TrakMate 3.0 Food for Thought

Timing System

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William Tway
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Post by William Tway » Thu May 01, 2003 3:17 pm

Ok everyone, we are in the final stages of development and need a little help from you...the racers. Before we burn version 3.0 (the Audio Start Edition), I have a few age old questions.

1) Should we program 3.0 to start the
clock(s) on the final (4th) beep?

2) Or should the clock(s) start when the racer(s) cross the first tape switch?

**Version 3.0 will record and display Reaction Times.

If you hear the 4th beep and are 1/4 second late starting, it will display +.250 and if you are a 1/4 of a second early a -.250 will be displayed and you are disqualified.
(Will this way cause too many DQ’s? Your final time will include your reaction time)

If the clock starts at the tape, a reaction time will still be recorded as above but your final time will be <i>actual</i> (will not include reaction time). Your reaction time may or may not have to be added by the scorer.

Reaction time has been debated many times on skateboard forums and some racers feel that it’s "ok" if you start 1/4 second too early and 1/2 second too late without being penalized.

What do you think?

Unfortunately this new system will not be on display at this years G3. Instead of rushing to get it done, we want to do it right. As soon as I read your responses and engage in a few discussions with the good people at the G3, we will burn version 3.0.

Thanks you for your help and patients.

Tway

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Post by Terry Kirby » Thu May 01, 2003 4:05 pm

Keep it Simple. The clock starts on the 4th beep. Why complicate things. T

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Post by Adam Trahan » Thu May 01, 2003 4:38 pm

I think the clock should start when the racer crosses the start line, the fourth beep is the indicator for the start window.

Example: 4 Beeps, 1 - 2 - 3 - START! You are FREE to enter the course. You have .5 second on each side of that beep to start the clock with your crossing the start switch or beam. Your entry into the course starts the clock not the beep. The 4th beep signifies the middle of the 1 second window of opportunity to start.

Think about what this programming reinforces.

Reaction time is still retained yet the course is ultimately timed on the racers performance and is not penalized harshly because of his or her start.

John Gilmour and I discussed this a little last night on the phone. I heard it from him (he thinks .75 second window) and I think it is a good idea.

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Post by Terry Kirby » Thu May 01, 2003 4:43 pm

the start is a component of the race, why nullify it?

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Thu May 01, 2003 5:08 pm

What am I missing here? Ok, so the fourth beep sounds and a racer can stand in the box til he finishes his sandwich and then go across the tape?

It seems this would really be confusing. Some guy in Lane One gets a great start, leaps out of the box and goes down the hill. Unfortunately, he's kind of slow and his time from tape-to-tape is 18.7.

The guy in lane two gets a lousy start, ties his shoe laces and then trips the start tape but has a blistering run and posts a 17.5.

So the audience sees the the guy in lane one start first and finish first, but the guy in lane two wins because his elapsed time is less? That's too screwy for words.

The 4th beep starts the race. When you hit the tape at the bottom of the hill you stop the clock. The first one from the 4th beep to the tape at the bottom wins. No confusion.

Again, let me ask the question: what am I missing?

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Post by John Gilmour » Thu May 01, 2003 5:08 pm

It isn't nullified because the promoter can choose to use the reaction times or not.

As the field of racers grows- and I hope it does, you'll see many times within a few hundreths of a second of each other.

It is possible to always get "good" starts, but not to always get "Perfect" starts Ie cross the line within 1/100th of a second of go.

Take a stop watch with hundreths or thousandths of seconds start it and try to stop it at 4.01 (That is (4) 1 second beeps and then 1/100th of a second). A "perfect" start.

Good luck.

Now try to do that 10 consecutive times in a row. (What it would take to get to the top)

You'll see quickly that no one gets perfect starts all the time.

If it were a possible goal for slalom racers- then good, but it clearly is not. We won't have 10 top slalom racers that can produce 10 perfect starts say 95% of the time.

So if the top 40 racers through the course are within say .2 seconds of each other through the actual course and the "Start varience" is say .7 seconds over the same field. Then the start dominates the outcome of the race.

