How to Watch a Short Track Race:
- Recognize that time doesn’t matter – so in the longer races, the pace may be slow in the early goings
- Know that drafting is a factor and that taking the lead with more than 4 or 5 laps to go probably means you’ll get passed by the skaters getting a 20% increase in efficiency by following in your wake
- Know that because of 1 & 2, the laps between 7 to go and 5 to go are where a great proportion of passing and maneuvering happen. Each skater HOPES that with 5 to go they find themselves in second or third place with a skater up front who has the pace high and will fade at the end.
- Know that passing on the outside is less likely to lead to a penalty for contact, but a LOT harder – only the best can do it at speed.
- Know that passing on the inside is easier, but runs the real risk of contact and if the skater doesn’t get 1/2 body length lead will be called for a penalty and be given last place points
- Know that passing on the inside and having contact around block 3 in the corner often leads to falls and if so, runs the risk of also causing a yellow card to be issued which means that skater penalized will get no points.
- Lap times above 11 seconds are SLOW, lap times of 10 seconds or so are medium. Lap times of 9 seconds are fast, and lap times in the low 8′s are ALL OUT – 35mph plus.
Here's a preview for the physics of part 2:
Tomorrow we will dig farther into the physics