Planners Report - Pines Beach
25 April 2012
First I would like to thank the helpers – mainly controller Martin Etherington, SI commander Alister Metherell, SI operator Melanie Bridgen, cream course organiser and control checker Jenni Adams, Cameron Metherell (setting up map exchange and other bits and bobs), Ed Cory-Wright (controlling the map exchange) and control collectors David Pugh-Williams and Tane Cambrigde. And Penny Wright for sorting the land access in the first place. On top of this a number of people helped with the toilet, finish banner/controls and general packing and unpacking of gear. Thanks a lot – I really appreciate your efforts.
Then I would like to thank the participants for taking on the challenge in possibly our trickiest area.
The idea to use this area came about from thinking of areas where the locals wouldn't have too much local knowledge when competing in a Super Series Event. And this particular area seemed to be the only newer map which had only been used for bigger events – and those event were quite a while ago. Furthermore as mentioned before it is possibly our trickiest map. This is because of the detail intensity and the combination of rougher terrain and nicer terrain, good visibility and low visibility.
The courses were planned to be challenging, to have participants criss crossing each other even if they were not on the same gafling and to ensure that different route choices were optimal coming into the common controls. All in all that the athletes would have minimal advantage from running the first leg when orienteering on their second leg. A lot of time was invested in having fair control sites and I believe the sites were. And vegetation and track map updates were made.
Unfortunately one route choice option (from 115 to 102) was disturbed by a map oddity. See figure below – when the athletes ran through where the red arrow shows and they ran out in the open, they were suddenly teleported to the wrong end of the depression marked with a blue arrow and when keeping their direction they ended up in the green on the other side instead of in the nice open control site. My sincere apologies to athletes affected by this.
I did have the same experience one day I was out there, but I thought it was just me being tired and sloppy with my bearing. I had a look around and didn't realise the problem. I feel very irritated that I did not figure it out and moved the control to one of the other challenging but fair control sites nearby. There is not much one can do afterwards, but I have attached a result list where the split time from 115 to 102 has been subtracted from the total time. This should be more fair, but still not fair as different athletes will have been affected of the incident in different ways (loss of energy, gain of energy, loss of focus, loss of confidence) and some not at all.
I have not heard of any other problems like that, but please let me know if you feel other places were unfair and let me know why, as we do want to make map updates to prevent this from happening in the future.
The most important orienteering techniques in this terrain are stepping stones (feature hopping), simplification and traffic lighting. And often it pays to look for track options, which may take you around the intense map reading. And when you need to do stepping stones – do it at a pace where you can keep on top of where you're at at all times. Check out Jean CW's little book of techniques to read more about orienteering techniques – it is available here.
I was very impressed by the orienteers taking on this challenge and also the challenging orange course as well as the good cream course. Especially impressing were the younger athletes. But I would say to every one – Keep up the good work. And I see that some coaching opportunities are coming up soon. Take advantage of it – there is always tricks to learn.
The map is up on route gadget (thanks to Greg Flynn), where you can add your own route as well as check out others' routes. Here's the link - http://www.routechoice.co.nz/gadget/cgi-bin/reitti.cgi – give it a go.
Thank you very much to everyone.