The British Open - 1974
This is something that I have been meaning to get around to doing for many years. I have now begun the lengthy task of scanning in and uploading the start lists and results sheets from slaloms in the 1970's. This task has been made a lot easier by my dear departed Mum who documented every event that I attended in chronologically organised folders for me - obviously thinking years ahead for when I would feel that the present day slalom community would enjoy seeing some of its history :-) I have a few photographs from some of the events and propose to upload these too to help give a feel for the sport in the 70's.
Firstly then, here is the Program & Start Sheet (6.2mb):-1974 British Open Program & Start Sheet And here is the Results Sheet (1.6mb):-
But first, a few interesting facts to be going along with. On the start sheet you will find the following:-
There are 165 Mens K1 entries
There are 50 Mens K1 (3 man) Team entries
There are 17 Ladies K1 entries
There are 17 C1 entries
There are 17 C2 entries
There are 6 Ladies K1 (3 women) Team entries
There are 5 C1 (3 man) Team entries
There are 4 C2 (3 boat) Team entries
This event pre-dates Richard Fox so you will not find him appearing just yet! Check page 4 of the Program for the previous years Champions (1973). I reckon there will be a couple of names you should know even if you are in the British Team today! A certain Alan Edge maybe? Possibly a quick bloke in a C1 (then) by the name of Albert Woods? Oh my goodness, I still come out in a cold sweat when I remember travelling with the latter down those narrow country roads around Grandtully in a 635CSI BMW at way too many mph!
Take note! People like Albert and, I seem to recall, Gay Goldsmith in a 3 litre Capri and Peter Nardelli in a rather quick Escort, all driving way too fast but managing not to be some of the adrenalin junky canoeists that tragically lost their lives on the roads. Get your thrills on the water lads and lassies as it really is much safer.
For your great amusement turn to the result list to see how difficult it was to get the boats of the era down a 30 gate course with poles that sometimes were in the water. All those individual and team runs listed above and how many clear runs? Just the top 3 K1 men! Check out the pictures below. You can see gate 3 just above Miss Davis's Bridge (and yes, it was known as Miss Davis's Bridge then too!) with the start line about where the Ski Slope control room is now located. Gate 5 is the "s" below the rock as seen from the bridge looking downstream.
Yes, that is gate 11 on the way to Cafe Wave and the view down the long line of slalom gates on the narrow overgrown section) is from Cafe Wave (before Cafe Wave existed and then known simply as The Bend). At this point you were about half way and the finish was beyond the jetty now on the left and just past the footbridge! Phew, wears me out just recalling it all! Oh, it was green pole on the left, red on the right, there were 30 gates over a half mile course through the gatelines and at least 6 of those were reverse gates. Unsurprisingly times were three and a half to four minutes long. And just look at the penalties... 10 for an inside touch and 20 for an outside touch PER POLE! The 50 remains the same today as it did then for missing a gate. But you could also get a 50 for "wrong presentation". ie forwards through a reverse gate or vice versa. Judges then had to decide not only which side of a pole you hit but also if your boat was facing forwards or backwards through the gates with poles that were sometimes high enough to pass under. I have added comments to most of the images for more information and clarity.
I will upload some more in due course. ENJOY! :-)
PPUPDATE! Extracts from the BCU Yearbooks from 1974 to 1980 can be seen here:- 1974 to 1980 BCU Yearbooks