11 Sept 2011
Fingal Scatter #3
I would like to thank everyone helped on the day.
Anita in the tent, taking entries, filling out forms, explaining SI, distributing refreshments.
Val, Ian and Dave for control placing and collecting with the assistance of Mick Kellett of GEN.
Eileen and Katherine for putting their shoulders to the wheel when the pressure was on. Apolgies to anyone that I have forgotten.
From the entry forms, we had 177 entries for the event. Which is up from the 80 enterents last year.
Of the starters, 37 did not finish, of these 30 were on the short course, which is a 33% DNF rate for the Shorts. This may be partly explained because the short course were required to get 10 controls rather than the normal 8. A lot of the DNFs, on all courses, resulted from people being only one control short of the required.
As the planner I had decided to use SI for the event, as much as an experiment as anything else. It quickly became clear that SI does not sit well with this event format.
We had a lot of rented SI cards, which caused a logjam in the registration tent, then on the PC all these rental SI meant for a lot of work in entering the details. Myself and Ian (and for a while Theresa Doyle of AJAX) almost had everyone entered in the PC before the finishers started returning.
Once the finishers started arriving then it was impossible to enter any further starters until things had quietened down. I must say that Ór is a great assistant in correcting details of a finisher, or adding details to a finisher that has not yet been entered.
My decision to print splits for each finisher made for a very long queue at the download tent. Thankfully the weather stayed fine for those in the queue as I suspect several may not have downloaded or returned their rented SI cards.
As mentioned earlier, a lot of DNFs were only one control short, this may be due to how difficult it is to keep track of the controls that you have so far visited. This is possibly an even greater problem for the shorter courses since the longs only have to skip 2 controls.
On the plus side, SI meant that:
the entries were almost complete by the time we packed up
we are able to say with confidence who DNF'ed
we can upload split times and by extension routes for each competitor.
The new pop-up tent worked well as a download tent, it was entertaining when the wind would blow and colaspe it in, only to pop out again a few seconds later, more guy-lines needed.
Sitting in the tent I didn't get too much of a sense of whether people enjoyed the event or not, but I think in general the scatter league is a great idea for bringing in new people to the sport.
Val and Ciana ran a Micro-O event on the day. I think it meshed very well with scatter event. Though I have to come clean and confess I miss punched two controls.
Weatherwise, the day started off looking as if the weather was going to be foul, the tail end of Kathya was due to pass by soon. In the end the weather stayed fine and only at the very end when the road signs were being collected, did a shower fall.
Unlike the Scatter event, Sportident worked really well for the Micro-O. Since most people who did it were already registered in the database, when they came to download Or recognised the course they had done and all I had to do was OK it. For those who got the course wrong I just had to select the course they had done. I could also tell them how many they missed. I only had to type in names for those who weren't in the database, and for a few who tried it a second time.
Not many inexperienced orienteers tried it – perhaps we should have directed them over after they had downloaded at the scatter – but it was quite challenging technically even for experienced orienteers judging by how many got it wrong. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, so be warned - it will return again. Congratulations to Lawrence Quinn who had the best time, 3.30 minutes for 800 meters.