I am sure that the data from around the country will support that there is no greater danger by nature of the boat in the 4x- than any other boat class. I am fairly certain that if there was we would nationally be racing the event in 4x+ and internationally up through junior worlds.
I would not disagree with another serious conversation about splitting the NW Junior Championship Regatta though this has been discussed recently in the past (Nov 2009) and did not make it to our voting meeting in Feb 2010. At that point in time though not noted in the minutes a discussion was mentioned between sweep and sculling at different proposed regattas.
I am still undecided about splitting the regatta up but here are my points that I am thinking over:
-What would US Rowing think/ or say, James can you offer your best guess – two regional US Rowing “owned” weekends in the northwest? No region has done it before have they and we might be the largest region or district as USRowing now calls it after the break up in the Northeast though I have not looked I bet NY is still bigger.
-It will be expensive for people to travel to multiple regattas to achieve the same end regardless if it is National qualifying or Participation. Expensive both in dollars but also time and volunteer efforts.
-A split regatta would have a huge impact on the dynamic of teams and how they work together and foster a sense of team. I would hate to see my novices not travel with my varsity or even my jv and varsity being more widely separated because of a split regatta. Not sure it would greatly improve participation in the eight but I leave that to the Math-a-magicians. I have only put entries in the eight in the past when we had the numbers and the competitiveness to do so.
-I would absolutely be against a split regatta if it where to jeopardize the two row rule. My feeling is that we should not split the regatta to allow one group of kids to row three or four events until they qualify in something. Especially with so many clubs concerned about participation which seems to come up when we try to prioritize the regattas goals.
-A site – I believe Lake Stevens may be able to pull it off I am not sure if anywhere else can get it ready.
-The more obvious split is sculling and sweep but even that pulls teams apart.
-I am leaning towards one regatta for the dynamic of the team and the festival of the event for the whole team. I would rather a change in the format of the regatta than breaking into two regatta. I would love to support Lake Stevens as they did a great job at NW masters in their first year. I focus on qualifying crews to national championships first an integral part of that culture for my team is the unity of my team and the shared experience in out teams wins, losses and performances.