Since no amount of practice will yield 10 consecutive perfect starts. The winner is nearly always chosen at "random" in a field of fast closely packed racers.

Random results aren't racing.

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Post by John Gilmour » Thu May 01, 2003 5:14 pm

Wesley there is a very small "Start" window where you have to hit the tapeswitch to start YOUR clock.

If you hit the start tape between .25 seconds before the last beep or .5 seconds after it you'll start the clock.


If you miss the "Window" you get a DNS or False start. This method would reduce false starts since the start window is larger and doesn't penalize racers for not "nearly false starting".

The benefit is that if you practice your times will ALWAYS be rewarded. Since consecutive perfect starts are not currently possible it should not be something we use to determine the outcome of a race. Chicken is a fast racer I doubt his results would change much if this timer was used over the same courses he ran last year.

Also racers without access to a timer are not penalized.

Random results- if we want that type of racing we could hold a race in Vegas.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Thu May 01, 2003 5:22 pm

Well, John, if Tway Von Neumann can program all that into his little box, then I say good luck.

It still sounds, though, awfully confusing and complicated just to start a race. Although I do like the idea of the .25 second allowance BEFORE the 4th beep. I'm tired of my PERFECT crow hop starts being called a DQ because Parson's eyesight is too lame to see my perfect timing in hitting the start line on "GO!"

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Post by Brian Parsons » Thu May 01, 2003 5:56 pm

Hey, I never DQed you. But I will have my eagle eye on your crow hop tomorrow night. By the way, dont we have a grudge match to settle? :smile:

I like having the reaction time. I also like that the clock is running the same for each racer. When each racer starts there own lane clock it can distort the racers perception of their position in the course related to the other racer. For example racer A can cross the finish strip before racer B and still loose as a result of entering the course before racer B.

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Post by Brian Parsons » Thu May 01, 2003 6:02 pm

I agree with WT. Not so much from a spectators perspective but from a racers perspective. Getting a good start is all part of the race.

Drag racing is based on reaction time. If its good enough for "Big Daddy" its good enough for me.

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Post by Vlad Popov » Thu May 01, 2003 6:15 pm

Start when the racer crosses the line. Please make it make this yacky sound if we cross the line before the 4th beep.

Starting on the 4th beep is fine, but no good for the Cyber junkies and such.

Vlad.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Thu May 01, 2003 6:16 pm

I beg to differ! I beg to differ!

You DQ'd me on a false start in Boston after I made a PERFECT start against PSR in one of our heats. It was so perfect I blitzed Eric and was halfway to the first cone before he was out of the box. But you and TK (blind, feeble old men that you are,) both said I DQ'd. Malarkey I say! Malarkey!

Then, at the Outlaw Race, after I made a pretty good jackass out of myself over that goddamned, despicable sorry-assed piece of black rubber, you once again said I made a false start in one of my races against Curt Kimble. Even Curt commented he was glad it was called back because I blitzed him to the first cone! Of course, that in no way infers I would have made it to the last cone before Curt, but at least I got him on the start!

A GREAT START, I might add!

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Post by Adam Trahan » Thu May 01, 2003 6:24 pm

Ahh ha Wesley, very funny. (It really was)

I am by no means an expert in timing systems and or racer starts but I like the idea of this programming for the start. Making the course performance paramount and the start reflex time secondary sounds appealing. Really, you are not penalizing someone for having a good start, they are still racing the clock.

Keeping things simple is good, the KISS principle works well. Some thought on this will also serve the racer too.

It's all about racing the clock isn't it?

It's cool that Tway is catalizing the idea and listening to opinions.

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Post by John Gilmour » Thu May 01, 2003 6:29 pm

You would still be able to do a common start. Just add the reaction times.
But you would ALSO be able to SEE a false start and by exactly HOW MUCH.

As far as the racers relative position in the course- this is true only for clean runs by both competitors, or same number of cones hit, or if say there are no time penalties accrued for up to 5 cones hit (grass roots rules).*

* Grass roots rules were designed so timing systems were not needed. So that point is moot.

