Author Topic: A Change in approach to Class O  (Read 2742 times)

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Offline Simon Woodall

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A Change in approach to Class O
« on: April 25, 2018, 05:08:51 pm »
Bill Rosten has sent the following missive to all those that have taken part on Class O in the last couple of years...
Dear Competitor

As someone who has competed in Class O in the last year or so I am writing to let you know of planned changes to the running of Class O in the Land’s End Trial. For the past few years it has been increasingly difficult to find enough observers to run what is in effect two parallel trials. As you know, it is only at the various controls and at Blue Hills that you join the main trial. I had to cancel Hangman’s Hill this year due to lack of volunteers.

There are probably many and various reasons why you choose to compete in this popular class. What I propose is that Class O will run with the main trial next year, tackling some 6 of their sections but with less severe conditions. These might be a preferential start (such as is in place at Blue Hills 2 already), not doing a restart, or ‘A’ boards for example. In addition, I will endeavour to find another 2 sections that you may share with the new event that will evolve from Class R into a fully tarmac trial it its own right. For all this to work on section, you will need to be identified with the appropriate coloured disc on your vehicle.

I am fully aware that there have been complaints about delays on sections when this has been tried in the past. What I propose is to integrate Class O in the main trial so that the competitors will be numbered 1-400 and be spread throughout the trial. You would also have the option to start from the 3 main trials starts in Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Hampshire should you so wish. It will still be possible to start from Bridgwater.

With this plan, we will need less observers but still be able to offer you an excellent event where winning a ‘tin’ or ‘copper’ is still a worthwhile challenge. I would greatly appreciate your feedback whether positive or negative.

Offline Jason Potts

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Re: A Change in approach to Class O
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 07:32:59 pm »
Hey Bill, i think this is a good idea although i’m giving up on class O after this year and moving up to the main trail. Wish me luck.
 
The only drawback i can see is, if you have sections where you are constantly get delays and hold ups you will now have the additional volume of class O on those sections too which will make thing worse.
 
Oh, and let class O go first and not last as is always the case. I did the Edinburgh last year and as i was a late number there were lots of sections either cancelled or so churned up we were advised not to bother. One marshal told us ‘nose in and then reverse out, i can say you attempted it then’. Kinda spoilt it for us class O cars at the end. Class O competitors pay full price too so its a real shame when the least experienced get to go last through a ploughed up section they have no chance at. It puts people off coming back.
 
sorry, rant over.
 
I’m back on two wheels now and loving it. I really enjoyed this years LE, it was a real challenge and test of endurance.
 
Best regards
Jason

Offline Paul K

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Re: A Change in approach to Class O
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2018, 11:45:39 am »
I think it's a good idea; there should be something for everyone.  Cancelling sections is very demoralising; for the competitors and for the organisers, who've put a lot of effort into that section.

My one concern is the use of coloured discs.  As a member of the results team, there are always instances of observer's cards with no competitor number recorded, or no performance entered.  This is understandable given the circumstances in which observer's can be expected to function.  This problem has been acknowledged by the addition of numbers on the sides of cars. Having to note the appropriate colour disc might produce additional omissions and errors.  Appropriate choice of colour, observer training and competitor training (place in a common, visible area and keep it clean) could reduce these problems.

Offline Paul Wheatley

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Re: A Change in approach to Class O
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2018, 09:47:41 pm »
It would help if the number cards themselves were of the appropriate colour or had a space for the appropriate colour sticker
PW.

Offline Jason Potts

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Re: A Change in approach to Class O
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2018, 02:27:14 pm »
Or the number just started with a letter.  ;)

eg R = red, B = blue and so on.

So R123 for example would be number 123 in red group.

Its not always that easy to see colour at night with a torch. reflective surfaces and all that. But that might just be me.  ::)

Offline Simon Woodall

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Re: A Change in approach to Class O
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2018, 02:24:35 pm »
A prefix could work, except that standard numbers cost £3.50 per hundred, numbers with a prefix cost £14.50 per hundred.
Hmmmm....

Offline Tim Kingham

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Re: A Change in approach to Class O
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2018, 06:02:52 pm »
Perhaps the color of the card would not be a big increase in cost

Offline Jason Potts

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Re: A Change in approach to Class O
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2018, 07:50:31 pm »
this may have already been suggested but what about getting the competitors print their own numbers?

send out an A4 pdf file to all competitors with their numbers on and get them to print it off themselves.

I wouldn't mind doing that. I'm guessing the down side is some people cannot use a computer, or don't have a printer etc?  :(

when I was road racing we had to source our own race numbers. they were part of the scrutineering process too and different classes had different coloured numbers and backgrounds. there is a section on this in the ACU manual.   


Offline John Guy

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Re: A Change in approach to Class O
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2018, 01:40:43 pm »
I think everyone understands the ongoing difficulty in finding observers. I suspect that the difficulty in finding new, younger members, to replace older, retiring members is also perhaps related to the observer question.The other MCC events, as well as other Clubs have similar problems as far as observers is concerned. Whatever solution is found, I guess all three events may have to take it on board in future years, so it needs to be a good, workable solution.

I would have no problem in running with Main Trial (MT). However, cutting the 12 sections run by Class O by at best 30%, and at worst by 50%, would be a major issue for me, and for the other Class O regulars I've had contact with. At present Class O is still a poor relation with 12 sections whilst MT has 14.

I share Jason Potts' concerns that increasing the traffic over any given section by 25% raises the possibility of more delays.This year, MT had 226 runners and O had 59. To state the obvious, hills with awkward fail routes, or needing a tow recovery would have to be carefully managed to keep the event to time. Sections which deteriorate in use, like the 2017 Edinburgh sections that Jason mentioned, could become a disaster after nearly 300 attempts.

On the plus side, by freeing up the sections used exclusively  this year by Class O, and the observers who manned these sections, is there not an option in future to add some of these sections, and their observers, to Main Trial? This would allow Class O to compete on a greater number of sections than the 6 or 8 Bill is proposing, and give MT an increased number to attempt. MT gets a bonus, and Class O gets a more reasonable share of the action - all with fewer observers than this year.

Finally, on identifying entries, why not print numbers on different coloured cards, as on Class R this year? I've always thought that small coloured discs are really only any good on daylight events.