000m mulitlane is king in the middle of a large
puddle does not help the sport as a spectator activity.

Douglas




28 Jun 2004 13:29:01
Tim Granger
Re: where did we go wrong?

Douglas MacFarlane <dkm@dcs.gla.ac.uk > writes:
> The challenge with head races is it is hard to see at the time who is
> winning!! If you are interested in rowing then seeing a large colletion
> of scullers with different styles and abilities may be of interest, but
> I think your average sports fan probably wants to follow who is winning -
> it is a race after all.

Yet it seems to work for cycling time trials and rally cars where
people are set off at intervals.

Tim


28 Jun 2004 14:46:49
Ewoud Dronkert
Re: where did we go wrong?

On 28 Jun 2004 13:29:01 +0100, Tim Granger wrote:
>Yet it seems to work for cycling time trials and rally cars where
>people are set off at intervals.

Time trials are commonly thought to be by far the dullest spectator
event in cycling. Rally cars are intrinsically spectacular I guess.

Maybe mass start rowing, like in the Venetian event, is the answer.


28 Jun 2004 14:52:48
Tim Granger
Re: where did we go wrong?

Ewoud Dronkert <me@privacy.net > writes:

> On 28 Jun 2004 13:29:01 +0100, Tim Granger wrote:
> >Yet it seems to work for cycling time trials and rally cars where
> >people are set off at intervals.
>
> Time trials are commonly thought to be by far the dullest spectator
> event in cycling. Rally cars are intrinsically spectacular I guess.
>
> Maybe mass start rowing, like in the Venetian event, is the answer.

Or the Italian version of rowing: 'the running of the swimmers' where
people volunteer to swim down the 2km course before the eights (with
especially sharpened blades) race down the course.

Tim


28 Jun 2004 09:39:03
felipe
Re: where did we go wrong?

chris harrison <news@lowfield.com > wrote in message news:<40dfe865$0$58824$bed64819@news.gradwell.net>...


> I believe that rather than just differing in boat size and class, there
> should be different lengths of rowing races within the World
> Champs/Olympics. Steering a meandering Head course or sprinting over
> 500m would be far more entertaining than all this ML monotony.

With a 5k+ head race, and a 500m sprint, you could also get rid of
weight classes (as long as the head races were long enough). Lighties
might not outperform heavies over distance, but they hold their own.
And the 500m are very exciting; you can see the whole course. If you
limited the sprints and head races to certain boat classes, you might
be able to reduce the total number of events. And the chance to be
champion in multiple distances might reduce the number of athletes,
which is something I understand the oly groups want to try.


28 Jun 2004 09:45:11
Mike Sullivan
Re: where did we go wrong?


"Jay" <just_j.REMOVE@icon.co.za.THIS > wrote in message
news:1088408024.737203@inet2.up.ac.za...
> Hey all,
>
> Interesting article on FISA website
>
> http://www.worldrowing.com/news/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=76010&itype=

Rowing was a renowned spectator sport in the mid1800s, and attracted
huge crowds and was the focus of heavy wagering.

Rowing is pretty boring to watch, but then so is horse racing until you
put money on it.

I've been to events with large numbers of spectators, there are certainly
a lot at Canadian Henley, or there were in the 70s, thousands in the stands.

>
> Now I'd like to know why people don't consider rowing a spectator sport?
> as recently as the 1950's we had 20000 people watching World Champs
> (at the regatta!). I suppose it came down to some people fervently
> believing that we MUST stay amateur... Oh well, I'll just continue

I agree 100% that rowing should re-think our competitive environment. But
this should be done by all of us at the grass roots level, and not by trying
to 'program' something through FISA or other governing bodies.

US Masters rowing is doing Rowing in the US no great service. They gravy
train off of the college regattas, and copycat the US Nationals, albeit at
a racing distance somewhat less demanding. They weigh the regattas down
with tons of old man/old lady events - get them out of there.

Has the lobbying for Olympic events started yet?

Stake races, line up and go 4 mile races, and dashes are all prominent
features of rowing history that's fallen by the wayside.

Nobody's stopping anybody from doing those things!
Mike




28 Jun 2004 22:23:54
don
Re: where did we go wrong?


"Tim Granger" <tjg21@donkeykong.cl.cam.ac.uk > wrote in message
news:o51isdblrgv.fsf@donkeykong.cl.cam.ac.uk...
> Ewoud Dronkert <me@privacy.net> writes:
>
> > On 28 Jun 2004 13:29:01 +0100, Tim Granger wrote:
> > >Yet it seems to work for cycling time trials and rally cars where
> > >people are set off at intervals.
> >
> > Time trials are commonly thought to be by far the dullest spectator
> > event in cycling. Rally cars are intrinsically spectacular I guess.
> >
> > Maybe mass start rowing, like in the Venetian event, is the answer.
>
> Or the Italian version of rowing: 'the running of the swimmers' where
> people volunteer to swim down the 2km course before the eights (with
> especially sharpened blades) race down the course.
>
> Tim

Full contact rowing - that sounds like it might be exciting for the
television audience. (-;




29 Jun 2004 07:21:26
mike t
Re: where did we go wrong?

>
>
> Full contact rowing - that sounds like it might be exciting for the
> television audience. (-;
>
>
yes, the oxford vs. cambridge battle of the thames is very popular.