You'll never know if you have a clean run or if your competitor has a clean run until both racers finish. So that relative positioning is also somewhat moot. We have all seen people plink the last cone or second to last cone.

The only time to safely pace someone is if you are faster enough than that person to either be assured of your 100% accuracy for the rest of your run- or by leading that person for more than 4 cones (About a second- though I have paced people a few times right to the line because I like doing that). If you are leading the other person by about a second that is larger than the .75 second "Start window" anyway.

Doing the system with the start window would likely let us run races quicker. No one knows who won until the penalties are tallied anyhow- look at the last 2 Morro Bay races. The spectators understand from watching for more than 5 minutes that the first person over the line is not necessarily the winner- that is what makes it fun....suspense.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: John Gilmour on 2003-05-01 12:31 ]</font>

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Post by William Tway » Thu May 01, 2003 6:30 pm

Vlad, I should add that with the flick of a switch, 3.0 will work the same as 2.0. No audio or reation times.

Thanks everyone for your opinions. Lets hear some more.

Leaving for Leesburg at 2pm.

Party on.

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Post by John Gilmour » Thu May 01, 2003 7:56 pm

Would you ever have a LCD that told you the difference in times between the two racers? Good for announcers- and would there be a way to easily enter in the cone penalties both in terms of number of cones and amount of penalty?

That way if the results were recorded on the timer you could more easily catch paper descrepancies that could occur when transfering the numbers to paper from the timer. I'm sure a direct laptop feed isn't far off.

This timer keeps on getting better and better.

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Post by Wes Eastridge » Thu May 01, 2003 8:03 pm

For the racing itself (ie not the advancement after the second dual) it can be pretty clear who won. The suspense comes during penalty tallying. I would like to see the racer starting the clock. Or, to make everyone happy, have a seperate mode for each timing format. I personally don’t like not knowing where I stand against the other racer during a dual. If each racer starts their own timer, whenever they want, it’s really just single-lane racing. In which case, why bother setting a dual course at all?

Oh, and Tway, can't wait to ride the park with you and Brian Tonight. Party-on. Have a safe trip getting here.

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Post by Curt Kimbel » Fri May 02, 2003 4:03 pm

Start the clock on the 4th beep.

Curt

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Post by Claude Regnier » Fri May 02, 2003 8:51 pm

I think it would be really good if your system could offer the race organiser both options.

Just think you could run both styles of races without changing any input information other then the type of start you wish to use.

It certainally would and could be a valuable tool for running diefferent types of racing.
Many Happy Pumps!

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Post by Ricky Byrd » Sun May 04, 2003 5:40 pm

Duel mode would be nice. I would like to see the timer start on the 4th beep. Ahhh, Just like Ed, hit the buttom and watch it happen. Good starts win races. Chicken is the best example of this.

John said, "Would you ever have a LCD that told you the difference in times between the two racers?" The more info for the time keeper and announcer has the better. This would be great.

I am waiting for direct link up to the race laptop. My poor wife can retire (almost).

Would it be at all possible to tap into the 4th beep and have it also activate a simple gate system. I've got one on the drawing board, in need of some more work. Clamps right to my pull bars on the ramps. I didn't like the idea of the starter having to hit a timer start buttom and then a gate open button. Nah...

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Post by Brady Mitchell » Sun May 04, 2003 6:23 pm

As I`ve expressed before, I am waiting for a false start recording timer before I invest in one. That would eliminate the need, but not exclude, a starting gate. Four beeps sounds good but a visual would be better. Maybe the old fashioned christmas tree and green/red for individual lanes maybe mid course or third way down. That way a DQ`d racer on false start can pull out and conserve energy and the other racer can pull back the speed and ride to a easy victory. Why? Eliminate the need for reruns.

I also think beeps can be misleading though. what if racer A utters a premature beep sound and racer B jumps out to a false start? With lights, that won`t be a problem.

Yeah, I agree with JG that a large digital timer display would be nice, and also a laptop compatability would be nice.

But what are the priorities? I suggest the false start recording as first. The others could be added onto later. But if a system were complete without the False Start recorder, could it be added on later?

