by Ondrej Panenka:
Referring to the European Cup rules modifications Stan Hajek came up with a month ago, I’d like to provide an official standpoint of the Czech Boaters Union in this respect.
Regarding the proposal to cancel the minimum of 3 countries in a Euro Cup race we do agree with the same. As we already pay an annual fee and as a race gets approved officially after the organizer has paid the fee we believe that this should be enough for a race to hold the EC status. More importantly though there has been many competitions since the beginning of the year with less then 3 participating countries and these races couldn’t have been counted to the overall standings. In our opinion this is a pity as it isn’t a fault of the organizer many times. Also we believe that some teams may not be motivated to travel to a particular race as they’re afraid they won’t get any points there at all when only local teams show up. In case all races were sure to retain the EC status throughout the season regardless the number of countries, it could be that actually more teams participate.
We also agree with Stan’s proposal to adjust the H2H / Sprint / TT points. It reflects the fact that conditions for organizing a sprint discipline are different race from race and it also gets closer to the IRF rules.
The European Cup Golden League format or whatever it’s called was widely discussed in Wildalpen in May. It seems like there is a feeling in the rafting community that at least some of the European Cup races should become more interesting as far as especially competition and over all quality of the events is concerned. Rafters want to boost the sporting standard of EC events and particularly to raise the number of good teams participating in the series. In Wildalpen we discussed a number of options. Generally we agreed on making some races more important than the others in order to make them more attractive for teams. The number of competitions in the “Golden League” varied from 1 to 4 and there were also more opinions on how the system of points awarded for taking part in these races should be elaborated (e.g. counting 2 “Golden League” races out of 3-4 plus 2 of “the old Euro Cups etc….). We also considered what body would select these “Golden League” events (either the European Commission or a commission created especially for this reason or the EC community as a whole - through the internet…). We agreed that the events should be reasonably selected as far as geography is concerned, possibly shifting from one place to another every year. We also considered a possibility of awarding some rather substantial prize money to the overall winners.
The Czech Boaters Union would love to see such series of competitions with many quality teams participating. Unfortunately though we believe it’s rather unrealistic at the moment to have a whole league of such kind. Believe teams would not be able to travel that extensively. Still we strongly support the idea of making some races more important than the others in order to attract good teams and to boost the sporting standard. Let us remind you that the Euro Cup is a club activity and any teams can participate regardless if they do or do not form the national team in their country. We believe that one competition of a formally higher level would be good to start with. Such event would be awarded double points for all disciplines. A sum of two “standard Cups” and “the double points final” would be counted in order to have the final European Cup rankings. This way teams would be attracted to attend such race (a question is whether the double points would be enough to attract them - adding prize money could be good - e.g. gathered from higher IRF fees… [naturally finding a sponsor would be more efficient]). If it was only one race per year we believe that no additional body would need to be created for choosing the location. We can discuss that over the internet. In our opinion the best place for such “Final” would be Wildalpen as it’s reasonably located for almost everybody, as there are all disciplines and a long tradition of organizing quality competitions. For this reason we suggest to declare the Wildalpen European Cup race “the European Cup Final” for the next season and to award it double points for all disciplines. The Wildalpen event results plus any two of the ordinary cup’s results would be then used for the final rankings.
Please, do let us know whether you agree with these suggestions or not. We believe that in case they’re approved, they’ll make the European Cup more attractive.
Czech Boaters Union