Every club has their special way of selecting paddlers for crews. We have used a combination of factors over the years from erg times, paddle erg times, attendance record, strength and conditioning performance and the infamous Dragonboat TIME TRIAL!
So how does this work?
- Paddlers go Head to Head in 2 small dragonboats over 200m which are marked out with a start and finish flag at Stormy HQ in Tai Tam.
- The paddler and a partner sit in seat two of both boats.
- The partners are the same weight or within 10kg of each other so each paddler pulls the boat + paddler + steersman. This shows us two things 1. Your individual skill as a paddler and 2. How effective you are at moving your own weight.
- We put Go Pros on each boat so we can look at form especially in the last 50m when people get tired. When we get tired we revert to our habits so make sure they are good ones!
- We time the trials from the shore by communicating with walkie talkies on one of the boats and one of them on land with the timekeeper. We also have back up stopwatches and GPS watches on the boats. The beauty of this is everyone gets to know their time straight away and how they compare.
- We sometimes review the GPS data to see how long it takes paddlers to reach top speed, how long they can hold it for, how many times they drop in speed and what their finish speed is.
- We are fair and transparent and record and publish the times immediately to all paddlers.
- Weather and Water conditions can vary greatly in Tai Tam especially if you are trialling 30+ paddlers as this can 4+ hours. So this year have 4 time trials from Jan- April and we will also add a couple more in May/June as its a CCWC year and we want healthy competition right up to when the final crew decisions for Hungary are made.
- So yes the times can vary especially if you hit a head wind that practically stalls the boat and you paddle for 20 strokes going nowhere. But what we do know is on the day who beat who in that moment and by how much? So this year we are trying something new! A paddle ladder for men and women!
Whilst every club tries hard to be as fair and open as possible the Captains and the Coach will always have the final say on who gets in a boat. We just add a few parameters in to help us make those decisions a little bit easier.