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Thread: Pace the hill not the pacesetter?

  1. #31
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    I like the 3-year running average idea. I also like the idea of having trials mid-Winter. The only flaw I see here is, what if a resort's pacesetter leaves over the summer and they get a new pacesetter - what handicap does he/she use for the first half of the winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Da Kine View Post
    Let's suppose a pacesetter shows up at hill X and sets two courses, one straight and one very turney.

    First he tucks the hill and gets a cap time of 18 seconds.
    Then he runs the straight course and gets a 19.5 second run.
    Then he runs the turney course and gets a 22 second time.

    The par time is computed by multiplying the cap by 1.05 to get 18.9 seconds (assuming NASTAR has said that a 5% par cap ratio is right for this venue.)

    The pacesetter than has a 3.1 handicap for the straight course (19.5/18.9-1)*100
    And a 16.4 handicap for the turney course (22/18.9-1)*100

    The race is then run using the different pacesetter handicaps for the two courses.
    Help me understand this a little better, please. Say all that you wrote happens, and then I show up. I finish the straight course in 23.63s, for a handicap of 25. Then I run the turney course (par 23.1), and I finish in 31.19s, for a handicap of 35. Those are probably pretty realistic numbers for me.
    Is the result simply that I get some mental reinforcement of the fact that I need to work on my tight turns? Or am I missing a next step that gives me a consistent number from race to race?

  2. #32
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    I saw a pig fly while reading this thread.......

  3. #33
    Senior Member Racer X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cinciracer View Post
    I saw a pig fly while reading this thread.......
    Was this what you saw?
    If you win, but in so doing, lose the respect of your competitors, you've not won anything at all - Paul Elvestrom - 4 time Danish Olympic gold medalist in Sailing

  4. #34
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    There was only one, but those must be his friends.......

  5. #35
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    Reviving this discussion after several days of silly handicaps at Steamboat. First, none of our regular pace setters were able to make it to trials so NASTAR is sending someone here Wednesday. In the mean time they are using silly handicaps. Yesterday had a par time of 14.24 on one course, 14.5 on the other. Pacesetter had 22 hcp which was from nationals run on SeeMee, the steepest and most difficult hill at Nationals. The par time on Bashor at Nationals was right around 17 seconds for AJ, Casey and crew. Former NASTAR crew at the hill said straight line (no gates) time is about 16 seconds. There should be more than one Platinum out of 30 racers generally speaking shouldn't there? There should be some minimum par time for each hill based on a straight line run by someone with a great start.
    LB
    WAL18

  6. #36
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    The issue is very complex. It is not like a race track like Lime Rock where a Formula F1600 will do approximately the same time and not reset the lap record every year. It takes a great driver and the right environmental conditions do do such.
    In ski racing the conditions really set the speed, then the set of the course finalizes it. Using a daily pace setter is the closest you can get to some parity.
    My issue comes out with a slow pacesetter or one that is having a off day. I went to Pats Peak in NH several masters race there and one former WC er, now I am a fair racer not a Platinum but 90% of my runs were Platinum there.
    It was a hero snow day with a pace setter I think was off the mark. But I had expected a tougher course but it seems the more difficult one are places like Sundown in CT where if I pulled a platinum I would suspect the system was broken.

  7. #37
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    Every hill has a minimum time. The course needs to be run on an icy fast day without gates using a pacesetter with a strong start and good race tuck. Any par time below the fast straight line time means pacesetter's handicap is too high. I've skied the hill in question thousands of times over the past 20 years. If previous single digit handicap pacesetters straightlined it in the 16 second range give or take a couple tenths a par time of 14.25 is out of the realm of possible. Simple physics. Slowest time may be close to infinity but there is a limit to how fast a given hill can be skied.
    LB
    WAL18

  8. #38
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    Nice comparisons and input here. I'm not sure I understand all the math involved, but logistics can make huge differences in a racer's HC results on any given day. We have 2 pacesetters, one with a 17HC and the other with a 12HC. Initially the guy with the 12HC had a 10HC at the beginning of the season, guess he got readjusted. They also get faster and faster each week, so the idea shared above about having a traveling us ski team member pacesetter to set par/cap is an interesting concept. I have noticed that when the guy with the higher HC has a really good day, Par can drop below his HC, making it extremely difficult for us racers to score a good HC in daily races. On 2 of my race days I had the exact same time, with one Pacesetter my HC was 56, and the other day it was 51. Length of course, and how many gates set are also crucial. On my 3rd day, I shaved 2 seconds, but my HC was still higher than on the previous days, Par time was really low that day. I also wonder if there was one less gate because it sure was fast and fun that day. Our Pacesetters are really cool, and really fast, and our course is always stellar. I travel 35 miles to race at our Nastar hill. My home hill out my back door, does not have Nastar, but we do have Town Challenge. This course is phenomenal, lots of undulating terrain, changing pitch, rolls, knolls, dips, fall aways, delays, and longer length, sometimes 20 plus gates. It is also a training hill for our state university NCAA team, so it is a fabulous training course to get ready for Nationals. I'm still trying to grasp the math portion of Par times, but I love learning more about the system, figuring logistics and reading all of the input everyone shares in the Forum. I love the comeraderie here with my long time race buddies, and love making new Nastar friends each year. We are "family". Nationals or Bust! Happy Racing everyone!

  9. #39
    Senior Member Racer X's Avatar
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    Lil feet, if you don't want to delve into the math, which is really just percentages and ratios, and not all that hard, just think of the handicap as the percentage that the skier is slower that Ted Ligety, the National Pacesetter.

    If you have a pacesetter who has a 10 handicap, theoretically, he is 10% slower than Ted Ligety, so when he runs the course in a pace setting run, the program re-adusts his time by 10 percent, lowering the time by 10% to (theoretically) reflect what Ted Ligety would have run the course at. That time then becomes the par time for that day.

    Then when you run the course, your time is compared to the par time, and reflected as a percentage slower than the par time. So a 50 handicap means you would (again, theoretically) have run the course 50% slower than Ted. (My guess is you already know all this, but I'm writing for any other forum'ers reading this who might not understand the math either). At no time should the par time EVER be lower than the cap time, which is the time that you can run straight down the hill with no gates.

    This is where it gets tricky. The cap time is not a fixed number, but is variable, depending on the skill of the racer trying to set the cap or par time, the snow and weather conditions, the variability of terrain, and the length of the course. As the course gets longer, the cap time could vary by as much as 5-10 seconds, depending on who is skiing it.

    The variables of pitch, snow conditions, and mostly the skill of the pacesetter also will affect the par time of a course on any give day too.

    I have personally found that lower handicap pacesetters provide a much more accurate and realistic par time for most courses than a higher handicap pacesetter, but often times, pace-setting trials are done early in the year, when many pacesetters have had limited time on snow, and so their handicaps at trials are artificially high. Then as the season goes on, they get faster, but their handicaps are not lowered to reflect this.
    If you win, but in so doing, lose the respect of your competitors, you've not won anything at all - Paul Elvestrom - 4 time Danish Olympic gold medalist in Sailing

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer X View Post

    I have personally found that lower handicap pacesetters provide a much more accurate and realistic par time for most courses than a higher handicap pacesetter, but often times, pace-setting trials are done early in the year, when many pacesetters have had limited time on snow, and so their handicaps at trials are artificially high. Then as the season goes on, they get faster, but their handicaps are not lowered to reflect this.
    Nice summary! There is a procedure in place to adjust pacesetter handicaps. One of our pacesetters bought race skis and has dramatically improved his racing. Once he had raced against me on five different days, we submitted his results and HQ lowered his official HC to a more accurate level.
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