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Post by Brady Mitchell » Sun May 04, 2003 6:35 pm

After rereading my post again and the others above, I see that I didn`t express...

WHAT THE HECK IS THIS REACTION TIME?

The fourth beep or green light starts the clock, not crossing the tape switch, or even a light beam. The first tape switch or light beam should record a FALSE START only.

Like WesT said, you wanna sit there and finish your sandwhich? Fine, but he who finishs first wins, plain and simple!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Brady Mitchell on 2003-05-04 12:57 ]</font>

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Post by Chris Eggers » Mon May 05, 2003 7:42 am

Hi Brady,

we had lights as a starter at a race last year and I didn´t like it too much because you had to look and concentrate at the light too much instead of looking at the fisrt cones. I t was a little strange.
Ok maybe you can get used to anything, but I liked the beeps at Morro Bay.

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Post by Glenn S » Mon May 05, 2003 3:58 pm

1. Make sure it has a "serial port" as well.

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Post by Howard Gordon » Mon May 05, 2003 4:20 pm

Bill -

The beep start is a great addition - timer should start with 4th tone. If you can also provide an output signal to trigger a gate trigger and a serial output to dump data to a computer, you can completely replace FCR's $10,000 timing system.

I've had the opportunity to work with your timer at 2 recent West Coast races - the Bahne SlalomCross and the SF Gravity Festival GS, and I know of only 2 missed times total at Bahne (possibly because racers missed the tape) and zero misses at Gravity. I owned 2 of the Brower timers, which were very easy to set up, but lacked range and were surprisingly fragile. For any kind of racing where 100% capture of times is a requirement, you have without questiion the best system. Keep up the good work.

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Post by Gary Holl » Mon May 12, 2003 9:50 pm

My vote...Clock starts on the 4th beep.

If one of the riders crosses his/her start tape switch before the fourth tone begins a display showing a DQ or "-.025" should be diplayed for that lane.

We used my Trakmate at SF Gravity and for other local races. A great timer indeed.

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Post by John Gilmour » Tue May 13, 2003 12:28 am

You guys just have to believe me that as everyone gets better the need for separate starts gets more important.

Also how will anyone know anyone's true time in the course with a common start?

I voted FOR a COMMON start in the 90's and it was one of the stupidest things I ever voted for.

If you have 10 guys within .2 seconds of each other- and yet lets say that almost all of the time Dunn, Chicken, and Ransom are faster through the course....why should say ... Luca Giammarco win the race just because he has a faster start. As I said before variences in the start far exceed most variences within the course.....particularly for shorter courses.

You may as well flip a coin to see who wins. All your practice to shave .1 seconds off your time is worthless unless you happen to get a lucky start- forget bothering with fancy fiberglass decks, modified geometry trucks, and shaving wheels- build your own 200lb start ramp instead and make sure you leave enough time to assemble and disassemble your ramp at your practice site everytime you practice.

If a person is better off practicing his starts endlessly instead of actually running cones....well it's pretty silly.

In drag racing there are no cone penalties- fastest guy accross the line wins. Most people wouldn't trust an independent start in drag racing- but we aren't drag racing head to head without penalties- we are skateboarding and we CAN trust the clock. the fastest guy across the line does not always win.

With separate times you can go back and look at your runs and see when you had a fast run- or did not. You have a history that can be compared. You can look at your times and others times and have an idea of how you stand against others- especially those you never had to race head to head.

Also a course that is permanently marked can have a history that allows you to compare times against others years later. I think it is cool to have a historic course available at some race sites just for this purpose.

Independent timing has far more advantages than disadvantages. You just want to keep the start window small so people can see a close race.

Also even if the start window is huge... racers can still make it look good. A faster racer could start later and try to catch the other guy at the line- it makes for some suspense that might not otherwise be present. It also allows for some strategy...ie the faster racer might hang back to see if the slower guy DQ's etc.

All that being said I still prefer the smaller start window + independent timing- we process racers faster that way.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: John Gilmour on 2003-05-12 19:16 ]</font>

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Tue May 13, 2003 12:42 am

JG said, "You may as well flip a coin to see who wins. All your practice to shave .1 seconds off your time is worthless unless you happen to get a lucky start.

