It’s the time of year when exciting buggy things start happening pretty much every day.  I hope you’re not trying to get any work done, because today is one of those days.

Since we unveiled 2.0 just over a year ago, the video section has been one of the less talked about, but most used new parts of the site, tallying 47,300+ videos watched.  The deal we have with cmuTV is that we wait a year before we add their excellent coverage to our ever-lasting online archive.  Hopefully many of you have already bought a DVD from CMUtv to add to your personal collection, but now we’ve also got them all organized, online, and for the most part integrated with our history database. Without further ado, I give you:’11

If you prefer the native youtube experience, you can find the full Raceday 2011 playlist here.

Sneak Preview of upcoming excitement …

  • Sat & Sunday : Truck weekend
  • Monday : Members-Only Raceday Preview is emailed to supporting members
  • Monday 10pm : Heat selection meeting
  • Tue 9am : Lead Truck Auction begins
  • Wed 9pm : Lead Truck Auction ends
  • Thur : Design Comp, Carnival starts, …. woooooo!

24 thoughts on “2011 Raceday videos now online!”

  • Pretty good commentary last year guys – would love to hear more PUSHER NAMES (get the rosters!!!), buggy names, driver names. Also can fill in freerolls with random facts and explanations about buggy history, buggy construction, wheel technology, chute lines etc. the emphasis on watching the lead buggy is better (pre-lims and finals are a race against the clock and not the other teams in the heat of course.)

    Missed if anyone suggested this earlier, but it seemed like the false start / re-start procedure is pretty ineffective – have they considered a dedicated false start official a quarter of the way up the hill with an important looking looking red-flag they can wave/step out onto the course to stop the hill 1s before they waste to much energy?

    • I’m going to completely disagree with you about the emphasis on watching the lead buggy. I would prefer an emphasis on certain parts of the course, in this order:
      1) Any passes that occur
      2) Chute
      3) Finish Line
      4) Hill 2 push-off
      5) Stop sign
      5) Transitions
      6) At least one shot of each buggy on each hill
      6) Lead buggy

      As a team that has never made Second Raceday (and it will be a long time before we do), the one chance I ever have to see my buggy roll is during Prelims. When cmuTV follows the lead buggy around the back hills, while my buggy is hitting the most exciting parts of the freeroll, I would much rather watch my buggy. I get that the lead buggy is the most important one, and I certainly expect to see it more than I expect to see the slower buggies. And if all 3 buggies are being pushed up various hills, sure, show the lead buggy. But when the slower buggies are hitting the most exciting parts of the race, show them! At least make me feel like my team is involved in buggy.

      I forget which year did this the best, but it was somewhere in the 2008-2010 range. Just remember that different people have different goals when watching buggy. Not everyone is watching to see who wins – Some just want to show their parents what they spent 9 months working on.

      • Ok…I posted too quickly. The last four on the list should be numbers 5, 6, 7, and 8. And flip the Finish Line and the Chute. Though the Chute is the most exciting for incidents, obviously the finish line is the most important part of the race.

      • Fair enough – but it is a race, not a parade.

        I would enthusiastically support a parade after the races though, something like the San Francisco bring your own trike event.

        I always feel a little bad for hill 4 pushers, its the lynchpin hill with a difficult transition from steep to flat that can significantly contribute to a great hill 5 but lacks the glory of 1 (King of the Hill) and the agony/ecstacy of 5 crossing the finish, the drama of 2 or the timing of 3. It often seems like the least televised leading team hill because when something happens in the chute its usually during the leading teams’ hill 4

    • disclaimer: I have worked on the broadcast team as a chute analyst or a ‘color’ man for the past 3 years.


      The announcers have rosters, charts, and an well oiled ouija board. The names of the pushers, drivers, and buggies, are covered in the ~2 minutes or so before each heat. This is done to avoid getting in the way of any play by play discussions that occur during the heat and to make sure the naming of names actually happens in the event of a heat with a lot of discussion. To a lesser degree it also serves as a means to fill some of the time between heats. We also try to fill in the time between heats with all the other discussion that you mention. I think you would rather have the broadcast team focused on the action vs trying to be sure to cover all 21 participants during the heat or expound upon what a xootr is while the buggies are rolling. When possible, the name of the buggy or the pusher who is on screen is also mentioned but this is not easy.

      The production focus is based on making a good broadcast and not so much on the later viewing of each heat on youtube or as a chapter on the DVD. Thus, the introductions happen between the heats rather than during the action, just like most other sporting events where the names are covered either pregame or between plays (not during). Andy Bordick did a great job of naming names over the past few years. He will be missed this year.

      Your wish list is nice but the realities of the situation make what you want very difficult. The cameras do not have a wide angle and thus, the camera operators, cannot see anything that is not on their screen. If they cannot see it, the director cannot see it and thus we occasionally miss some stuff that happens in the back. Focusing on the lead buggy is a reasonable approach that tends to capture most of the action and avoids car sickness inducing rapid pans that would occur in an attempt to capture the action in the back and/or shots zoomed out so far that you can see all the action but lack any detail. The coverage we have enjoyed lately is amazing vs what was available only a few years ago. They keep adding more cameras which helps get more of the action in the back but without a camera per buggy per section of the course and a huge bank of recording equipment to store all those feeds, it is difficult to know where to point the camera to get the “good stuff”. Example: buggy 2 is closing on buggy 3 at the transition flag but buggy 1 is entering the chute. where do you point the chute camera? you can pick the back and them miss a spin by buggy 1 or pick buggy 1 and miss the pass. As the lead buggy is more likely a contender it gets the glory.

