The H1 Unlimited Board of Directors has approved a new race format that will be used in a semi-feature event on Saturday at the Madison Regatta, and which may be used at other race sites this season. Called a match-race format, or Showdown, the idea was developed to provide race fans with something different and, with time between races kept to a minimum, an event that will provide fans with continuous action.
The new format will include a series of two-boat match races of two laps each, a last-chance heat, and a final heat of three laps. The pairings for the match races will be determined by qualifying speed. With the six boats expected at Madison, the third-fastest qualifier will be matched with the sixth-fastest, the second-fastest with the fifth-fastest, and the fastest qualifier will be matched with the fourth-fastest. The boat with the slower qualifying speed will start from the inside lane.
Each race will be two laps in length and the winner of each match race will be placed in the final heat. A three-minute gun will be used to keep the time between races to a minimum. The loser of each of those match races will then be entered in a last-chance heat of two laps, but with a five-minute gun. The winner of that race also will be placed in the final heat.
The four boats in the final heat will then compete in a three-lap race to determine the winner of the Showdown event.
Points toward the national standings also will be awarded. The winner of each match race will receive 400 points and the second-place finisher will receive 300 points. Regular points also will be awarded for the final heat: 400 for 1st, 300 for 2nd, 225 for 3rd, and 169 for 4th. Points also will be awarded for the last-chance heat, but will be based on the placings below the number of boats to complete the final. In other words, with six participants in the event and if all four boats in the final finish, the second-place finisher in the last-chance heart will be awarded 127 points and the third-place finisher will get 95 points.
H1 Unlimited offers many thanks to the race committee at Madison for agreeing to try this new idea.