If a person is better off practicing his starts endlessly instead of actually running cones....well it's pretty silly."

John, I don't normally openly dispute what you say, but this is completely bogus. Did you ever run track? Anyone who has will tell you that no matter what length the race, every coach in the world spends as much time teaching his runners how to get out of the blocks as much as how to pace a 400-meter run.

Ever play tennis? By your logic there is entirely too much time spent on the serve and not enough on baseline play and how to lob.

Ever swim competitively? How much time did your coach spend teaching you how to come to rest, get your back up and hit the water crisply with little or no splash? 99 times out of 100, the one who hits the water first usually tags the wall first at the end.

Starts in racing are EVERYTHING. None of this even begins to tackle the psychological aspect of a racer in one lane seeing another racer get such a spectacular start that he's flummoxed for the rest of the race. When you see the guy get the hole shot, take it to the first cone and then go down the hill, well, if you see all this, that means you're watching from behind!

Oh, and just for argument's sake, who has everyone agreed is just about the fastest guy out of the gate on every ramp and push start FCR has organized? Chicken.

Who's the reigning world champion? Who's got a four-race winning streak?

'nuff said. Far be it from me to coach you, John, but maybe if you spent more time on your starts you wouldn't have to worry so much about that .1 second later?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Wesley Tucker on 2003-05-12 18:54 ]</font>

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Post by Vlad Popov » Tue May 13, 2003 12:50 am

Please start the clock on the 37th beep.

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Post by Terry Kirby » Tue May 13, 2003 1:52 am

Wes,I don't normally openly agree with what you say but this is completely true. Starts do matter. Mr Gilmour taught me everything I know about the strange sport of slalom skateboarding and I own him for that. However. Herr Gilmour seems to want to slalom in a vacume. Everything must be tidy and comfortable and free from distortion of any kind. When Chicken Raced Dunn in the finals everyone and I mean EVERYONE watched the START. Dunn knew he needed a flawless start, Chiken knew HE needed a flawless start. That shit was exciting. Dunn nailed both his starts as did Chicken. When JG raced Dunn in BReck in the semifinals He nailed his starts. They were the best all year for him. He won that race and took down some heavys on the way.This was exciting racing. When I watch Kennys dvd's I watch the start as much as the race itself. BTW, watch kenny actually get a better start than Chicken in their first race on Sunday at MB.Not many people can get the jump on Chicken. Starts, love em ,hate em, learn em. Now back to you Vlad.

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Post by John Gilmour » Tue May 13, 2003 2:39 am

I never find it very interesting to watch a race where the hole shot guy always wins.

Why not just race to the first cone? it will save a lot of time- less cone marshalling- and we could get more events in. Though the events wouldn't differ by much.

Hole shot racers in snowboarding boardercross almost always win now- due mostly to course layout. It makes for a more boring race. There used to be some passing in the older boardercross races which were more interesting- now it all comes down to the hole shot.

In Running Marathon races the Hole shot guy rarely wins. I don't follow Indy racing much anymore- but in the 70's I saw the leader in the beginning did not always win....as a result I watched the whole race.

I've had some bad starts like any other racer (I got blood blisters from slamming against the gate). I won a race at Breckenridge and had pretty good starts throughout that race. I watched Hackett get hung on the gates, Terence and I got cut on the gates, Ransom bounced off the gate in another race. All trying to get a perfect start. It makes for good entertainment- but the trip to get stitches is a pain.

But once again the guy who crosses the line first isn't always the winner. So the Common start arguement as being important to see who wins....just doesn't hold water. More often that not, in the later rounds, no winner is declared until the time penalties are tallied.

As for who gets good starts, Cross, Chicken, Dunn, Olson, all seem to get good starts- yet they also have their off days where they lose at the start. Chicken has won the last 4 races and not just due to having good starts.

For those racers not used to the FCR start cadence or opening of the gates- they are at a distinct disadvantage, and I don't think we shoud expect a racer who is truly fast to have to attend 5-6 FCR races until he wires the start cadence.