      • My personal opinion is that while yes it is almost impossible to cover everything on people’s “wish list”, there are two instances when lead buggy cam should be abandoned.

        1. The cute should be covered for all buggies. Lead buggy cam should not apply then because often we see a pushing picking up on hill 3 when the camera could wait for the following two buggies in the chute, the area where the most practice is necessary and the most intense parts generally happen and “exciting” things happen.

        2. The finish line should be covered for all buggies. Lead buggy cam should not apply here too because while some buggies fail drops and that is important, showing drops, also the walk to drops, I personally find extremely disrespectful to the driver and the pushers still racing and have been practicing all year plus exciting important things happen at the end of hill 5 too (ex. handlebar DQ)

        • anonymous+1 says:

          The Hill 3 rollout/pickup of the lead buggy is extraordinarily important as it is often indicative of a record breaking time or not. Hill 3 has the largest time variance of all the hills for top competitors.

          so I do not recommend recording over it

          • But the hill 3 pickup is not usually covered by the chute camera (unless the pickup is in the chute), so there shouldn’t be any problem moving the chute camera back to the trailing buggies and getting anything there as well.

            I get the fact that there are technological limitations, and that my wish list may not be 100% doable every time (though I think keeping it, or a similar list, in mind in the production truck is a good idea, so that if they really do have a choice between two different cameras showing two different things, they show the more exciting thing rather than just the lead buggy. Really, my problem is that they have shown the trailing buggies reasonably well in some previous years, thus proving that they are capable of doing it again. Especially as they add more cameras.

            Also, there does seem to be a stationary chute camera – The low angle one from up by Hill 3 that catches the entrance to the chute. I do appreciate that they have this camera.

            As for tommyk’s parade idea, I think that’s what Design Comp is for. But even a real parade wouldn’t show off someone’s expert pushing skills.

          • If you’re not winning … you’re not much of an expert.

            I like the parade concept for both the potential ludicrosity of creations and the general increase in involvement/interest it could garner.

            Fun category and Fast Category could coexist. Runs only on finals, Maybe make it 2 man bobsled type, pusher has to ride buggy, push when when it slows down etc. wheel swap anyone?

            BRING BACK THE FUN!!!

          • I was thinking about having different catagories, but I don’t think buggy is quite big enough. Then again, it might taken opening things up to get that kind strength.

  • The false start procedure failed miserably the year before, as well. The “guy with a red flag” idea was considered when we were getting the new timing system, but ran into the problems of “if the pushers can’t hear, how is the official further up the hill going to hear and jump out in time to stop the race?” and “can some random guy run out with a red flag and stop the race?” The timing system has the option for a flashing light signal (used in addition to the horn for deaf athletes) that could be placed partway up hill one. We didn’t get it because of budget & wanting to start out simple, but now that Sam has mastered the basic system, maybe its something to look into. Then again, there haven’t been problems with people bringing in airhorns and disrupting the start either, which some were worried about.

    The live coverage seems pretty good, especially given the constraints of being live. In most heats, the buggies are spaced out enough that spectators in the chute have no trouble choosing to follow the lead buggy then turn back to watch the following ones crash. When Estes was commentating from the camera tower, I felt like he could switch attention if something interesting was happening even if the camera didn’t.

    I’m told the control truck they rent only has the ability to record one thing, which seems rather feeble. I wish they’d add a 2nd camera to the chute, with its own recorder, so that they’d at least be able to pull the tape and show replays of the following buggies later. Certainly in finals, the slow buggy is still in contention for a trophy, which is often a tighter contest than the winner.

  • I think everyone on Hill 1 could easily hear the false start signal, its just the competitors didn’t know what it was. The official with the STOP flag should work very well.

  • The false start official could maybe be in uniform(committee shirt at least), maybe only 10-15 yards up, maybe with a green flag raised until the actual Go command is given to visually reinforce the appropriate start of the race (seemes now and again a fresh pusher will start at “Ready” instead of “Go”) and a Red flag to wave to visually reinforce the callback (im sure some pushers hear the callback but dont want to risk stopping if the other guy doesnt) with a barricade behind them to keep the rabble out of his/her way.

    I love volunteering other people for crappy jobs from 6000 miles away

    • Apparently the ass. chair will have an air horn for signaling false starts this year. That should work.

        • I agree with the cook above in that the false start signal was likely heard, but the pushers aren’t all that well informed as to what to do — perhaps sweepstakes should use the airhorn at the end of the day on sunday of truck to make sure the hill 1s know what to expect/how to handle a false start

  • Thanks for the suggestions everyone! We’ll definitely take these into consideration for this year’s broadcast and will try our best to get all the buggy’s racing in their most exciting times. We do have a limitation regarding what we can and cannot record, and there are certain things that must be caught on camera for reviewing purposes, but we’ll try to do the best we can to give every buggy team sufficient coverage in every race.

    Feel free to let me know if you have any other suggestions!

  • having been there during the false start in the women’s heat, i can say it was audible but not loud enough to signal the intent to the pushers. Some training of hill one pushers would be a good start. also, suggest having as many air horns as you have offiials at the start. much harder to ignor 4 or 5 of them.

    • In prior years, the horn was rather directional and aimed at the starting position, and you had to wait one second after the start to sound it again. By which time, the pushers had moved far enough uphill to be out of the “too loud to ignore” zone. This year’s system should be an improvement in that regard.

    • it’s been talked about before, I’m not sure what the technical limitations are/were or if there are any… it does add another layer of things for the camera guys though…

    • That would be really cool, though I think I’d prefer it flipped. But I have to imagine that is beyond the technical capacity of cmuTV’s buggy coverage.

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