2018 Racing Calendar

I don’t think I did one of these last year. This year, because of the extended unemployment and the fact that I’m currently underemployed, I’m thinking of staying closer to home to save money, and just doing the NYMCRA kayak points races plus the USCA Nationals and Lighthouse To Lighthouse. One thing is that some of these races are far enough away that I’d really want to stay overnight the night before – I wonder if I should buy some camping equipment to save money? I’m also worried about my extended illnesses so far this year – I’ve gotten less than 13.5 hours of training so far this calendar year, and last year at this time I had nearly 55 hours.

So here’s the preliminary schedule.
May 12 – Round the Mountain
June 2 – Tupper Lake 8 Miler
June 9-10 – Madrid Canoe Regatta
July 7 – Armond Bassett
July 14 – Electric City Regatta
July 29 – BluMouLA – BuFuRa
Aug 10-12 – USCA Nationals (The website isn’t clear about what day is what, but I’m thinking of doing Unlimited and Touring this year)
Sept 15 – Lighthouse To Lighthouse
Sept 22 – Long Lake Long Boat Regatta
Sept 30 – Seneca Monster

The ones in bold are the ones I did last year. Last year I also did the “Onandaga Cup”, which was a test run for the USCA Nationals going once around the course. This year we’re doing it twice, and I believe we’re not going to start out in the lake like we did last year.

I’m thinking I might continue to use the V-12 on races where I know it’s going to be very flat, like Armond Bassett and USCA Nationals. I’m thinking about buying or borrowing a V-8 to race the Touring class at the USCA nationals. I’m also toying with the idea of maybe doing the V-8 at Lighthouse To Lighthouse to see if it means I don’t slow to a crawl in the rough bit around the second lighthouse. Either that or paddling the short course in my Sport. Otherwise I’ll stick to the Sport.

I’m hoping this will be a good year for videos. I’m going to set up a public Dropbox in hopes that other paddlers will share their videos – maybe I can make a big overview one showing multiple viewpoints instead of just my own.

Video labeling

I thought it would enhance my video if I could call out people’s names. At first I was looking to use motion tracking to have the labels follow the paddler on the screen. I tried using Motion, which comes with Final Cut Pro X, but it has two problems

  • I have to export a 10 second or shorter clip from Final Cut Pro, bring it into Motion, do the motion tracking, and then bring it back into FCP and fit it back into the right part of the timeline.
  • It really didn’t work very well – I had to keep adding manual key frames and restarting the tracking. In the video here, I actually gave up on adding more manual key frames when I was working on JoAnn’s label which is why it goes off into the weeds.

Then I tried a couple of plugins that would supposedly do the job without having to leave Final Cut Pro X. Both of them had trial modes, so I was able to experiment without paying the $100 they wanted. The first one, EasyTracker, did a pretty good job of tracking, but it crashed FCP several times every time I tried to track, and eventually screwed up the playback window so I couldn’t see anything until I deleted the plugin. The second one, CoreMelt TrackX, was practically useless. I tried putting a polygon over Jim’s bright orange shirt thinking it had pretty good contrast to the water and trees it was in front of, and said to “track forward”, and within a few seconds the polygon was somewhere off to the right of the war canoe that was to his right. Useless.

So then I had a thought – in his highly entertaining “How The Race Was Won” videos, Cosmo Catalano likes to call out riders names by using a freeze frame. He also puts a mask around each rider to emphasize it. He told me once he actually takes a screen shot and brings it into Photoshop to do that. I would prefer not to do that, not least because I don’t have Photoshop. However, FCP has a nice “Freeze Frame” feature that inserts a nice 4 second freeze of the frame at the current playhead position. Here’s what it looks like.

I kind of like this way.