Euro comps 2003 (schedule and US participation)

European Races & Results (for Major, Main and Prime level races)

Moderators: Jani Soderhall, Robert Thiele

Jani Soderhall
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Post by Jani Soderhall » Thu Jul 24, 2003 12:38 pm

It turns out that the information I communicated about Pierre's decision about the race was incorrect. I apologize for having communicated incorrect information, but of course I did it with the best of intentions.


I'd like to correct a few of the mistakes from above:


1. Brady:
a) No politics was involved in my opinion. My other friends, the Japanese, Venezuelans and Canadians were also excluded (in my mind) from participating in a European Championships.
b) My opinion has nothing to do with FCR. Why would it? I went to the FCR World Championships last year. I planned to go this year again, but will probably not be able to. I have regular email exchanges with Jack Smith.
c) My opinion has nothing to do with Americans. I was recently involved in organizing the Paris event and we were hoping to attract as many Americans as possible. We were extremely pleased to welcome: Kenny, Bruce, John G, Vlad.
For the Gruningen race I had no role, but I tried to post as much information as I had to attract as many racers as possible from everywhere.


2. John: Non-Europeans have never before (as far as I know) been allowed to enter a European Championships. The races you participated in were never called the European Championships. They were more often ISSA World Cup, European Open or other similar titles.


3. Pierre citing Gianluca:
a) There was no World Championships in 1995.
b) There has never (as far as I know) been a race with 30 countries participating.


Apparently this will be a hot topic as we try to agree upon new guidelines for future events.

I'm sorry if damage have been done to the Antibes event. Pierre is an experienced race organizer and it looks like it is going to be a great race! I hope you all come.

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Post by Chris Eggers » Thu Jul 24, 2003 12:58 pm

Remember when the Olympics really were Olympics? Not just a money making event?

There were national contests and you had to qualify fighting against your people to determine the best of your country to represent all the others in the Olympics. I really like this idea, to get together the best from every nation around the world, I really do and that is why I like the idea of the Nationals. I also like going to a race where a lot of nations are represented like Morro Bay or Paris but a national race has to be for the country only.
Just my opinion.
I doubt that we are anywhere close to having enough racers in some countries to have a good race with only natives, but let´s try and see where we are going with it.

I really get the feeling that we need a global organisation body..........hmm.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chris Eggers on 2003-07-24 06:58 ]</font>

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Post by Michael Stride » Thu Jul 24, 2003 1:37 pm

Chris, for your ideal event to be worthwhile a "world" event would have to be confined to say, the top 3 from various countries, with a common determinator.

Then a race would be a spectator event apart from the top 3, and would be of little interest at this stage in the resurgence.

Or you can have a date, qualification runs before the main event and then the championships, exactly what is happening at FCR Worlds this time. Last time the top FCR points winners were given places in the finals, which was patently unfair to non-us FCR racers, and led to scewing of the bracketing, but this year I am glad to see that its the same rules for every potential entrant.

The Olympic ideal holds no interest to me...a bunch of dignatories touring the world at vast expense, deciding who can hold an event of which they have no knowledge or love for.....its a corrupt system and leads to sports like synchronised indivdual swimming (what that????) and soccer being included....

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Post by John Gilmour » Thu Jul 24, 2003 4:15 pm

I do think it is important to have National Champions.

If we use single track as a determining factor it is an easy matter to weed out the times of non nationals and order the winning times of the Nationals. Prizes can still be awarded to the National winners.

In Duals it is more difficult. It could be said that any Euro who eliminated an American in the FCR series in Duals would have upset the FCR series points ranking- thus making it hard to order the National Ranking properly (or the Western Conference Ranking- as it is often refered to by the East Coast racers because of the preseeding process last year). Realistically even to include non nationals in Duals racing will upset the seeding and possibly (likely) the final ranking of the Nationals.

It would be nice to be able to do it, but you can't go by times in the Duals because some racers may be holding back- particularly the number one and number 2 seeds who are always facing the slowest of that round.

I suppose you could go to qualifying times in the duals- but again someone who sandbagged regularly would be at a disadvantage. (why might you sandbag? Well lets say you don't want to continue to face increasingly hard racers- you might want to face a difficult racer first....beat him...rest while racing slower racers...and then race the last fast racer left- for those of us in not tip top shape- this is an option).

But announcing to everyone that Qualifying counts for the placing of the Nationals essentially turns Dual into single track. Again you would have to choose runs from a single lane..... as one lane is ussually faster.

