Faux Handicap Club Races at Bonville Creek

Faux handicap races have been the sanity savers for members of Bonville Creek Kayak Club.

They have been even more popular during COVID-19 LockDowns as they afford the opportunity to race and still comply with NSW Stay-at-Home Orders.

Simply put, the races are faux races, i.e. no gathering or socialising. How does it work?

The Clerk of the Course nominates a course. In the case of BCKC, that is either Pine Creek or Bonville Creek. The start/finish point is always the same and the course is an out and back route. Members are to paddle a course sometime through the week coinciding with their 60 minute allowable daily exercise, and submit a time [net/elapsed] by 6pm Saturday [the race end]. Results are compiled by the handicapper/clerk of the course. Net times are adjusted to Gross times by the addition or subtraction of the handicap, and published sometime in the following 48 hours.

For example twenty five times were recorded over 6 days in the third week of August. Net race times varied from 33minutes to 51 minutes while the gross [adjusted] times on which places were determined, varied between 37 minutes and 43 minutes.

There is no social gathering but emailed results are still eagerly anticipated.

Such a system as this functions because there is a person who is passionate about keeping records and competent in using an excel spreadsheet

The club’s handicapping system has been refined over many years and produces remarkably close results. In fact over recent FAUX races there have been a number of dead heats even though the kayakers did not see one another or know about the progress of others.

The system used for handicapping is based on a ‘predicted per kilometre time’ for each paddler. The race is for a set duration with distances set according to the capability of paddlers to cover that distance. Thus kayakers of all abilities and in all sorts of craft compete on an equal footing. The onus is on the individual kayaker to record/note their elapsed time. As the club has never had a time keeper this is not a problem as it has been standard procedure regardless of FAUX or any other race format.

– Ken Buckley, Publicity Officer

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