Empty lanes

We have analysed the potential income available from empty lanes at each regatta by race boat. A couple of assumptions have been made that do affect the interpretation of the results. The first is that 9 lanes are available per race and the second is that K1/C1 lanes are valued at £7, K2/C2 lanes £14 and K4/C4 lanes £28. The charts below are interactive so you can inspect individual elements by hovering over them.

This chart shows the average (mean) number of empty lanes at each regatta by race boat.

It appears that, on average, K1/C1 races have fewer empty lanes and that K4/C4 races have, on average, more empty lanes than K1/C1 or K2/C2 races.

The message that can be taken from this is that generally there are 2-3 empty lanes for K1/C1 races, 3-5 for K2/C2 races and 4-5 for K4/C4 races.

These results do need to be interpreted with some caution because there are many more K1/C1 races than K2/C2 and particularly K4/C4 races which means that the average taken for each regatta for the K4/C4 races are heavily influencd by a much smaller number of races. There are also some slightly strange results in terms of empty lanes for K4/C4 races so the very high numbers need to be interpreted with extreme caution.


This chart shows the potential income (£) from filling empty lanes at each regatta. You can hover over each sub-group to have a look at them individually.

Although the overall number of crew boat races are lower than the number of K1/C1 races the crew boats are more valuable per lane.

The figures from the K4/C4 data should be interpreted with some caution but the K1/C1 data and K2/C2 data is more robust.


This chart shows the proportion (%) of lanes at each regatta that were filled for each distance for K2 / C2 and K4 / C4.

The percentage of filled lanes is generally similar across the three K2 / C2 distances and across the K4 / C4 distances with no clear preferences for any specific distance.

The tables below show the proportion (%) of empty lanes by race class.


Comparing empty lanes for ability vs age-group racing

This analysis was for the April, May, June and July regattas in 2017. This analysis was restricted to K1 racing because assigning ages to paddlers in crew boats was not possible due to the structure of the raw racing data. It was also restricted to junior racing and excluded lightning classes and canoe racing. Lightning racing was excluded as it currently caters for paddlers in the U12 age group and is already combined by sex with the majority staying in Lightning B for only a short period of time unless they are very young. Therefore Lightning A represents the current situation with U12 racing up to 2017. In 2018 and 2019 there was an addition of the U12 K1 racing category for 500m only, split by girls and boys but otherwise not split by ability. In the 2017 results dataset there were very very few U12 paddlers racing in the D classes (and not above). For this reason they have not been included in this analysis.

Canoe racing was not included because in 2017 canoe racing tended to still be mixed age- and sex racing. This situation might change in the coming years and needs to be considered but certainly, at the 2019 Nationals the U18 canoe races split into boys and girls were not quorate (contained fewer than 3 boats). The U16/U14 age group for canoes was generally quorate so age group racing might be able to be considered in the next few years for canoes.

It is clear from the table below that age group racing (U14+U16 and U18) is likely to result in significantly fewer empty lanes. This may be, in part, driven by the much lower number of racing classes. There were some anomalies in the data that meant that there were 9 or 10 empty lanes in race categories from the results data (in one regatta, not overall). This was amended this to 8 because this likely cause of this anomaly is that people had scratched from races. This would mean that the lane was paid for, just not raced in.