What if there was another race series with a different start cadence? Then the racer would have to know two cadences. And if there is another circuit? We can see where this is going.

I am not argueing this point because I am fast through the course- currently in my present shape I'm not really a threat to anyone and my current high blood pressure level sucks. I'm argueing this point because I would prefer not to see the racing get skewed. Realistically if you work hard to shave off a .3 second you would want to see that .3 second pay off. If becoming .3 second faster through the course means you consistently beat Noah Heinle through a course then you would expect to beat Noah most of the time in an independent start race- not just the times you had good starts in a comomon start race.

So lets say you now consistently beat Noah Heinle - you set your sights on a slightly faster racer, say Chris Stepanek. At least you know you are faster now than Noah Heinle. If you beat Chris Stepanek most of the time you can set your sights on Terence Kirby etc.
Noah and Chris are very close to one another in times and so you at least feel like you are making progress.

If you have a common start and either Chris or Noah get an amazing start against you....well then you lose. Why? because the Start varience is so large relative to the timing variences between CLOSELY seeded racers.

Wesley I don't expect you to really get this as you have clearly dominated your sector of the USA in slalom over the years. Without a tightly seeded group of racers you just wouldn't see the significance of this first hand. I know that you likely vanquished most of the racers you raced in the course times by much more than the "start varience"- so I can see your point of view and I know where it is coming from- and it certainly makes sense from your point of view. And by the way you have good starts and you are fast through the course- I do remeber you and Terence racing in July 4th 2002 and that was one of the best races of the day.

But when racing in a large group of tightly seeded racers- every .1 second counts. I raced in Europe with a tightly seeded group of racers. I know what a common start does in duals in this case. You get non repeatable results . Non repeatable results are somewhat arbitrary. Racing should NOT be arbitrary. We should be able to order the racers. I do want to know that Gianmarco Luca was always almost 1 second faster in any course than anyone else. I want to know that Gianluca Ferrero is almost always .2 seconds slower than Daniel Ridoli in any given course. I want to know who is faster. I want to know who WAS faster. HAving common starts might make your ranking shift by 10 racers or more in a large field of closely seeded racers.

When you post a faster time than another racer consistently- it gives much more a feeling of accomplishment than just being able to win say 6 out of 10 times due to a common start.

Fo Someone like Gianmarco Luca who won by a second or more- it made little difference in the common or independent start- but most racers in a race with Luca weren't thinking about 1st place. They were competeing to see who got 3rd,4th, 5th etc. In this regard Wesley you were the Luca of the South.

But to the other racers start varience does matter. This is a sprinting sport with little time to make up for a bad start. We shouldn't weigh the start so heavily.

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Post by John Gilmour » Tue May 13, 2003 2:45 am

How do we learn the start? We would need replicas of the FCR ramps. And of course we would need replicas of every different ramp.

Slalom has to be "tidy" because the tenths as so tiny. If the courses were 100+ cones long the start would not be as significant. But then again ....who is going to make it through 1200+ cones to the top of a 32 man bracket?

Given the sport perameters ie. 70 cones is a long course. I think the start influence is way too large. Chicken would likely win anyhow in an independent start but we are very interested in the 3rd,4th,5th,6th,7th, .... 50th places as well.

As a racer who isn't on the podium the most important racer to you is.....the one who placed in front of you- and hopefully that racer doesn't change arbitrarily every race.

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Post by Brady Mitchell » Tue May 13, 2003 2:49 am

I agree with the same start in duals. If not, might as well be a single lane course. Which leads me to ask again, is there any systems being currently used that records a false start? Maybe all those fast starts are actually a jump on the gun? (no one in particularly mentioned mind you) But it seems it`s a matter of human judgement call. And that leaves a lot to be desired, just because we as humans error...

