What a day! What a venue! What a...low...turnout!
A “Wow” attendance figure of 65 persons.
It must been an adverse confluence of malefic cosmic influences to have conspired to yield an all time low turnout like that – or, most of you just didn’t want to drive all the way to St. Augustine. That could have been it.
Then, too, all the JROTC units had other events going on, so they were all understandably absent. Sorry to start off the Event Report with a negative, but FLO has been averaging over 250 people at our major events lately. On the plus side, we had adequate volunteer help.
Speaking of Help: Thanks go to Janet Putnam, Frank Kuhn, Jonathan Linforth, Ray Bruneau, Kris Mante, Jerry Sirmans and Gord Hunter for all the help.
And the event itself was a real “Wow”, too.
Ask anyone who competed on the red or blue course.
Evidently I set more of an adventure race than a red or blue orienteering course. I got quite a few comments on the two most southerly controls, common to red & blue, both of which gave competitors fits. Not because they were hidden or incorrectly placed – but only because of the pine plantation in which they were imbedded. I know the going was tough, and I realize it was a bit of a trick to have the north-south trending map symbol for “plantation” NOT aligned with the actual 160-340 axis of the plantation rows. I thought it would be obvious. It wasn’t. I also thought everyone would quickly give up the bushwhacking and rely maximally on the mapped yellow-ish corridors – but apparently no one did. Thus, in the end, unanticipated adventures were had by all and Blaik Mathews stumbled upon a reason to ask “Exactly how are orienteers expected to avoid stepping on water moccasins?” (I haven’t actually answered him about that, yet.)
The Green course folks, on the other hand, experienced a rather routine Green Course, as intended.
The best news for FLO was the proportion of newcomers this day. Very encouraging. I spent much more time than usual speaking to first timers, so we can only hope their experiences were all positive and that they will be back many times.
Once again we had a Mounted Orienteer competing on the Yellow Course. She had done so at the last FAM event, so now there ought to be reason enough for the Museum to organize their own Mounted Orienteering Event sometime soon.
There is also the possibility of the long anticipated Permanent Course at FAM to be realized. At least a promise has been made and we’ll keep you posted if and when it comes to fruition.
Map-wise, we had a bit of a surprise courtesy of the Saint Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) whose efforts to restore their property east of I-95 (or was it to make money on paper-fodder tree harvests?) involved clear cutting (and I do mean “CLEAR”!) about 100 acres of sand pine plantation that had in the past afforded us a unique and desirable orienteering experience. Now, the experience of running across hundreds of meters of bare-earth open ground is not quite the same; unique, but for sure not the same. They should be done with that cutting and they should soon replant with long leaf pine that will be nice orienteering in a decade…. or two….or three. Not to worry. We’ll work around it. In fact we intend to extend the map eastward into the Princess Place property where the forest gets gorgeous and they will assuredly not be clear cutting.
Note in the Results that all times were on the long-ish side. Which of course we think of as ‘getting your money’s worth’. As a result, I didn’t have the heart to list those over 180 minutes as Overtime; they get their times recorded for this event.
I want to close by saying “Welcome” to the Bresemans who came all the way from Washington State to enjoy the day with us. In fact Rick pretty much showed the Blue Course competitors, including a couple of our best (Ron and Gareth) how it’s done, with his excellent time.
As Course Setter, I’m still happy despite the rather low turnout and the rather reluctant smiles from the Advanced course folks.
Thanks to all for coming, for helping, and for having fun.
|Costello, T||43:20 #2|
|GS Troop #2||92:20|
|GS Troop #1||113:20|
|GS Troop #3||138:30|
|Hearn, G||45:30 #2|
|DNF||Did Not Finish|
|NTR||No Time Recorded (Did not check in at Start/Finish)|
|OT||Over 3 Hour Time Limit|