What happens when you take multiple Head of the Charles age group champions, lock them them in their homes for months because of a pandemic, then tell them that there won’t be any regattas?
The kind of desperation that fosters creative solutions. How can you race, when you are allowed to be on the water, but can’t hold races? For a group of rowers on the Charles River, and other groups in Worcester, Massachusetts, Providence Rhode Island, Ohio, the answer has been GPS Speed Orders.
What is a GPS Speed Order, you say? A GPS Speed Order is just like a regular speed order event, except you don’t have to be on the course at the same time, so everyone can follow USRowing and State guidelines for social distancing. The course is defined using GPS, and competitors record their rows using any kind of a GPS device like a Speedcoach, smartphone or fitness watch. Then they upload their GPS data to enter the challenge, and results are automatically calculated.
For the June Challenge, there were 17 entries, 13 men and 4 women, ranging in age from 22 to 84.
Winners are determined in two categories: Fastest Time and Highest Score. Fastest time is pretty obvious. Highest Score is based upon the Head of the Kevin (HOK) Course Standard Scoring system. Each rowers time is compared with the “Course Standard” time and a numerical score awarded. A score of 100 is equal to the Course Standard for that specific age/gender class. (To learn more about the scoring read this)
Fastest Time for the June Charles River GPS Speed Order
- Men: Greg Benning – 18:56.2
- Women: Brigid Bane – 20:19.5
- Click here for complete time results
Highest Points for the June Charles River GPS Speed Order
- Men: Robert Lee, rowing in MSV1x-2: 99.55 points
- Women: Brigid Bane, rowing in WLW1x: 93.68 points
- Click here for complete points results
Here are how the results came out on points. Incredibly wide range of competitors mixing it up. Truly a battle of the ages!
Congratulations to the winners! They each will receive a complimentary upgrade to a Pro subscription to rowsandall.com
If you have ever raced the Head of the Charles, you’ll want to check out the interactive course comparison of all the competitors. You can check out how they all handled the Eliot turn.
The follow up July Charles River GPS Speed Order is going on now! Entry is open for singles and same household doubles. For more information, please follow this link.
Check out the other challenges here.
Setting up a challenge on your home course is easy and free, please contact us at email@example.com to get started or read this intro.