Re: Course

Charlie Davis

I think we’re talking history and perspective, here. When I moverd to Northern California 30+ years ago, I was surprised that all the clubs out here had courses completely lined with pylons. I was used to “gated courses” in the Midwest. Since then, SCCA, AAS and some other clubs have been exposed to this kind of course marking and have adopted it. when larger sites are used, clubs don’t have enough cones to completely line the course, and the setup and teardown time is much longer even if you do have enough cones. Fewer cones are hit, course workers are exposed less, course workers are less fatigued, timing and scoring is not as hectic, there are fewer opportunities for scoring errors. When done properly, courses are easier to read. Admittedly, I’ve seen courses many years ago with too few cones, too much direction change from one gate to the next, etc. and these are things to be avoided. I haven’t seen a confusing gated course in a long time (10 years?) Of course, lining is needed.

There are NorCal clubs who have not adopted this type of course. UFO is one. The organizers have a very limited perspective, by their own choice. They also have a really strong “anti SCCA” passion and stubbornly refuse to do anythin SCCA does, “just because.” I don’t think current GGC management, or some regions of PCA, are actively choosing to not try different things, I think it is Northern California autocross history and just not being exposed to the way that autocrossing tends to be going nationally. I see videos from all over the country, marque clubs, autocross clubs, etc. and I only see courses completely lined with cones in Northern California.

In addition to cone usage, I really don’t think I ever see slaloms at 40-50 feet anywhere but at GGC and a few local PCA events. Most people just don’t enjoy them, in addition to the exposure problem I mentioned in a previous post.

Jeff and Jack, thank you for listening. We can continue to work on this and make an even stronger program. I’d love to see you give an AAS course a try. I think it will open your eyes.