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Post by Will J » Tue May 13, 2003 2:52 am

no offence to anyone.. but not weighing heavily on the start seems to defeat the purpose of running head to head.. and in the above post comparing our quote "sprinting sport" to indy racing and marathons doesn't make sense. In every other sprinting sport the start is key and is a vital part of the sport. I still fail to see why slalom should be different. If you miss a hole-shot, work harder to make it next time, that seems to be the object of sport, to work hard to beat your opponent. Making things "easier" to make the sport more "watchable" seems to take away some of the integrity of the sport, and in the long run hurts more than it helps.

thats just my .02, i'm not a vet, i'm not a pro slalom skater, but i have competed in many different sports through my life and found that making things "more even" doesn't really make things fair, it detracts from the people that put thier blood and sweat into the sport daily to gain that edge.

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Post by Terry Kirby » Tue May 13, 2003 3:15 am

Will J, Well Put. Might as well just run single lane ...Yawn. You could show up late, see who you have to race, go out for lunch, miss your actual head to head race but wait! No worries mate, just do a run now and we'll time it!Hey, anybody want to do a run next to
Captian America so it looks like a real head to head race? Whoa,GReat job Capt. you beat Larry Longboard by 3/100ths of a second! Now THATS close racing! Sorry Larry, you just lost your head to head race with Captian America by 3/100th's! Nice try Larry. Do you have any comments? "I've been practicing my starts all winter, this is so unfair!!!" Sorry LArry, everyone knows starts don't matter.Back to you Vlad.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Tue May 13, 2003 3:32 am

Am I the only guy around who read and still remembers Henry's racing tips? Or what about Henry's, Skoldberg's, Hutson and Piercy's interviews? Or maybe the interview with those Badland boys when they started coming down out of the mountains in the late '70s? They all talked about STARTS. All the head games, the anticipation, the screwing around desperately to psyche the opposition into a false start. Piercy went on and on about he and Hester just staring at each other at Long Beach. I thought they were gonna start dating!

There is SO MUCH to the start that I can't even begin to start here in Tway's timing topic to go into it. But I just cannot go along with just dismissing the strategy and skill in the start as being immaterial to winning the race. In an event where the average elapsed time is less than 18 seconds, the start IS THE EVENT.

Oh, I noticed Gilmour made an example of TK and I racing at Boston. JG failed to mention how I KICKED HIS ASS in the longboard start at Folly Beach! I can still hear John BEHIND ME saying, "oh shit! I need to go!"

Yeah, he won, but I had him for at least 60 feet!

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Post by Vlad Popov » Tue May 13, 2003 3:34 am

The Breck will be my first FCR race. I’m scared. I don’t want to race all these pros with a perfect start…

I stand strong on the original issue in this thread. 36 beeps, then -go. Don’t settle down for anything less.

Vlad.

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Post by Terry Kirby » Tue May 13, 2003 3:37 am

The only chance I have of beating gilmour is to smoke his lazy ass on the start. Working on your start allows a hard practicing good racer to beat a lazy great racer. Wouldnt it be boring if the same 2 or 3 racers win everthing. The start keeps us all honest.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Tue May 13, 2003 3:50 am

Vlad,

Not to change the subject in Tway's topic, but since you brought up Breck, I have to ask: are you racing Pro or Open? I see you won cash at the Motel 6 Classic. Are you taking the plunge and racing for Rubles?

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Tue May 13, 2003 4:01 am

Again, JG said, "How do we learn the start? We would need replicas of the FCR ramps. And of course we would need replicas of every different ramp."

Actually, this is where ISSA or USSSF or some sanctioning body comes into play: every start ramp must meet the SAME CRITERIA AND DIMENSIONS. FCR uses an S-curve ramp, the Euros use a flat ramp with a sharp transition, etc., etc.

If the sport is to grow, then standards must be implemented. Again, getting back to other sports. Whether you run a foot race in Japan or Jacksonville, all start blocks feel the same. All swim start block are the same height. Every paddock for horse racing in America is the same width and heigth. If I'm not mistaken, every starting grid for Formula One worldwide is the same spacing with only distances to the first turn different.

The same should be true for Slalom. If a kid wants to learn how to race, his daddy should be able to go the web, get the plans for the "Universal Start Ramp" and take some plywood and 2x4s and build a start ramp in the driveway. Then the kid is ready to start in every race everywhere.

Now, back to Tway's topic: start on the 4th beep. (I voted twice. Is that acceptable?)

