As you all already know, we’ve scheduled the 2022 ERCU Gold Cup to be a two-day event this year.
Recently, the ERCU board of directors discussed and selected a format for the biggest race of the season, attempting as best we could to set a format that helps keep everyone’s best interests in mind.
During the season to this point, I’ve had a lot of conversations with members about their preferences and priorities for the Gold Cup. Some love the idea of two days and will soak up every minute of both days. There’s lots of desire to have at least one flight of heats on Saturday, to help keep Sunday to a reasonable length race day. Others don’t care for time trials (even though they’re optional, by rule) and would not want to attend on the day when we do them. Many said there should be equitable opportunity for those who choose to not attend on Saturday to still have a shot at making the final heat.
With all of that in mind, we’ve agreed to what feels like the most equitable option to address everyone’s concerns, and here’s what the format will look like, based on the board’s decision.
Saturday, Sept. 10 will start with setting the race course, club equipment and pits starting at 9 a.m. At 10 a.m., we’ll open the course for testing and practice. Open water will continue until 11:30 when we’ll begin a 30-minute lunch period. You’ll need to provide your own lunches on Saturday. It may be possible to keep the water open during that lunch break, too, if people need or want the testing time.
From noon-1:30 p.m., we’ll conduct the time trials for those who are interested in participating. Time trials are included in the Gold Cup rules in the rulebook, and they’ve been a part of ERCU since the inception of the club 20 years ago. In fact, in the early years of the club, boats were required to actually qualify for the Gold Cup. Time trials evolved from that when members said it should be optional, not required, for entry into the Gold Cup.
Beginning at 1:30, we’ll have a drivers meeting that all drivers must attend, followed by ERCU Gold Cup heat 1A, 1B, etc. for all divisions and classes. Following the heat racing, another opportunity for open water will be available until 5 p.m. Members will be asked to pack club equipment into the trailer and their own pits overnight. Anything left in the park overnight will be at each members’ own risk.
We’ll also plan an evening event on Saturday for those who are staying the night in the Lacey area and any others who would like to participate. The idea of this is continuing the day’s fellowship, having some bench racing and perhaps a swap meet or something as another way to extend our enjoyment of the hobby.
On Sunday, Sept. 11, we’ll have a full day of racing starting with all hands helping to re-set the pits and the club equipment. We’ll also have a brief period of open water, primarily for those who didn’t run on Saturday, but open to anyone. We’ll have another required drivers meeting on Sunday morning, and a quick observance of 9/11. Heat racing will dominate the rest of the day, followed by second connies, Ted Jones Memorials and finals for all divisions and classes.
The goal is to wrap up the 2022 ERCU Gold Cup with the awards being handed out by 5:15 p.m.