Watch this space!
The finger sticks used in the SPORTIdent (SI) electronic scoring system have enjoyed a steady increase in capability over the years. Recently, it's had yet another upgrade.
In true orienteering fashion, there are several names for the same thing. The latest version is called the SI Active Card, or SIAC, or "SPORTIdent AIR+", take your pick.
This new stick allows you to register a control point without you having to insert the stick into the hole, you just need to be 50 cm or so away from the control. (Hence the "air", get it?) They can also be used in so called classic mode and inserted into the hole. They have a small battery and then that should last several years of heavy use.
This system will be used at a large orienteering festival in Australia in 2017. They are published a nice PDF article on the system, how it works, and who may or may not benefit from using it. (The programming of the blue SI Field units needs to be changed to allow use of these new sticks, so it does complicate setting up an event.)
(Opens a shared Google drive folder)
Our friends at the Bay Area Orienteering Club (BAOC) recently had a large national meet. CROC was well represented.
Congratulations to Jill McBee for a first place finish in female 70+ on the brown course, and to David Rogers and Ken Wenzel for finishing in second and third for male 65+ on the brown course. Sorry Jill, we don't have a picture of you, but here is a photo of a happy David and Ken showing off the hardware.
Mt. Tabor, January: Your map is not securely in your hand as usual, but was attached to a tree back a ways. Your mission, given this constraint, is to plan ahead, be aware of your surroundings and to look for prominent features.
After this honing of memorization skills, the second part of the exercise was to complete a course with map in hand but with the goal of looking at that map as little as possible.
Reed College, February: Your partner has the map and is steaming along. But where? You have a map, too, but the controls are missing. Thumb that map! Stay located!
Participants paired up with a fellow orienteer of similar fitness and ability for this exercise in maintaining map contact. The partners ran the same course together, with the exception of different controls missing from each of their maps. This forced paying attention to the surroundings, matching them to the map, and then being able to quickly pick up where the partner left off -- though that control was not on your map!
Laurelhurst Park, March: It's raining and muddy, but so what? Your focus has to stay on the challenges of maps with missing features (like, almost everything) or worse, a map you drew yourself.
Two maps had significant things erased; requiring compass practice. A third map was drawn by participants, with only the details needed to complete the course. The exercise helped to understand which features are critical to navigation.
Sue Grandjean, Abra McNair, and Dan Grabski put together these fun and challenging skill-sharpeners and reported how the events went.
Sue: "Memory Training was a good exercise for planning ahead as well as a good drill to be aware of your surroundings and to look for prominent features. Club members enjoyed the training and it made them look at Mt. Tabor a different way."
Abra: "I heard that it was fun to follow someone else and see how they orienteered in comparison to how you might do it. Creating the event was pretty fun -- a great opportunity to be on maps while course setting and setting out controls day-of. "
Dan: "We had ten people for my training in hard rain and muddy conditions at Laurelhurst Park. Most people did at least the corridor and no-map training. Everyone was challenged by the training and had a good time!"
The spring series of CROC member training events are on the schedule!
CROC members attended the California Orienteering Week (COW), with events in both Los Angeles and the Bay Area in March 2017. Highlights included 2nd place in the "3 point team" relay event with Tom Allen, Ali Crocker and Dan Grabski.
Competing for the national title in precision orientering, CROC veteran Mike Poulsen finished a very close second.
High fives to all these folks for representing CROC!
Tom, Ali and Dan sporting the hardware.
CROC's own Abra McNair received an honorable mention from Orienteering USA as “Comet of the year”, which is awarded to the U.S. orienteer who has made the most progress in orienteering results during the 2016 season. Abra, along with Sue Grandjean, have represented the USA as members of the national mountain bike orienteering team, competing at the world championships every summer for the past several years. Congratulations Abra! Read more here:
A thumb compass can be a useful tool in more advanced orienteering terrain, but using it is a bit different than a traditional baseplate compass. Here's a nice Youtube video that shows you how.
Title: "Orienteering using a thumb compass"
Starting in April, training coordinator Anndy Wiselogle will offer short workshops to teach Intermediate level skills. For people interested in doing an "orange" course, these workshops will give participants basic skills to be comfortable off the trail, to navigate by compass, and to choose the best route. These are offered for no cost, and begin at 10:00 a.m. at the site of CROC's local Classic meet.
The first two trainings are: April 1 at Mt. Tabor, where the topic is "Distance and Direction: Pace Counting and Following a Bearing," and on May 20 at Hamilton Island we'll cover "Follow a Route with Handrails and Attack Points."
Build fitness and sharpen your navigating skills (or just have fun) at the CROC Members Training Series. Each event will focus on a particular skill, close map-reading, remembering what you've seen on the map, keeping track of where you are. Exercise has never been less painless!
Free for CROC members only, events are scheduled for January 28, February 19, and March 11. See events page for details.