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Discussion: Thanks for a great weekend

in: US Individual Championships (Sprint/Middle/Long/Trail) (Apr 13–15, 2012 - Carrollton, GA, US)

Apr 16, 2012 3:42 AM # 
Thanks to the organizers for a well run event on the weekend. It is great to see the quality of events in North America continues to get stronger.

Congratulations to the US team and good luck at WOC.
Apr 16, 2012 11:57 AM # 
My top three:
1)Best presentation of results and split times I've ever seen!
2)Friendly park staff and volunteers and the campers didn't seem to mind the influx of visitors past their normally quiet campsites.
3) I was able to get my NAOC entry paid for at a fraction of the normal price as the silent auction was generally poorly supported by the orienteers. Shame on you guys and gals!

4 -but really #1 - the great performance by two young Ottawa orienteers Alexander Bergstrom and Eric Kemp.
Apr 16, 2012 2:33 PM # 
I would like to join the thanks for a great weekend!

Everything went extremely well. The organizers were friendly, competent, and accommodating, the course setting was very discipline-appropriate, and Ed's results display combined with Vlad's announcing made for a fantastic arena atmosphere.

The only possible complaint is Saturday night's very drawn out awards ceremony, especially considering the early starts the following morning.
Apr 16, 2012 3:29 PM # 
Thank you and all the organizers and volunteers. It turned out to be a fantastic event. The extra details of food, announcing, results display, Sat night program and more, made this a world class event.

Maps and courses turned out great, especially for the WRE participants, and the years of effort and planning made this a great success.

Thanks again to all organizers and volunteers, and try to enjoy a well-deserved rest!
Apr 16, 2012 4:25 PM # 
Well done and thanks.

It is hard to imagine getting three such distinct venues/terrains for the three events - especially with the flood plain and the rock-featured map being in the same park.
Apr 16, 2012 4:41 PM # 
Reading all the “great weekend” comments, here is what I feel:
Great job with organizing start/finish, display of live results was outstanding, by US standards at least. (I still can’t forget misery at start line 2 weeks ago in Cincinnati. Not having a clock at start line -not even manual flip clock- should never take place at A-meet level ).
For those who care, not for me, serving food-those juicy hamburgers-has always been a mark of this club.
For me quality of the meet is determined by quality of map and courses.The quality of field checking was generally poor. Vegetation was misrepresented badly—the worst was in the areas of mature pine forest up the hills. Situation along trails was mapped sloppily. Contours in flood plain area were often wrong.
I am less concerned than Greg with uniformity of rock mapping for the middle course map. I feel , the course design on middle was interesting, and controls were in correct places. Vegetation, again, often not mapped properly.
For the long course, I realize that the course design was to avoid the worst parts of the map, that is why so much trail running, and it worked to some extent. There are 2 accounts, that I know of, that control #45 was set in a wrong reentrant (it was not on WRE course though). Control #96 (4th on Blue course): the feature, according to the map, was supposed to be 15 or so meters long knoll. I think it was in fact like 2-3 meters long. As such, it should not be used for placing control. The whole area on the hill east of #33 (17th on the Blue course) was totally unmapped—it looked to me as a base map before field-checking even starts. These were just examples to illustrate the conclusions already made.
I think it is not that the mapper did not try hard. I am sure he did. It is more about qualification and skills that are not replaceable with just being meticulous. One have, at the very least, to be exposed to many high quality maps, as a participant, before embarking on a project of producing Championship level map. Yet, ironically, this was by far the best map that this mapper has ever produced.

Separate account for the so-called “Model Event”: Its purpose is to familiarize participants with relevant features of terrain and style of mapping. It just did not happen. The map provided looked to me as a base map, with no field-checking, entirely white-not even an attempt observed to map vegetation. Also, I do not see, how it was relevant to complex rocks on the middle, or to flood plain counters on the long. As such, Model was mostly useless, or even misleading.
Apr 16, 2012 7:19 PM # 
Really enjoyed the weekend. It was well worth the long journey South.

