February 25, 2019

Eagle Island State Park Meet Results

Saturday I had the pleasure of introducing 10 orienteers to our club. For some it was their first orienteering experience. For others it was a return to orienteering after an absence. For Dan Abel and his two daughters, Lauren and Ashley, it was an opportunity to brush up on their navigation skills as they prepare to compete in Eco Challenge Fiji. If you aren't familiar with this adventure race, you can get an introduction in this YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv5dCyVceFQ where an earlier British Columbia event is shown. Most of these new folks navigated the beginner course. Kim Kelly was an exception. Not only did she opt for the intermediate course, she finished first. (See the results below.) After winning the beginner's division the team of Kayla White and Jack Reed enjoyed an unofficial trip around the intermediate course. From the smiles I'd say it went well.
Jerry Stewart punches #4 on the Intermediate Course
Photo courtesy of Jeff Black

We had a good turnout with a total of 23 participants. While 23 was an important number, so were 5 and 6. It seems that your humble (maybe humiliated) meet director transposed the codes between controls 5 and 6, thus punishing orienteers' attention to detail with delays from the unnecessary reconciliation of erroneous control codes with the apparent accuracy of their own navigation. Much can be said of trust and cynicism in today's larger world, but in our smaller world of orienteering there's only one thing to say: My apology to those of you who lost time in the fog of confusion I cast over you.

The Eagle Island map originated several years ago, was field checked during the dry seasons and used only the north half for a couple of night orienteering Halloween Vampire-O events. In the transformation from a smaller map suitable mostly trail navigation at night to an off-trail wet winter map there was a couple of errors, neither of which turned out to be consequential if the post-event conversations are any indication. One error was so inconsequential that it's not worth mentioning, so I won't (although I just did). The other error derived from the origin of the map in the dry and leafy seasons, neither of which attributes pertained on Saturday. On the south end of the map into which the advanced course extended, a marsh on the map was decidedly smaller than the one on the ground. The map's marsh left the impression of an easy and dry route around its south side. There was, in fact, a route, but not so easy as the map portrayed.  Orienteers for the most part reported dry feet and a less than consequential loss of time, if any.  A small representative expansion of the marsh on the map would have offered a more informed choice, potentially encouraging route choices around the north side. I'll amend the map.

No rain. Mercifully, orienteers did not contend with rain on a windy winter day. There was some mud, but nothing significant. All in all it was a glorious February day for orienteering.

We hope to see you Saturday, March 16 on Sergey Velichko's new Fort Boise map. Sergey is enthusiastic about this new venue and promises it will be a prime day of urban orienteering.

John Murray
Meet Director

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Lord Mark said...
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