GRV has sought feedback on two new Traralgon track design proposals – a J-shaped track and a U-shaped track, each one turn, see https://www.grv.org.au/feedback-traralgon-track-designs/. Feedback period ends 12 July 2019.
We are considering the consultation version material. GOTBA Vic has, on various committees, seen that each of GRV and the Traralgon club has carried out a significant amount of work to date for a new Traralgon track. GOTBA Vic and its members identified severe issues with the old (well, 2014) Traralgon track (eg early 2018 member survey): properly considered investment by GRV in safe racing and track infrastructure is an unequivocal benefit for the sport.
GRV and the Traralgon club's preparatory work is to be commended. Any repeat of the most recent rebuild must, however, be avoided at all costs.
Both new designs would result in very different racing to any current Victorian track, for the dogs and visually for participants and punters. The racetrack experience will not be the same. Participants should consider potential issues they may see. You may see things that may not have been considered and that might make a difference.
Some things to think about:
· J track: this has a 300m straight track within it, and 400m/500m starts that use the ‘J’ bend. It does however have 2 different catching pens (one for 300m straight run, one at the end of the ‘J’ for the 400/500). Do you think that this creates a potential issue (ie could greyhounds ‘switch’ from one to the other safely)? If it does, what might be done to address the risk?)
· U track: 350m, 420m and 500m starts. No straight track distance. Single catching pen for all distances. A 350m one turn run is unusual in Victoria (though not unheard of – 347m old Geelong for eg). The next distance up - 420m is close (though 390m to 450m is common). Comparing the distances for the ‘U track’ and ‘J track’, which set would you prefer to race on with your dogs? Why?
· Of the J or U track – which would you prefer to trial on? Which would you prefer (if any) to educate or pre-train on? Why?
· No 2 turn track option: a 2 turn track would likely have had to use the exact same shape as previously, but be entirely rebuilt too (ie surface, drainage etc). Data suggests that 2 turn tracks can struggle to produce better safety outcomes than one bend tracks, particularly if there are issues with the surface. A one-bend track is seen as a safety matter.
There are other important matters for a new track that impact on safety, including sand/surface profiles etc. Surface and track profile was a huge issue at the old Traralgon track. GOTBA Vic continues to follow up on this across all Victorian tracks. Also, costing for the proposed designs has not been released. We will follow these up separately.
But on the design proposals, let us know what you think, including by email at firstname.lastname@example.org