Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fun With Numbers

The posting about got me thinking about... erg scores. I started to wonder about lightweight erg scores vs. heavyweight scores. I wrote about this once before in a post about the Dad Vail regatta, but I thought I'd briefly revisit it.

A look at the world record for heavy and light men and women, as well as the record for both in the 19 to 29 age group, shows that lightweights are roughly 7.5% slower than heavies. The 19 to 29 age group is pretty wide and includes much more than just college rowers, but it will have to do for now. A look at water world record times, however, tells a bit of a different story.

The LM2x and the LW2x are 1.9% and 2.8% slower respectively than the heavy 2x. The LW4x, however, is 5.1% slower than the heavy 4x while the LM4x is only 2.1% slower than the heavy 4x. I would guess that the difference in the light women's times is because of the emphasis placed on the 2x since it is an Olympic boat. Of course, the LM4x is not an Olympic boat either, but the light men have been around longer than the women and we would expect them to be generally closer to their heavy counterparts. It's really pretty amazing that the light women are almost up to the light men's standard in the 2x in such a short time. It shows what emphasis and focus can do.

One other interesting statistic is the median of 2006 CRASH-B scores. The median score of LM is 5.5% slower than the heavies, while the median score of LW is only 3% slower than the heavies. Both lightweight fields contained 121 rowers, while there were 99 more heavy women (333) than men (Title IX effect?). It's silly to read too much into this, but it suggests that the light women's field was higher quality than the light men. By the way, because we've been talking about weight limits lately, I should note that the CRASH-Bs apply their own weight limit - 135 pounds for women.

No comments: