row2k news Typhoon Approaches Gifu at World Rowing Championships
August 22, 2005
A typhoon is approaching Gifu in advance of the World Rowing Championships, causing race officials to remove the race course, and teams to derig their boats so that they may be placed back in the container for protection.
Currently Gifu is experiencing heavy rain and wind; the typhoon is expected to reach Gifu on 25 August and last about 18 hours.
The following note comes from Matt Smith, executive director of FISA:
Dear ladies and gentlemen,
The current situation in Gifu has heavy rains and wind. The course was removed on Thursday due to this heavy rain and water flow.
The latest news we have is that a typhoon is expected to reach Gifu on 25th August. The course will be re-installed on the 26th and 27th August and hopefully racing can start as planned on the 28th.
There are team managers meetings twice a day now to keep everyone on site fully informed and I will make sure there is a daily update message, like this, to keep all who are away from Gifu informed.
The Gifu contingency scenario has plans which exactly predict this scenario and these plans are being followed. It is attached again for your information. (Linked here, and posted below - row2k ed.)
Please remember that river courses, like Gifu and Vienna, are subject to large water flows when there are heavy rains. It takes only a day or so to recover. For those who werent around in 1991, the Danube flooded one week before the championships which left mud everywhere. But, as it Gifu, we had the full support of the authorities, in the case of Vienna, the Vienna fire department, to put things back in place and stage a successful event.
Please send questions by email, do not telephone, so we can respond in turn.
Kind regards, Matt
Gifu 2005 World Rowing Championships - Contingency Scenarios
The contingency plans for the Olympic Regatta in Athens were designed to be used in case of unusual conditions which might have required substantial changes to the normal progression system in order to complete racing within the days provided. Japan, as with many other countries in the East Asian region, is subject to typhoons. In full knowledge of this, the dates for the 2005 World Championships have been scheduled for the end of August, the most favourable period. In developing the contingency scenarios for the 2005 World Championships, we have started from the worst case scenario, whereby up to four days of racing could be lost.
For example, as the track of a typhoon can normally be forecast up to 3 days in advance, it may be necessary to either delay or bring racing forward if a typhoon is likely to affect the course during the regatta. As with the Athens scenarios, this could, in the worst case, mean that some rounds, such as semi-finals or even repechages, might be omitted. Accordingly, all crews and coaches should be aware of the importance of achieving the best possible placing in every race in some of the alternative programmes this will be critical!
Options in case of Adverse Weather Conditions
Option 1 Change the start times of the races and/or the intervals between races Example 1.1 - Start all races earlier than planned, racing at 5-minute intervals for heats. Example 1.2 - Start all races as late as possible, racing at 5-minute intervals.
Option 2 - Combine Group A and Group B if whole days are cancelled Option 2A Combine two Rounds in the same day or combine all Finals on one day. Example 2.1 - If Day 1 is cancelled then race all Group A and Group B heats on Day 2. If Day 3 is cancelled then race all Group A and Group B repêchages on Day 4.
Note 1 this option will mean that crews doubling up should be prepared to race twice on any day, possibly with less than three hours between races.
Note 2 this option will mean that crews should be prepared to race on consecutive days.
Option 3 - Use of an alternative Progression System The FISA Bye-laws allow for an alternative progression system where the event has been, or is anticipated to be, affected by extended periods of unrowable conditions and the time left to complete the regatta does not allow for all the remaining rounds (e.g. repêchages, semi-finals) to be held. Such an alternative system would involve the elimination of a round or rounds of racing (e.g. repêchages, semi-finals) and may involve racing over 7 or 8 lanes. The composition of the remaining rounds will be based on the 2 placings in the previous rounds. In some cases the alternative system might add two additional crews into a Final A (to make an 8 boat Final). on the basis of their times in the previous round. The system selected may vary for different events, based on the number of boats entered.
In the event of a typhoon directly affecting the regatta area and causing a number of consecutive racing days to be lost, this is the most likely Option to be adopted, together with some variant of Options 1 and 2.
In the unlikely case of a typhoon being forecast for the last 4 days of the Championships, racing might have to be brought forward to the remaining available days by using this Option.
Scenario for Possible Loss of 4 days racing. In the above scenario, only 4 racing days would be available for competition. This would mean that racing might be conducted as follows:
(1) Loss of Days 1 to 4 - Racing on days 5 to 8 Day 5 Groups A & B heats Day 6 Groups A & B repechages Day 7 Groups A & B semi-finals Day 8 Groups A & B finals
(2) Loss of Days 3 to 6 - Racing on Days 1 & 2 and Days 7 & 8 same as above fourday arrangement
(3) Loss of Days 5 to 8 - Racing on Days 1 to 4 same as above four-day arrangement