Also should a National rider wish to Sandbag for the Dual elimination section with International riders...it isn't an option as his true speed is completely exposed after qualifing to get his National Placing. McCree almost successfully sandbagged against Vlad July 4th.

So I suppose you could limit the racing to single track only for International competitiors. Otherwise you certainly could have a situation where, hypothetically, Luca Gianmarco of Italy came to the USA racing in the Nationals and bumps off Vlad, Mollica, And Myself and likely others (as he has shown he can do) in earlier brackets- effectively disrupting the brackets and results for the Americans.

Here we would see Single track being counted towards National ranking. Perhaps you would see Duals incorporated for points only in International competition.

Why have the National Champion?

Well let's say Simon Levene was "Crowned" British Champion. Simon with his glib ways might be able to Parlay that into a sponsorship from British Airways or Virgin Atlantic so he could go to more races. Same for the 2nd place and 3rd place champions.

It would be great to see National teams form...and Sponsorship by your own countries Corporations should be a goal. If you land a multinational or foreign sponsorship...good for you. Lance Armstrong is sponsored by Credit Lyonnaise, The US Postal Service, Nike, and Oakley to name a few.

To my best recollection the Italian National Slalom Skateboard team was sponsored by Fila, LA Gear, and the "umbrella" of the Italian National Skating federation (Which sponsors athletes in skating, ice skating, hockey, etc). They often got a Full size Motorcoach to use as their racing vechicle. Jani- please correct me as you know more details.

You need valid National championships. The only quandry at our size is how to include duals if we wish to include them.

Of course you shouldn't have to be a National Champion to travel and compete- traveling and competeing is one of the best things about slalom. But for those that practice enough to win their countries National Championship...it would be nice if they were able to secure travel expenses from sponsors.

Sorry for the multiple updates- this computer tends to crash every few minutes.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: John Gilmour on 2003-07-24 11:05 ]</font>

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Post by Pierre Samray » Thu Jul 24, 2003 4:28 pm

No damage Jany, don't worry. Discussion are the base of everything.
About what Gianlucca tell me. I see again on the Italian site 38 country on the last world cup in Russia (incredible but certainly true!) I certainly made a mistake with the date.

Wesley : Sure you're american but I'd like to see you in Antibes and this time it will be may be me who lend you board for the differentes races :smile: :smile:

Michael : You are pure rider want to keep slalom open for everyone. I agree with you. But don't forger that the american create FCR series only in USa, what can do european against that: Our own series with own ranking and expected that American consider it as equivalent to FCR series.Second solution travel to USA every month to race.
In this case only the money make the difference not the level of the rider
Last year we spoke about an european series but don't do it. That why I make a first step in organising an European championship which reward the best European racers. Now I don't want to refuse anyone. It's free, there is no selection. But sure the European champion will be an european racer.

We have now some good races in Europe as Paris, Grueningen, Brandhatches, I expect Kolhn and Antibes. We can work now in the same direction.

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Post by Howard Gordon » Thu Jul 24, 2003 7:26 pm

Some perspective on the idea of a slalom "World Championship"...

Jack Smith had the idea to organize a World Championship in May 2001 after racing had been dead in the US for at least 10 years and dead in Europe for 5+ years. The event attracted participants from at least 10 countries, brought MANY riders out of retirement (including some champions from the 70's), and generally can be regarded as the event that got slalom going again.

Jack planned to repeat the event in 2002, and was approached by a couple of guys that organized FCR (Fat City Racing) back in the 70's with the idea of creating a high profile race series that would end the season with the World Championship. The FCR series in 2002 was an amazing experience, and anyone who had the good luck to attend any or all of the events generally had very good memories. As we all know, the only problem with the championship was the way that seeding was done, based on points rather than race-day qualifying runs, so there was a strong bias in favor of racers who had participated in FCR events, and there were some unfortunate results for some Europeans who travelled far only to be eliminated quickly. However, the organizers have acknowledged this mistake, and plan to correct it this year.

The World Championship is again planned for Morro Bay this year, with Jack Smith again as the main organizer, and it again promised to be a great event. Fortunately, this year has seen the return of interest in slalom racing in Europe, and it is very exciting to see the creation of a European Championship, plus a lot of interest from Europeans in attending the Morro Bay event. Ask anyone who organizes races - they will tell you that it is a thankless task where everyone has an opinion about what you are doing wrong, and very little appreciation for how difficult it is. Congratulations should be given to Pierre for his efforts in creating the European Championships, plus his patience in dealing with those who will criticize his decisions. Congratulations are also due to Jack for his efforts in creating the World Championships.

