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There were many good things about the location of the Worlds and we enjoyed the evening entertainment, but many things need to be addressed for future worlds.
Off the water the main tent was good for respite from the sun and rain and was ideal for holding the medal ceremony, which was well done in that they made a big event of every medal given. The toilets, although a little far from the skiffs, were clean and there were plenty of them. Storage of the trailers was good and easily accessible. The accommodation on the park was excellent and the park / café and shop were very helpful. It was felt some food vans would have been a good alternative during the week?
On the water the access to the pontoons was well managed and very efficient, the pontoons were overall good, though a few of the fingers were a bit unstable. The umpires on the water and on the start vessel Althea were also very good. Commentary was good once they did put this in place – but again would have been better had it been there from the start. Starting of the races were mainly good and the start line, once fixed after the Sunday, was excellent and never moved. The best part was definitely the viewing of the finish line from the stand, this was very exciting as a spectator and hugely encouraging as a rower.
Off the water the Coxes briefing did lack a few things that would have saved a lot of time and confusion. Had they used a white board to demonstrate the turning buoys, midway markers and finish line, ie which side of the green marker buoy they were to finish, it would easily have resolved the same questions being asked each morning. Microphones were not always used or only picked up near the end of the briefing – it was difficult to hear when there was noise outside the tent. There were delays in the results being posted on the first day but this was made better with the screen inside the main tent – but communication was lacking on publishing the crews who made it to the finals. There was no place for clubs to pitch gazebos – in the previous 3 Worlds there was plenty of space for all the clubs to have their own gazebos near the water. This then made it more sociable as you would have to walk past all the other clubs and could find them easily. That should be made a criteria for future bids, if not already.
On the water having someone at the end of the pontoon to direct the boats in and out of the first section would have made it easier for skiffs, for coxes and crews when there were changeovers. The distance between some of the turning buoys was a questionable 20m and no doubt was the cause of some of the oar clashes. There also seemed to be a lack of consistency with penalties for the oar clashes and other incidents on the water – was there a system for this or was it just decided from incident to incident?
It was only after day 2 that there was the realisation of the finish line being in the wrong place. This is a fundamental part of the event and to get this wrong and say “Hard Luck” was not a good response. There wasn’t any real acknowledgment of how this affected some of the results and there are possibly some who are still not sure of what actually happened? In our experience we had a crew in the -40 mixed with a 17 year old from another club rowing with us who finished 1.2 seconds behind the 3rd crew. Had the line been in the correct place and defined finishing lanes, they would have won the bronze medal, sadly we are not the only club who was affected in this way – difficult to just take “Hard Luck” at such an important event as the Worlds…
Sadly the biggest con was the delays in the finals of the W60+ and the postponement of the W280. These were unnecessary and almost cruel. The W60+ were under starters orders then asked to stand down in the rain and cold until a boat joined the start – which took almost 10 minutes. We were told constantly at the coxes briefing the races would start on time and if you were late then you would need to join in and catch up. This race should have been started after a short delay and the crew who were late, left to make up the time accordingly. As for the W280 it showed a complete lack of understanding of what a crew does to get on the start line, ready for what might be their only race of the week, 9 of the 10 boats were on the startline ready to go. Because of one missing skiff there was a postponement of over 2 hours which resulted in the w280 only having 6 skiffs by the rescheduled time as some opted not to take part in protest at the bad management of the race. Why was there a precedent set for this one skiff we do not know? This race because of a change of start time and delay wasn’t then recorded by the drone, or the tracker, so they have no video footage of their race to show friends and family. This is a big deal for these ladies - so sad.
In the main it was a lack of transparency into decisions, scoring system and penalties given which was of concern to us, as a Club. Not what you expect of a World Championship competition, these are the things which should be set out clearly to everyone and justifiable when questioned. Perhaps for the future SASI should ensure they have more input/control over the organisers decisions at such an important event.
A quick query, the two published Worlds Ranking 2022 V2 documents contradict each other. On one, we The Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club are joint 13th and the other joint 12th. Which is correct? Cheers
A very friendly Worlds, thank you, with lovely volunteers and helped by having the grandstand and accommodation so close by. Next time, might having friendly races on the day(s) before the real racing begins be a way to iron out finishing line, scoring and tracking glitches?
As a club, Eskmuthe really enjoyed Skiffieworlds22 and would like to thank everyone involved in organising the event.
