The Australians have brought us the GPS Team Challenge (GPSTC), and one of the Australian team has come up with a clever format for a monthly internal competition: every month, each team sailor that has posted sessions to the GPS Teach Challenge site gets ranked against all other team sailors that have posted - with a twist. Most teams have a wide range of sailors, some very fast and some not so fast, and a straight competition based just on speed would usually not be interesting, with the fastest guys always winning. So the Burrum Heads M.O.B. team decided to normalize each sailors speed relative to the personal best from the year before. So if Hans Fastmeister had a 2-second top speed of 50 knots last year, and reached 40 knots in his fastest session in January, he'd get a score of 80 (percent) for January. Scoring can be done for one of the GPSTC categories, or for several or even all six categories.
In effect, each windsurfer is competing only against himself or herself. Anyone who sails close to his or her personal records can beat the fastest guy in the team! For any team members who are competitive, a little monthly competition like this can give extra incentive to go sailing, and try a little harder. Since I'd love to see more sessions posted by members of our Fogland Speedsurfers team, we'll copy the idea and run a monthly challenge for the Fogland Speedsurfers. January in the northeast USA is perhaps not the best month to start, but we had four sailors posting sessions. Here are the January results:
I decided to exclude distance for January, since it was a bit too cold to go for distance (although the results would have been very similar). The winner in every single discipline and overall is Nikita - congrats! Here are the top speeds posted for January:
In all fairness, I have to say that neither Martin nor Nina actually went for speed in January; both were working on freestyle tricks, but humored me and put on a GPS when asked. Martin beat me in the rankings because he never goes for speed; Nina placed last because she has gone for speed before, and has sailed about 50% faster on slalom gear than she usually does on freestyle gear.
We'll keep this challenge going for the entire year. I think we'll add one modification, though: scores will be normalized to the personal bests at the end of the preceding month. At the end of the year, we'll sum up the 10 months with the highest scores for each sailor, and crown a winner for the year. So, my Fogland Speedsurfer friends, get ready to hit the water in March (or, better yet, February)!
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