The Canal and Rivers Trust and BCU Insurers are understandably cautious about allowing the Waterside race this weekend to take place, even if it is being moved to the A course from Great Bedwyn to Newbury.
As a result, ALL competitors must wear a buoyancy aid.
For race info please see the info on the Watersides website
The MRC intends to proceed with the first assessment race on 16th March 2014, at Thameside 2, subject to the race going ahead. Despite improving conditions this is subject to a final risk assessment, and restrictions such as athletes being required to wear a buoyancy aid may be necessary.
The results of this race will be taken into account when the Selection Committee chooses a development team for the Waterland Marathon. In the event that the race does not happen, the Selection Committee will use past results and observed performances over the winter to invite a team.
When choosing the team for the Waterlands Marathon, priority will be given to athletes in the first years of senior competition, and juniors over 16 who are considered to be close to full GB team selection by 2015. The Waterland Marathon team is not intended for most U16s, who would be normally be considered for the Gent Marathon team first.
For some considerable time we have been trying to find a solution to the old problem of ‘ I’ve lost my BCU card….but I am a member, really!!’
For data protection and admin reasons it has not been possible to download from BCU central records the information that race organisers need so your card has to be shown at each race. Whilst we know that there are plans to try and rectify this at central level timescales are uncertain.
The MRC have therefore taken steps to change the HRM system to show not only your BCU number but also vitally your membership expiry date. So in future when you book in at a race you will be asked to show your card and the expiry date will be committed to the system. Once proved and on the HRM you should find that race organisers ( or those that use the HRM system at least! ) will not require to see your card until the expiry date flashes red!!! Remember if it does flash red and you have not a valid new card to show they will, depending upon your division either refuse entry or you will have to buy a day ticket at £5.
Whilst we recognise that this will mean a little more effort in the first instance it will save considerable time as the season progresses….and should stop all those moans about having to repeatedly show your membership card. Most importantly it will of course show that you are covered for event insurance purposes and enjoying the benefit of the river and canal group licence.
Message from Stan Missen, MRC Chairman
We are hardly into the start of the season and unfortunately the weather has caused race cancellations and concerns over other events.
The Waterside organisers have been proactive and sensible in taking decisions and publicising them early enough for other arrangements to be put in place. Please see their website regarding race B and keep yourself updated as matters develop.
We note that a number of clubs have suggested that they run alternative events and it is good to have options available. Sadly however, there have been a few adverse comments circulating about the suitability or otherwise of some of the suggested alternative venues. We hope that the flooding will not cause further races to be cancelled but we must be realistic and accept that this could still be a possibility.
So…..the MRC co-ordinate the annual racing calendar, and should further cancellations be necessary please could prospective race organisers for replacement events ensure that they contact us in the first instance if they are willing and able to offer an alternative venue. In this way we can ensure, as far as is possible, that we can avoid any conflicts occurring between clubs or venues going forward. Thank you.
Statement from Norwich CC:
Norwich has been lucky with the weather and has not suffered anywhere near the same level of flooding seen in and around the Thames.
With the cancellation of Waterside A and the threat hanging over Waterside B and the Thamesides, Norwich Canoe Club are considering the possibility, should it be necessary, of offering some long-distance races as practice sessions for DW, available to everyone.
The first of these races will be on Sunday 23rd February 2014, in place of the cancelled Waterside A race. It will start and finish at Norwich Canoe Club, on the River Yare to Surlingham and back, cover the same distance as Waterside A and will have 4 portages. Race window will probably be 11am to 4pm.
Information is on the Norwich Canoe Club website and will be updated over the next few days: http://member.norwichcanoeclub.co.uk/main.php?page=23feb_body
Please register your interest by emailing Trevor Kirkham using firstname.lastname@example.org
Full minutes will be posted after they have been agreed at the next meeting. Here is a précis of the meeting held on 1st Feb:
1. Syllabus of Racing Coaching for both marathon and sprint disciplines being looked at by Ollie Harding in conjunction with SRC and Russell Smith of Canoe England.
2. Some changes have been made to the HRM program.
a. Scotland now shown as 2 regions.
b. Expiry date of BCU membership can now be entered, meaning that an up-to-date membership does not need to be re-checked.
3. Agreed that paddlers promoted by more than 2 divisions will not score Hasler points (i.e. being promoted from 9 to 6) – this to ensure new paddlers are entered into a suitable division in the first place.
4. 2014 Racing Handbook sent out to all Race Organisers. Accompanying letter can be read here.
5. BCU grant has been confirmed at £25,000. Spanish training camp has been removed from budget, so numbers going to Waterlands will be doubled.
6. Development training – several training events taking place in the regions. Water conditions mean problems for assessment/selection. Agreed that paddlers need to compete wherever possible in regional events. Coach endorsement needed for Gent.
7. 2014 MRC meetings:
a. April 11
b. Annual Consultative Meeting Worcester 23 August
c. November 15
Organisers of races listed in the 2014 calendar should soon receive a letter with reminders, and changes to race admin. The full letter can be downloaded here.
Key points to note:-
SAFETY – Organisers are reminded of the need for a risk assessment and for all boats to be fitted with adequate buoyancy.
HASLER FINAL QUALIFICATION – racers in qualifying clubs must now COMPLETE (not just start) three Hasler races to qualify for the final.
BCU MEMBERSHIP CHECKING – The HRM system will now contain details of paddlers’ BCU card expiry dates, but to start with these need logging by race organisers as the BCU are unable to provide us with details. Initially this will mean more information gathering, but after a few months the process of checking BCU membership will be much easier.
We will be sending development teams to the Gent marathon in Belgium (23-24 May) and the Waterlands marathon in Holland (18-20 April). If you or your athletes would like to be considered, details are below:
The aim of these development events is to enable athletes with potential to race in the full GB team in future years to gain some valuable international experience. The teams race under BCU colours (a blue vest with red and white hoops).
Gent is aimed at under 16s, and the team will be invited (not selected) on the basis of club coach recommendations to the MRC, supported by evidence from regional training days and winter race series. Coaches are asked to email James Smythe BEFORE EASTER SUNDAY (20th April) with recommended names, and an indication of the training and events each has taken part in over the winter, for those born in 1998, 1999 or 2000. Invitations will be made after the weekend of 26-27 April.
Waterlands is aimed at seniors and juniors on the cusp of the full GB team, so juniors are likely to be un the U17/U18 age groups and seniors aged 19, 20 or 21. This team will be selected following the Thameside 2 race on 16th March. In the unlikely event that the race is cancelled, alternative arrangements will be made at short notice.
The latest edition of the Racing Handbook will be available from February 1.
A hard copy costs £6 from Marsport, or £8 by post – Cheque payable to BCU Racing Committee, send to Diane Bates, Waterloo Barn, Laughton Hill, Stonesfield OX29 8DY