We were grateful that the umpires allowed us to move heats in the Open Mix on Saturday, which meant we could get to the ferry on time and allowed three club members to get their second row of the week.
We were impressed by the way the timetable was adhered to and really enjoyed the live video footage of the races and ability to look back on YouTube. The medal ceremonies were very upbeat and the accommodation and facilities on site were excellent.
However, there were a number of areas where the organisation was not as professional as it should have been - relative to Skiffieworlds19 and other large regattas like Ullapool.
There were two general problems - and three specific ones - which affected us as a club.
The two general problems relate to the finish line and the penalty system.
As we had a team that raced in lane 10 on Tuesday, we were really disappointed to find out that the finish line had been marked incorrectly. It had been marked correctly on the race map that we had been sent months earlier and it would not have been difficult to check that all the lane distances were equal.
We also feel the penalty system could have been clearer. It appears that penalties were issued in response to complaints, when all issues should have been dealt with regardless of complaints made. Again there needs to be greater transparency and communication about this. We had a penalty against us (which was fair), but a very similar clash of oars left us disadvantaged but was not dealt with as we did not complain. Clubs should have been informed that penalties were issued against them as it is good for club development.
The three specific points affecting our club were as follows, all caused by poor communication:
On Monday afternoon, our 50+ mixed crew was told as they rowed to the start-line for the final that they had actually NOT qualified for the final as a different club’s time had been missed. Topher Dawson was very apologetic but it was a hugely deflating experience for our club, which has to work really hard to get close to a final. It would have been nice to have some kind of formal apology;
Two days later, the cox of our under-40 women boat was repeatedly told to change course by the umpires. He was confused as he was in lane 9, and had gone through the correct midway buoy and was heading for the correct turning buoy. The umpire boat approached Eskmuthe, distracting the rowers and the cox, who followed the boat's instruction to go around the blue buoy (lane 10). At the end of the race, an umpire came on the radio and told the cox that he needed to be careful about his steering as he had been warned four times. After the race, the cox and club chair approached the umpires’ area and stressed that they had been given wrong information by the umpire boat and had actually been following the correct course. The umpires accepted this and apologised. One umpire tried to make light of it by saying next time, we should “tell the umpire boat to shut up”, which wasn’t very helpful;
Our 60-plus mixed crew’s time in their heat was recorded as 14,43. Our regatta captain thought this seemed wrong (relative to the other boats’ times) and re-watched the race on video. The correct time was actually 13,43. This was communicated to the umpires and the time was corrected as 13,43. It had been recorded accurately in the book (by Andy Rendle), but transcribed wrongly to the spreadsheet online.
Taken as a whole, these incidents left us disappointed as a club - as each one was avoidable if information had been communicated effectively. We also support other comments about the times for all boats not being recorded at the start of the week, as these benchmarks are really important for all clubs, irrespective of where they finish.
Many thanks again, however, for a terrific week.
David Lee, Regatta Captain,
Eskmuthe Community Rowing Club
After the last couple of tumultuous years, it was wonderful to be gathered as one big rowing community again. Here are the things I noted:
1) The grandstand with viewing at the finish line was a lot of fun. I’ll always remember cheering for my team and others as well.
2) Races ran on time and expectations about when to be on the water were clear.
3) Live tracking, though a bit glitchy, was very helpful to view down-course when we couldn’t see.
1) The results needed to be more timely. On Monday, they weren’t posted until late evening and that was only the results from the finals. By the end of the week, the screen helped but sometimes it would take 30 minutes or more – a vast improvement but still a long time.
2) There was no space for team tents so teams didn’t really have a “home base” to work from. A few had tents set up if they had a camping spot but nothing available for those who didn’t.
3) There were no road signs, no fanfare… it felt as if the town has no idea that the event was happening aside from a few small posters. Having traveled so far, I hoped that there would be a little more excitement and hype for the event. Similarly, with no signs, it was hard to initially find out where to go and I know that others had trouble finding the location.
4) My opinion as a rower and a coxswain is that the course was ill-conceived. From the finish line issues to the bend on the return leg, it felt unnecessarily complicated. Every day at the coxswains’ meeting, the course had to be explained again and again when it should have been simple. Maybe there’s a good explanation that I haven’t heard.
5) Our team had major difficulty finding public transportation to Kortgene on Sunday. One of our rowers drove to the Goes train station 5 times as our team “taxi service”. I hope future organizers take transportation, especially for international teams, into account.