The Middle in particular turned out to be a ferocious battle in multiple ways. Everyone should draw there routes into RouteGadget. Judging by the splits the replay should be pretty entertaining.
Apr 17, 2012 2:33 AM # 
I didn't see a single map problem on Sunday (Middle), nor do I think the green was mismapped in any way, nor do I consider Sunday's terrain or the course planning unsuitable; after the 2010 Jukola, just about any green feels suitable short of the Amazon rainforest.

I did feel that there was a chance things were funky on Saturday (Long), but I didn't get far enough on the course to confirm that for sure, and was feeling too awful to attribute my difficulties to the mapping. I confess that I didn't go to the Model—it felt like too much effort. The Model terrain should be representative of the competition, showcasing most of the important/unique features to the terrain.
Apr 17, 2012 2:43 AM # 
GAOC, great job!! I would like to second everyone of the great organization of the event. Vlad's comentary combined with the spectator controls finally broke through to passers by, I had a few people asking me what was going on, what is orienteering and so on. Maybe next step is geting something live on TV ? :)

Speaking for my courses, all controls were placed correctly, there was enough water on course, and most terrain was good to orienteer in, even after the warm winter. Only one note we could have made was on the poison oak/ivy at the sprint. I'm not alergic, but some people are.

Overall, we were definitely happy we made the trip!
Apr 17, 2012 3:42 AM # 
My family and I had a great weekend, thanks to all who made it happen! Most exellent!

My top 3:
1) The Middle course (and rock features) on Sunday. Vines? What vines?
2) My wife completed the Long orange course, under time! Yea!
3) The whole meet seemed well done from start to finish.

4) A great performance by a youngster from Missouri! :) Hey - gordhun got a 4th on his top 3...

Regrettably, we knew there was a silent auction but didn't know where it was or when it ended.... walked into the room just as the auction closed.

And finally, no complaint intended or implied, is it possible to judge the accuracy of mapped vegetation given an advanced state of leaf-out?
Apr 17, 2012 3:47 AM # 
Oh - I stepped on the tail of a snake on the way to the first control on Sunday. I appologize if I offended or shocked anyone within earshot. I've no idea what I might have said out loud.
Apr 17, 2012 3:50 AM # 
BTW, the snake wasn't on the map. Is there a 'snake' symbol?
Apr 17, 2012 3:50 AM # 
I also had a great time. I thought the blue courses were well-planned, and each had the requisite flavor. They complemented each other rather well.

I also thought the logistics and details were really excellent and well-thought. Thanks!
Apr 17, 2012 3:51 AM # 
I also almost stepped on a snake on Saturday. Maybe the adrenaline was helpful in finishing the race decently from that point on?
Apr 17, 2012 3:53 AM # 
My personal biggest suggestion (as long as people are suggesting) is that greater visibility could have been achieved at the Sprint. (On several levels.)
Apr 17, 2012 9:05 AM # 
Many more positives than negatives.

To me the biggest negative was the absence of recreational courses. I know of at least one instance in which the unregistered friend of a junior could not participate because of this.

A few others not mentioned by others (yet)...

The multiple results displays were awesome -- but where were the open categories??

The north lines on the maps were too far apart (I can't believe the Event Advisor missed that).

The acoustics in the auditorium used for Saturday evening's festivities were, to put it mildly, horrendous. I heard several comments about not being able to understand any of the audio.

Don't even get me started about the Trail-O results -- or lack thereof...
Apr 17, 2012 12:36 PM # 
Recreational courses were a tough call. We had not one person use the recreational courses at our last A-meet and only one the year before. It might have looked like we had the volunteer thing covered, but we were completely maxed out. We did give out some Practice Maps to some folks who wanted to try it.

