Race 5 data (Sam Blythe v Paul Buchanan)
The graph below shows Sam Blythe's lead over Paul Buchanan (in meters) at each point in the race. It also shows John Daviesleading the race for the first 165m or so. After Paul reduced Sam's lead from 6.5m at 750m to 0m with 300m, he then opened up a lead of 3.5m with 125m to go. Sam took the lead back 6:02.5 into the race, but Paul reclaimed it by 10cm at 6:03.5. On the surge (caused by the athletes taking strokes at different times) Sam opened up a 40cm lead when he crossed the finish line at 6:04.5 (to Paul's 6:04.6). Given the distance and the pace, the time gap would have been 0.07 seconds (which the computer rounded to the nearest 1/10th).
The graph below shows the relative performance of the athletes relative to 6:04.0 (1:31.0/500m) pace. Both Paul and Sam finished approximately 6m behind that pace. What the graph also shows is a curious anomaly in the way the race software operates.
Notice on 7 occasions during the course of the race the athletes lose about 2.6m instantaneously, remain 2.6m behind where they were, and then equally instantaneously make up the lost ground. The raw data suggests this occurs when the race time (which advances in 0.5s intervals) advances a step, but no new boat position data is captured. In effect the boats stand still for 0.5s costing about 2.6m at 1:31 pace. This effect happens to all athletes in the race simultaneously, so as between athletes the result remains fair.
A short period of time later the software seems to correct the error by adding in the lost distance. In this example the length of the 7 respective time periods when the boats are about 2.6m out of sync are 2.5s, 4.0s, 7.5s, 3.5s, 8.5s, 6.0s and 7.0s. Thus the total time the boats are out of sync with where they ought properly to be in this race was 39 seconds (10.7% of the race). It is not know what the race computer system would have done had the race finished at a point when the offset was operative. If the system does not correct the error on the finish line, the athletes would sustain a 0.5s penalty to their time (although it would be the same for all athletes in the race).