As others have said, the week was definitely positive overall but it feels like some of the fundamentals were overlooked or poorly executed. I realize that this is a large event and am appreciative of the amount of work that it takes to pull it off. See everyone in 2025!
I'd like to add my congratulations to the organisers for a tremendously enjoyable week, and my thanks to everyone involved for the months of hard work needed to put on an event such as SkiffieWorlds.
There were some great innovations this year. The live tracking and streaming video from drones was very impressive, and the race scheduling was very slick and ran like clockwork.
However, I think it would also be a disservice to the St Ayles skiff community not to also add weight to some of the justifiable criticisms. I found it quite baffling that there could be so many really positive improvements while at the same time getting basic and fundamental things wrong.
I won't labour the point on the issues with the finish line positio, poor communication during the event and the confusion over the final results. These are serious issues, but they have already been highlighted many times.
However, I would like to emphasise my disappointment that the teams that didn't reach a final did not get a final ranking.
There is far more to SkiffieWorlds than deciding who is the overall champion. Every club has friendly rivalries, friendships and connections throughout the community, and for the vast majority of clubs the priority is not to raise the trophy but to gain three years of bragging rights over the next village along the coast.
This is a fairly straightforward calculation to make and was how the results in 2016 and 2019 were presented, so I don't understand why it was not possible this year.
I am a software developer by trade, so handling, processing and presenting data is what I do all day every day. If SASI or any other skiffie organisation would like any help or advice, either now or in the future, on how to handle race results then please do let me know. I would be absolutely delighted to help.
Congratulations to all the hardworking volunteers for a wonderful event! My first trip to the Netherlands; everyone that I dealt with was so helpful, hospitable, and tolerant of my failure to understand Dutch. I loved having accommodations within walking distance and the village was beautiful!
Lake Champlain Rower.
Many thanks for a great event, and for all your hard work, congratulations from Sketrick
Well, first off there were a lot of real positives.
Lovely location, good facilities, welcoming hosts, the evening entertainments: all great. My experience of accessing the pontoons and how that was controlled was all positive, and I thought it was handled well. The starts were very fair and orderly, and everything ran pretty much to time. Some of the live footage was a bit glitchy but it was a great for our team mates at home to be following everything live. The drone footage was really good.
Leaving aside the finish line issue (enough said), I think the area for improvement would be communications. There just seemed to be a bit of a gap.
Even teams who don't make a final care about how they do in their heat. Posting results and times almost seemed to be an afterthought at the start of the week.
When racing was suspended due to the weather I saw the notice on the website. Thereafter I was checking the Facebook page and website every 5 minutes for updates. Someone posted that some results had gone up in the big tent so I wandered along to see, only to find the racing up and running again. Nothing on Facebook or the website to that effect. There was no clarity on how we should expect to get information/notices.
I'd suggest that what you need in future is a manned information point, with someone with some authority, to post up info/results and handle queries. As it was, when I had issues I had to go and bother the race umpires whilst they were in the middle of running races which is not ideal.
Finally, on the results, it's obviously not great that the published final results have now required correction 3 times. It's also unnecessary. If the scoring system had been made clear in advance, then multiple people would've been doing the calculations as we went along, and we could've effectively crowdsourced checking the accuracy. A bit more transparency and the whole problem could've been avoided.
I hope SASI do the right thing and address the issues raised about the scoring methodology.
This, added to the change mid week to the course, hasn't done much to promote the next world championships.
On behalf of Alnmouth Community Rowing I would like to support the request for an explanation of the scoring system. I can't find anything online and it should surely be clear and transparent. Thanks
Wonderful Skiffie Worlds,
Great work! thank you.
In previous years results have included heat placing…ie if number 11 was fastest loser , they would get some points.
This would make a huge difference to smaller clubs such as ours, as we narrowly missed out on a few finals.
My first Skiffie World's and thoroughly enjoyed it. Kortgene is a great location.
Shame there wasn't space for club tents/shelters along the front.
The temporary pontoons were very unsteady.
Some of the calls to the start line were haphazard.
All in all Avery successfull event.
Disappointed to see no ranking of clubs that didn’t make it into the finals. At Stranraer Skiffieworlds points were awarded for heat positions as well, resulting in an overall ranking for all clubs who competed. Could this be done for Kortgene, please?
It’s difficult to make sense of the final points tally. I can’t see how some totals have been arrived at. Could we have clarification of the methodology.