Provisional Trail-O results on this page. Provisional because a grievance has been filed against a protest that was upheld. It's time that it was officially renamed to Argue-O.
Apr 17, 2012 2:16 PM # 
I'm pretty sure the term argue-o applies to all orienteering disciplines.
Apr 17, 2012 5:42 PM # 
My son and I enjoyed the whole experience. I am thankful for all the volunteers, especially the map makers, course planners and course setters of the sport, who bear the greatest responsibility, and for that reason risk the most criticism. If the sport did not have volunteers who were willing to expose themselves to the wrath of AP, we would not have events to compete in.
Apr 17, 2012 7:51 PM # 
As of right now (4 PM Tuesday), no grievance has been received by the Grievance Committee.
Apr 17, 2012 8:46 PM # 
Interesting. Well, that could be some good news...
Apr 17, 2012 9:23 PM # 
Maybe. On the other hand, if there was a protest upheld, you'd never know it from looking at those provisional results. So who exactly is it that would be filing a grievance?
Apr 17, 2012 9:41 PM # 
Dunno. Not my department... and I'm busy trying to get my life back.
Apr 18, 2012 2:06 AM # 
Grievance has now been received. Investigation will begin soon.
Apr 18, 2012 3:46 PM # 
Indeed, a well organized extended O-weekend. Thanks.

We should also recognize Ed Despard, CSU, for his outstanding Results Service and all the work and money he has put into this system; live results displays with wireless data links for splits and last CP pre-warning for Speaker support, the Audio system etc. Impressive! Technology has changed since I headed the results at the WOC'93 in NY, e.g. SI vs. barcodes, wireless data vs. radios.
Apr 18, 2012 4:05 PM # 
+1 on kudos to Ed & his toys... :-)
Apr 18, 2012 4:42 PM # 
GuyO: The multiple results displays were awesome -- but where were the open categories??

Got any bigger monitors to send my way?
I prioritize the age group classes over the open classes, especially at a championship event. I think it was much better to have larger text, than to try and cram everything in.

The plan had been to be printing out paper results too, just less frequently, but the displays worked so well that we never really got around to doing printed results until late into the day.
Apr 18, 2012 4:47 PM # 
There were many other people that made the results and toys work so well. Guido and Vinton from GAOC did a great job on the download side, and Valerie is always good to have around when anything goes wrong. Vladimir did an awesome job announcing, especially once I got him the data displayed well.

We definitely were technology heavy at the event. Its a symptom of the people who are attracted to doing the work. At the long at one point there were 7 laptops doing useful things in the results area.
Apr 18, 2012 4:55 PM # 
That is interesting. I did not know this. I was under impression that credit for this outstanding work goes to GAOC. I did not see any acknowledgement in Meet Guide or elsewhere of this remarkable display developed by Ed Despard of CSU.
Apr 18, 2012 4:55 PM # 
At WOC'93 we had some 15 power hungry desktops to satisfy the Announcers and the Press. And lots of wires.

Ed, your "Erector Set" modules are cool!
Apr 18, 2012 6:55 PM # 
Ed, presumably you drove all that hardware down to GA. Did you pack it in a passenger vehicle or was that rental truck at the meet yours?
Apr 18, 2012 7:27 PM # 
I drove everything down in my Ranger. The rental truck was full of all the other gear for the meet. Its really incredible how much equipment is needed. Water, food, tents, tables, generator, cables, controls, flags, banners, etc. GAOC had a crew each day moving everything to the next days arena.
Apr 19, 2012 2:19 AM # 
He may be tired, but I don't think he's "Ded Despard" (under "results now available"). Might want to ask GAOC to fix that.

Thanks for the awesome live results, Ed. Very classy.
Apr 19, 2012 2:20 AM # 
It should be pointed out that the vehicle in which Ed drove down his equipment is a rather unique instantiation of the "truck" concept.
Apr 19, 2012 3:17 PM # 
Speacial thanks to Ed for his excellent display and result handling system and to all volunteers who put everything together. Start, finish, and results crews were marvelous!

This discussion thread is closed.