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Event Report: NavDash 4 John Curtin College of the Arts

Sunday, 18 April 2021

WA’s first multi-level Sprint was a mixed success, with opinions of experienced orienteers ranging from “too hard to be enjoyable” to “the best sprint I’ve ever done.”

On the positive side, most people nevertheless seemed to ‘enjoy’ the experience. The artificial barrier in the west quadrangle caused a few grumbles but the grumblers conceded that it did add considerably to route choice options. Everyone agreed that it was very challenging both mentally, with the tremendous amount of route choice throughout, and physically, with all those #$%* stairs.

The large majority of the negative aspects can be attributed to my inexperience as a setter; these included:
a) The course was too complex for a single page; I should have put in a map exchange.

b) The courses were too long. I had estimated them to be 3 km and 2 km (given the alleged line distances of only 1.4 km and 1.1 km) but I now think that I might have made a mistake with the map scale in PurplePen, such that the shortest courses were likely closer to 4 km and 3 km.

c) 3 controls were poorly placed; the only legal way to get to them was by long out & backs, but much faster access was possible by illegally crossing impassable fences. These 3 controls were all late in the course when people were physically & mentally tired, and some, including at least one very experienced orienteer, found the temptation of the short-cut too great.

d) Information about the event, including the one way passages, should possibly have been more clear, including a blank map at the start. Whilst we don’t normally provide a blank map at the start for new maps, the unfamiliar nature of this event, justified an exception to the rule.

e) One gate which should have been open (in the far NE) remained locked for the first runners. At least 2 runners (Sten & Robert) were blocked by this gate before I realized and unlocked it, adding the best part of a minute to their times. I apologize to anyone blocked by this gate. My weak defense is that after unlocking the other 23 gates & doors and putting out all the controls & bricks my mind and body were starting to suffer from the same punishment that I was deliberately inflicting on everyone else.

I’d like to thank the following people: Noel Schoknecht, who gave me advice re my multi-level update of his original map and helped brainstorm this event; Dan Greig for getting site permission; Helen Bailey, the event organizer; Jack Dowling and Melinda Richards for running the IT; and a bevy of people who helped with set-up and control collection: Sue Dowling, Tony Simpkins, Mike Howe, Karen Staudte, Blake & Tristan Merritt, Phil Taylor, Jennifer Binns, Simon Spagnol, Anna Napier, Peter Gillon, Anthea Feaver, Peter Standon, Rosemary Kuhlman, Jen Porter, Ellie Sansom, Kate, Lachlan & Rohan Braid and Archie Browlie.
Nick Dale

Results are available on Eventor here

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