Some points raised by the survey

PostSome points raised by the survey
AuthorPhil McCullough
Posted At22:01, 10th Mar 2013
300 weeks ago
Hi all,

A couple of things that people have been asking on the survey that I can address before we write/publish the full results.

(By the way, we're at 110 responses already. Thank you for your engagement - we're getting lots of good and constructive feedback, Get your novices to fill it in as well, we want to know how future captains and committee perceive the event.)

why did you not post the videos? everyone saw you taking them...
Right, the videos. It became clear last year that when we filmed all the races, it was going to be a nightmare to upload them all. Because we didn't have the headsets working during Eights 2012, the videos contain radio comments, and we've had requests to scrub the audio. If anyone can find a quick program that does this, let us know.

Re: Torpids 2013 videos, we didn't promise them because we didn't think we could upload them in a timely manner. We do have footage from most divisions (about 70% of the races), and we're not intending to withhold them from you. However, the person with the footage has very bad broadband currently, meaning uploading is impossible. The plan is to either mail the footage on a burned DVD (don't laugh) or hand over the footage to Ian at some point in a fortnight or so. Once we get the footage in a location with good upload speeds, we'll upload it. So hang fire....

There is an issue with catching up time when divisions run late - warm-ups are significantly affected and crews can be badly affected as a result.

This one falls under the golden rule of 'bumps aren't fair, but they can be just'. There is a rule that forbids divisions happening in intervals shorter than 25 minutes. When we're running behind due to swans or extracting boats from the bank (or swans), we need to make up the lost time because we run the risk of the top divisions being cancelled due to a lack of lght. (This was a situation we found ourselves nearly in on Friday of Torpids 2012 due to an incident requiring us phoning the police.) Yes, it does cut short your crew's warm-up. However, it does cut short everyone's warm-up equally. Everyone is equally disadvantaged. If people have smarter ways of resolving this, we'd be interested to know how you can slow down time!

Race commentary could be improved - too much of it was guesswork and not particularly engaging.
The commentator can only go off what they hear over the radio, and a lot of the time it is garbled. I think the issue here is that when a marshal speaks over the radio, it cuts off their audio feed. Therefore a marshal doesn't know if they spoke over someone else, cancelling out both messages. A lot of the time, we can only deduce that a bump has happened from 'queen's closing on jesus' and then two minutes later not seeing queen's row past longbridges. There's not a lot we can do on this, except for getting marshals to repeat their message twice within 10 seconds when a bump has occurred.

Twitter and tannoy announcements went from being thorough and informative to nonexistent. This is understandable but a simple announcement saying that there is nobody free to keep it continuously updated for the division so that it doesn't just appear that nothing is going on.

I was to blame for one of these incidents - I was twittering for Men's Division.. 3? on Friday, and all of a sudden it went dead. This was because we had sent our spare marshal down to give someone a new radio or klaxon, and Hilary, Joe, Sofia etc. were all busy racing. I was actually 'second launch driver' and the only person spare. However, I got a call from a marshal that there was someone being abusive on the towpath, threatening to push people in the water. Given the division was 4 minutes from starting, there was no time to post an apology message - it's straight in a launch, klaxon and radio in hand, to monitor the situation.

So, apologies, but if the twitter suddenly goes dead, it's normally something urgent!

And finally...

I want helicopters with cameras

No, Ian.


As I said, there are lots and lots of sensible points that came through that we can do something about. Watch this space....