Inside the 2013 Freestyle Worlds with Stephen Wright – Report #3
Day 3 of competition.
Welcome back to another sunny day at the World Freestyle Kayak Championships! Men’s K1 prelims rounds were the big show today, but I figured that now would be a good time to highlight the new scoring system that’s making everything run so smoothly.
Freestyle scoring 101: each trick is worth a set number of points, with the harder and more fun ones being more than the easier and less fun ones (like swimming, which scores zero). Each trick can only be scored one time each ride, but bonuses are given for doing moves aerial, huge, clean, linked, etc… When things move quickly, it’s really challenging for the judges and scribes to keep up with the moves.
Raymond from NOC has been collaborating with the ICF for the past 2 years to develop a system that allows each judge to have a scribe that works a touch-screen computer scoring sheet. After each ride, all three judges’ scores are then digitally sent to a master computer, which averages them and instantly sends out the final score for each athlete to several TV’s throughout NOC, and to the live internet feed all over the world.
It really has revolutionized the scoring of these events, which until recently has involved thousands of sheets of paper, boxes of pens, and several calculators….literally. In the past it felt as though each event needed to hire people just to do addition in order to keep up, now it happens at the speed of light—I love the future!
Anyway, the new scoring system was certainly tested today as the highest scores yet seen in this event were achieved time and time again. Seventy One Men’s K1 competitors paddled 2 rides and were ultimately whittled down to the top twenty, who advance to semi finals. Dane Jackson posted the highest single ride score with a massive 1,421 point ride with the first huge clean air mcnasties and phonix monkeys ever scored at a world championships—over and over again.
Mathieu (FRA), Peter (SVK), Nick (CAN), and Jason (USA) followed Dane, but he was more than 300 points ahead of the next closest score. While Dane boosted huge air and smoothness, Mathieau moved like lightning from trick to trick with almost no setting up. In between rounds, there was also a massively entertaining SUP cross race event, which was won by Luke Hopkins. The crowd appreciated watching lots of good kayakers falling off Stand Up Boards all the way down the race course.
Tomorrow should be great with guys with one paddle blade, Women’s Prelims, and Men’s Quarter Finals.
Live from NOC,