29 Jun 2004 08:58:00
David Gillard
Re: where did we go wrong?


> With a 5k+ head race, and a 500m sprint, you could also get rid of
> weight classes (as long as the head races were long enough). Lighties
> might not outperform heavies over distance, but they hold their own.
> And the 500m are very exciting; you can see the whole course. If you
> limited the sprints and head races to certain boat classes, you might
> be able to reduce the total number of events. And the chance to be
> champion in multiple distances might reduce the number of athletes,
> which is something I understand the oly groups want to try.

Sounds like the Heineken Head in Amsterdam. All competitors should have to
attend a huge party on the night between the sprints and the long distance
piece, handicapping could then be based on residual blood-alcohol levels.




29 Jun 2004 01:09:13
Daniel Spring
Re: where did we go wrong?

"Mike Sullivan" <sul@SNIPslac.stanford.edu > wrote in message news:<cbphup$dcf$1@news.Stanford.EDU>...
> "Jay" <just_j.REMOVE@icon.co.za.THIS> wrote in message
> news:1088408024.737203@inet2.up.ac.za...
> > Hey all,
> >
> > Interesting article on FISA website
> >
> > http://www.worldrowing.com/news/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=76010&itype=
>
> Rowing was a renowned spectator sport in the mid1800s, and attracted
> huge crowds and was the focus of heavy wagering.
>
> Rowing is pretty boring to watch, but then so is horse racing until you
> put money on it.
>
> I've been to events with large numbers of spectators, there are certainly
> a lot at Canadian Henley, or there were in the 70s, thousands in the stands.
>
> >
> > Now I'd like to know why people don't consider rowing a spectator sport?
> > as recently as the 1950's we had 20000 people watching World Champs
> > (at the regatta!). I suppose it came down to some people fervently
> > believing that we MUST stay amateur... Oh well, I'll just continue
>
> I agree 100% that rowing should re-think our competitive environment. But
> this should be done by all of us at the grass roots level, and not by trying
> to 'program' something through FISA or other governing bodies.
>
> US Masters rowing is doing Rowing in the US no great service. They gravy
> train off of the college regattas, and copycat the US Nationals, albeit at
> a racing distance somewhat less demanding. They weigh the regattas down
> with tons of old man/old lady events - get them out of there.
>
> Has the lobbying for Olympic events started yet?
>
> Stake races, line up and go 4 mile races, and dashes are all prominent
> features of rowing history that's fallen by the wayside.
>
> Nobody's stopping anybody from doing those things!
> Mike

The sight of 6 8's tearing off the start is still one of the great
specacles in sport, but to the unitiated the rest of the race tends to
be a bit dull. Sprint racing is the way to go imho. I remember Channel
4 in the UK ran a regular weekly series called the Power Sprints in
the late 80's with regional events over 500m with the winners going
through to a national final. The events were mens 8's mens 1x and
womens 4+. The winners of the national finals won a new boat with the
runners up winning blades. the format was great but the standard was
mixed especially in the women's 4+ so occasionally it was not the best
advert for the sport, but the idea was good.
I would like to see 500m sprints at the worlds and Olympics (who knows
if the wind blows at Schinias I may get my wish) I would also love to
see an international standard octuple hammering down a 500m course.


29 Jun 2004 10:08:23
Richard Bullock
Re: where did we go wrong?

> Full contact rowing - that sounds like it might be exciting for the
> television audience. (-;

The Bumps are always popular with the crowds - especially if the weather is
nice on the final Saturday.




29 Jun 2004 10:22:09
chris harrison
Re: where did we go wrong?

David Gillard wrote:

>>With a 5k+ head race, and a 500m sprint, you could also get rid of
>>weight classes (as long as the head races were long enough). Lighties
>>might not outperform heavies over distance, but they hold their own.
>>And the 500m are very exciting; you can see the whole course. If you
>>limited the sprints and head races to certain boat classes, you might
>>be able to reduce the total number of events. And the chance to be
>>champion in multiple distances might reduce the number of athletes,
>>which is something I understand the oly groups want to try.
>
>
> Sounds like the Heineken Head in Amsterdam. All competitors should have to
> attend a huge party on the night between the sprints and the long distance
> piece, handicapping could then be based on residual blood-alcohol levels.


... and Peterborough Sunday .... and the Vets Head ....