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Post by John Gilmour » Tue May 13, 2003 4:50 am

I don't think we should have to build a start to practice one.

We really don't truly race head to head because of the penalties- the first man across the line does not always win.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Tue May 13, 2003 5:04 am

John,

You do in my races, remember? Race all you want, if you hit five cones you're outta here. Criddling? Hell, criddle all you want as long as it's less than five cones. Saves all that time and energy calculating cone penalties.

Plus, it gave you a fat paycheck because Mollica forgot and knocked down six!

As far as ramps are concerned, you know my opinion. I'm a push start guy. I love crow hop starting and sprinting for the first cone. I think, though, that trying to put the ramp-start genie back in the bottle is going to be impossible.

It's 11:00. I just finished doing 30 1/4-page ads. I'm outta here. Y'all have fun.

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Post by Vlad Popov » Tue May 13, 2003 6:07 am

I'll be racing the big boys.
Yes to perfect starts! Perfect starts all the way!

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Post by Pat Chewning » Tue May 13, 2003 8:02 am

Very interesting reading....

My Chrono-Cone 2003 home-made timing system will (eventually) allow user-selectable menus for all of these various ways to time a race:

1) Common vs individual starts.
2) DQ penalty
3) Cone penalty
4) User-selectable cadence of start tones/voices/music
5) User-selectable tolerances to detect false starts (# of miliseconds too early or too late from start tone)
etc.

See more under the "Low Cost Homemade Timing System" message thread.

-- Pat

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Post by Rick Stanziale » Tue May 13, 2003 12:55 pm

Ricky Byrd did the drawings for the "Universal Start Ramp"

...and I vote for 4th beep.

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Post by John Gilmour » Tue May 13, 2003 3:52 pm

Even with Head to head racing with Independendent starts you can still Psyche out your opponent- given that the "start window" (.25 early or .5 late) is very small. Don't start within the window and you get either a false start for too early or a DNS (did not start= DQ) for too late).

Telling Henry Hester you've got pictures of his daughter is going to rattle him and affect his time regardless of whether or not it is a common start or independent start. With the tiny start window of .75 seconds- he probably has less than .25 seconds to recover from that comment- (Mr. Chaput) funnier still that Chris actually had a photo- g rated. I think Henry Hester is still reeling from that comment a year later.

All your "starting banter" will still work...you just have to rattle the guy to make him dump a few tenths.

Let me tell you first hand- you can mess with your opponent even with an independent start. At G3 I raced Mark McCree in an Independent start and he decided to leave early- it screwed me up plenty. McCree wouldn't have had that advantage in a common start- he would have false started. We all thought it was pretty ingenius at the time- and it would have been funny on film.


I can think of at least 5 new ways to mess with people's heads using an independent dual start with a small start window.

To people who have not raced head to head in independent start racing you might not recognize it as being different than single track.....but it is totally different. Having someone next to you is a huge distraction. Having someone next to you can either make you think you can go slower in some sections or have to hustle to make up time in other sections. Having someone next to you with independent timing in NO way feels like single track.

I also think that independent staerts with a small timing window makes it interesting for the announcer. He could even announce the differential between the two racers during the race. That makes it really interesting for TV where you could have a graphics bar that shrinks as the second guy starts to catch up.

As for TK having only the chance of me blowing a start to win...well that is not the case. At TK's current practice level you should pass me sometime this summer.

Practice makes perfect- or near perfect.

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Post by Ricky Byrd » Wed May 14, 2003 8:54 pm

On 2003-05-12 18:50, Vlad Popov wrote:
Please start the clock on the 37th beep.
37 Vlad not 36

Vlad's racing Pro...YES! Just what he needs to do. Where can I get a "Rad Vlad" T-shirt?

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Wed May 14, 2003 8:58 pm

"Where can I get a "Rad Vlad" T-shirt?"

Try the Dollar General Outlet Store.

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Post by Terry Kirby » Wed May 14, 2003 10:50 pm

Where the hell is bill tway. This IS his forum.

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Post by Vlad Popov » Wed May 14, 2003 10:53 pm

I'm sorry Tway.

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