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 Why no clockwise track events.

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normanhurst
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PostSubject: Why no clockwise track events.   Fri 02 Nov 2012, 21:44

Is there any particular reason, maybe from ancient chariot racing etc, that most track events whether running, horses or motorsports seem to progress in an anticlockwise direction. Is it anything to do with being right handed, do lefthanders prefer a clockwise circuit. If so, it’s one heck of a disadvantage for them… From my own experience of grass tracking, I certainly preferred to lay my bike down to the left, and I much preferred the left hand corners to the right… even on roller skates.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Why no clockwise track events.   Fri 02 Nov 2012, 21:57

I'll need to check on this but people walking, lost or without landmarks, go in circles and I think that it may be counter clockwise. Also, most right handed people draw circles anti-clockwise.

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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Why no clockwise track events.   Fri 02 Nov 2012, 22:35

UK racecourses exist in both forms - eg Wincanton is right handed, Wolverhampton is left handed. Some horses perform better on right handed tracks, others do better on left handers. Irrespective of course orientation, horses carrying my money perform uniformly badly.
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normanhurst
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PostSubject: Re: Why no clockwise track events.   Fri 02 Nov 2012, 22:56

I’ve never put a penny on a horse except when ordered to in the works Grand National do… but it raises the question now… are horses left and right handed?

I'm right handed, and draw a circle clockwise.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Why no clockwise track events.   Fri 02 Nov 2012, 23:23

Do you stir things clockwise or anti? Or polish? I do both anti as well as when drawing circles. In fact almost anything I do which requires circular hand motions, I do anticlockwise.

This discusses your question as far as athletics go
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19047586
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Why no clockwise track events.   Fri 02 Nov 2012, 23:36

Quote :
horses carrying my money perform uniformly badly.
I think this goes against any theory of statistics, Ian. Unless, of course, like my father, you only bet on complete outsiders (though even those come home winners occasionally, as did he).

Trotting courses here go either way, though most go anti-clockwise. I found a thesis about injuries to thoroughbred (PDF file so I couldn't copy it), and it said horses were more likely to be injured on the lead leg and that varied with the way the course went; racing clockwise they began with the right leg, anticlockwise the lead leg was the left. I don't know if that's the same for trotting and pacing horses though, where the action is different.

I draw circles anticlockwise.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Why no clockwise track events.   Sat 03 Nov 2012, 05:00

Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
UK racecourses exist in both forms - eg Wincanton is right handed, Wolverhampton is left handed. Some horses perform better on right handed tracks, others do better on left handers. Irrespective of course orientation, horses carrying my money perform uniformly badly.

Does it depend on the county as to which direction the horses run or is it merely a track preference? In Australia it depends on what state you are in, for example Victorian tracks all run anti-clockwise and NSW tracks all run clockwise. My memory is a bit dodgy so it could be the other way around, but it does depend on the State.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Why no clockwise track events.   Sat 03 Nov 2012, 17:08

Don't think the county matters - I suspect it's more a matter of how you can fit the course into the landscape to give a satisfactory view into the "country" part of the course and get the start / finish lines for the preferred distances all to suit the grandstand.
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