Official Hydrobowl course setup for human powered boat racing (hpb racing)
Official Hydrobowl Course Layout

This web page was constructed in response to some confusion about the layout of the Hydrobowl course. This layout was developed after years of careful consideration, and helps provide a fair assessment of an HPBs performance in a wide variety of situations.  

Hydrobowl 100 Meter Course Description

The Official Hydrobowl course consists of a rectangle which is 100 meters long by 18.75 meters in width. This sizing allows for 100 meter sprints, and an accurate 2 kilometer criterium race. Large buoys are placed in the four corners. Four slalom buoys are placed between the corner buoys on each 100 meter axis, spaced 20 meters apart. In the drawing below a line drawn through buoy1 and buoy4 would represent the start line, and a line drawn through buoy2 and buoy3 would represent the finish line. The 100 Meter sprint is through the center of the course, from start to finish line. The mass drag race is run in the same manner, though some boats may need to run outside of the buoys due to limited space. 

Two Kilometer Criterium Description 
The 2K criterium tests a boat and crews ability to run a high speeds for a relatively long time, as well as the boats high speed cornering ability. The 2K criterium is started by lining the boats up on the outside of buoy1 (see drawing above), along the buoy1 / buoy4 line and is run in a clockwise direction around the outside of the buoys. After 8 full laps returning to buoy1, 1900 meters have been covered, leaving a sprint to the finish at buoy2 (2000 meters). This gives a 100 meter sprint to the first turn, and also a 100 meter sprint to the finish. Both start and finish are easy to officiate from the shore by observing the buoy2/buoy3 and buoy1/buoy4 main buoy lines. You don't have to try to call a winner while all are trying to make a turn. Although the start is at the opposite end of the course from the finish (and the timer), you can let the contestants line them selves up (they tend to keep each other very honest...) and start the timing with a flag drop or audible signal. 

Slalom Course Description
The slalom is a test of the boats maneuverability, and consists of a series of tight turns and short sprints. The racer weaves in and out of the buoys as in the drawing below.  The race is run as in the diagram below. Spacing the 4 intermediate slalom buoys at 20, 40, 60, & 80 meters from one end will make the slalom times comparable to the results from the previous Rockford Hydrobowl slalom times.

Bollard Pull
A scale capable of reading up to 200lbs is tied to a tree on shore, or other solid object, and a long rope is tied to the boat. The rider(s) pedal(s) furiously in an attempt to provide a maximum pull. Maximum deflection is recorded, not including the initial jerk when the rope becomes taught.



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