It seems that 2004 will be a "watershed" year - I expect Jack Smith will again want to organize a championship race, but we will also see a lot more activity in European racing, and there will be some tension about who is entitled to declare their race as the "World Championship". This is a good time to give a lot of thought to this question, because it is the organizers of our races that have to decide what they want to do, and how they want to work together in a way that helps the sport to grow. As a equipment manufacturer and race participant, I will do what I can to support these efforts.

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Post by Brady Mitchell » Fri Jul 25, 2003 4:42 am

My opinions were only my personal veiwpoint. It was my perception only. I never stated that it WAS a politcal decision that Pierre had made to exclude any non-euros from the race he is hosting.

Maybe it was because of my expressed concerns that things have been clarified and the event is now clearly known to be open to all. I also give credit to Michael for being the first and foremost to express similar concerns.

I also know and respect those that host or promote slalom. But just because I voice an opinion on what I perceive, it does not mean I disrespect those that put forth the efforts to host the events.

God forbid this should start another rally like before of where I was accused about commenting, or actually putting down events that FCR was hosting. I was one of the eariest and most vocal showing concerns about FCR`s 2002 series and qualificating to worlds events. Then Eric Groff went full assault saying repeatedly that I was commenting on races I never attended. Which is quite contraire to what I was only stating a concern about qualifying for the FCR Worls event. Never did I comment on any FCR race. But listen to Eric Groff and you`d think otherwise.

And now we find similarities...

FCR changed things for 2003 and qualification of the Worlds is the same for all.

And now because similar concerns were expressed, the Euro event is open to all.

Critciizm may be harsh, be no one is above it, as long as those that criticize have other`s objective as the concern, rather than thier own.

Viva la France, Pierre`s event is on track. I wish them great success!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Brady Mitchell on 2003-07-24 22:46 ]</font>

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Post by Vlad Popov » Fri Jul 25, 2003 4:50 am

I don't want to repeat what Gilmour said. So...whatever Gilmour's said.

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Post by John Gilmour » Fri Jul 25, 2003 5:22 am

Jani Soderhall wrote:2. John: Non-Europeans have never before (as far as I know) been allowed to enter a European Championships. The races you participated in were never called the European Championships. They were more often ISSA World Cup, European Open or other similar titles.
Jani,

I never entered a European Championship. But I do remember seeing in Slalom! Mag that the European Championships were open to everyone but only a European could be crowned European champion ( I remember pondering that because I wanted to compete- despite not being able to win.... you know Luca would win anyhow LOL.). However, I could be wrong and Adam Trahan has my Slalom! copies at the moment. I could be confusing that with a European open, but I don't think so. Adam Trahan will bring my mags with him to "da Farm 3.0 I do miss having those copies- and thanks to you I read a bunch of them several times over. As I got to know each racer they made much more sense.

But I still am interested in finding out how we could integrate National and International racers in a National Championship. Because...you know if say Attila happened to be in France at the time he would definitely want to race and not just be on the sidelines- (though we all benefit from his excellent photography skills in between his racing).

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Tue Jul 29, 2003 12:19 pm

As JG has mentioned there is a problem having an open and closed championship at the same time when using a head to head format. These are the solutions for mixing a European and Open Championship as I see it.

1. Don't use head to head format.
2. Run 2 head to heads. The normal one with everyone included and a second one with the 8 best Europeans.

Etienne de Bary
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Post by Etienne de Bary » Tue Sep 23, 2003 12:19 am

On 2003-07-23 13:34, Michael Stride wrote:
who's going to tell the American thats already entered the slalom that he can't becuse of a quirk of fate at birth?
i shall keep that definition of american citizenship for later use, sounds somewhat unusual, one could adapt it on the Bruce Springsteen tune "-Born in a quirk of fate" :grin: :grin: :grin:

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Post by Etienne de Bary » Tue Sep 23, 2003 12:37 am

more seriously Antibes was crowded though lots of riderz were actually excluded by unexpected early closing of the inscriptions on a numerus closus basis.
on the other hand half a dozen american superstars - okay just plain stars :wink: - wouldn't make a crowd, but there is something nice in the idea of a massive local event, as opposed to the typical pro world cup.
If i dare, i would suggest Pierre to include all riderz (to racing, not prizes), but pros.
open would mean exclusive here, funny !

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