Toilets provided closer to the racing venue ie down at the bottom rather than up at the top.
A ramp should have been available for those with mobility problems getting on and off the floating spectator area.
Brilliant week - the location, the weather (most of the time), the organisation and the welcome were awesome. The races were exciting- not sure if it was more stressful in the boat or out watching!!
This is the first Worlds that I have missed as a rower and umpire. Well done to pull off the event and to attract such a good crowd despite the risks and costs. I have tried to follow the racing and results from home in real time. This was challenging as the information was not always available. I also felt that the commentators lacked the necessary information to provide meaningful commentary. Perhaps they, like me, were relying upon the trackers which did not always work. As an umpire I was aware that there were many appalling turns impeding other boats, craft fouling the course, and competing skiffs obstructing the finish line. I have no idea what action was taken to address these issues and to ensure fair play. I only spotted one disqualification. All said and done, well done for pulling off the event. Had it been delayed by a year, I may well have attended. Wishing safe and Covid free travels home to the participants.
Great event! Loved being able to follow the races from home. I hope this is something that can be built on for future events.
The commentator did not give a run down of the final positions (1,2,3 etc.) after each race and it was impossible to find the winning list on the maze of a website until the end of the day.
Great event, great venue, great facilities….well done!
Only negative aspect was some other water way users, especially last day, Saturday. Extremely busy water way, one day a yatch was anchored on the course and Saturday so many boats and crafts behaving irresponsibly with a complete disregard for the event and skiffes racing.
Loved the live coverage, it’s been superb. The drone is wonderful as is the gps tracking. Every team taking part should be proud of their efforts. 👏👏👏
Love the live tracker. But can’t follow as some list name of vessel - which does not correspond to team codes in results.
I am following the SkiffieWorlds from Scotland. I think your online coverage has been superb, including photos and videos. Very professional. Well done.
Watching from afar, (far north of scotland) thank you for the video footage and drone coverage, especially on the turns, good to be able to keep up with results also.Thanknyou
For those watching from home, the live footage was a very welcome touch.
However I found the picture quality to be rather disappointing, any excuses in 2022?!
Incredible location, incredible organisation, incredibly friendly band of volunteers, wonderful comraderie, altogether a wonderful wonderful experience!
Thank all involved so much!!
Looks like the event has been well organised, but, for those of us still at home it has been very frustrating to have to work out our teams position when the tracker system has been so faulty. It has taken until today, Friday, for the commentator to acknowledge that the tracker on our home boat B/Ferry is not working when it did not work properly since Monday. If 'Tech' is to be used, it must be 100% reliable or be properly fixed at the earliest opportunity with redundancy built in to the contract as this is an event which, being fed to the the internet, is going Worldwide.
Looks like tremendous fun. Thanks for setting up the video link. I'm watching my grandaughter Meabh from the comfort of my home in Ballycastle. Come on Strangford!
Thank you so much for organising such a fabulous event. The Zeeland area is so beautiful. We have found the facilities excellent and everyone friendly and helpful.
Thank you for all your hard work.
In general tha Canadian team enjoyed the event- Lots of fun, nice people and old friends from the two previous World we attended.. Personally I have an issue with safety. My husband fell onto the pontoons in the crush of people on Sunday and cracked a rib. No rowing for him which was very disappointing. At the same time two people felt into the water between the boats, one on top of the other. The water was shallow but it could have been a tragedy. The number of people allowed onto the pontoon, no life jackets required, was a major safety hazard. It is also unclear just why the race results for every heat were not posted. We may not be the fastest team but we have travelled a long distance and are trying hard. The heat results are important.
The decision of the officials to cancel the 2PM Women’s 280 at the last minute and reschedule to 4:40Pm was also disappointing. The race was posted, lanes assigned and communicated and very clear, Nine teams ready to go, but one team “misunderstood” so without any participant consultation it was rescheduled. We were on the water , warmed up, pumped and ready to race. This is not the philosophy or values of the Skiffie movement as we understand it, and calls into question the integrity of the officials. Team Canada was not amused. This is our third Skiffie Worlds and these kinds issues are very disappointing.
It would be nice to have:
1. space for clubs to set up their tents near the launch site.
2. public address system (sound) throughout the venue. Near launch site as well as grand stands.
3. Results available in more locations?
4 A never-ending shuttle bus or wagon between the village and the venue.
Having a great time ,nice friendly folks, nice area, beer ok, what more do we need