Promised discursive rant.
I set off for the NEOC club champs at Wrentham. It was raining fairly hard, and cold. I don't know why I went. Probably, the main reason was that my car had to be moved to the garage, and that meant that I had to go outside anyway.
My car is falling apart. Aside from the admonition to go visit Hans at the workshop to attend to the battery, it also informed me that the left license plate lamp is out. I do have to say, the level of feedback about the state of the vehicle is pretty obsessive. Nice, though.
Anyway, the GPS takes me by Gillette Stadium, despite my desire to avoid it. But, still early, so no big deal.
(minor, minor rant--perhaps don't schedule a meet at Wrentham on a Patriot's home day?)
Get to the parking and drive into the muddy, rutty field. Anticipate getting stuck later.
Register. Pay $20 because I am not a club member and because I am running two courses--one of which is a sprint. While the $4 WCOC/DVOA member fee (which incidentally is extended to all contiguous clubs) fee might be kind of ridiculously low, it is even more so when you consider the disparity in quality. And, I'm getting to that.
Anyway, decide to do the sprint first so I can get it out of the way and so I can start. (It would be a little after 1 when I finish the sprint.)
Surprisingly, it was not a bad course. In fact, I kind of liked it. I wonder if MLC was the designer? I might have varied leg length and direction a bit, but whatever. A little annoying it wasn't epunch. I was carrying the paper card.
Anyway, I had both maps with me, and upon finishing the sprint, went immediately into the red.
Here is the rant:
I am not sure what sport they do in NEOC, but it is not orienteering. It is crap. Terrain is one thing (not great, but whatever) but the map is god-awful, the course setting, kind of OK on paper, marred by control placements (with descriptions) not supported by the map. And, then good luck trying to navigate between controls. It was an Easter egg hunt, in pouring rain at 40 degrees.
My main complaint is the map. It is bad in all respects. Actually, it reminds me of a NEOC map from the 1980s. I used to think that NEOC maps from the 1980s were just a reflection of the time, but now I realize they were bad then, too. And that makes them really bad today.
Geometry is wrong, drafting is suspect, and of course, trails don't make any sense. If you are going to use maps like this, you need to dumb down the control placements, not go crazy with them. This is antithetical to the way I've been taught to produce an event.
Anyway, time to end on a positive note. Things I liked:
• Big props to their volunteers for putting on an event in such crappy conditions and being of good cheer. That is awesome.
• Epunching and controls on stands
• All controls were in the correct locations.
• The sprint course was good, even conditional on the state of the map. The regular course could have been good if it was overlayed on a real map.
Orienteering race 20:00  ** 2.0 km (10:00 / km)
shoes: August 2009 Integrators
NEOC Club Champs Sprint.
No warmup. Not taking it too seriously.
Good run until 12 where I really came apart.
I had a decent time on this course. The map (while very bad) was readable and the control locations were appropriate.
Orienteering 1:25:00  ** 6.8 km (12:30 / km) +200m 10:54 / km
shoes: August 2009 Integrators
NEOC Club Champs Red. Not much more to say.
I'm not bothering to draw in my routes as I don't know where to put the line on the "map."