Event report: NavDash 1 ECU Joondalup
Sunday, 26 February 2023
Edith Cowan University, Joondalup
Organisers Helen and Ken Post decided on the start time of 10am rather than the usual 9.30am as everything had to be set up on the morning of the event. The forecast for Joondalup for the day was 33 for mid afternoon, so the light easterly combined with the abundance of tree shade on campus made it reasonably pleasant running in the morning.
As it turned out, the setters were ready for a 9.15am start which many took advantage of and subsequently ran a second course. It was warmer for the control collectors after 12.30pm. Thanks to Dan, Carol, Ken B, Jenny, Peter K, Chip, Ken P and new member Peter Ashton for this. Also thanks to Carol and Ken for helping set up at registration and for returning all the gear to the shed for us – much appreciated after an early start.
Feedback from the competitors showed they appreciated the multiple route choice options offered on most legs, despite having limited time (4 weeks) to design the courses, check the control sites, check and amend the map and arrange Eventor and publicity information. The process of designing courses and planning the event wasn’t too onerous. Luckily Ken didn’t have a lot of work in those weeks.
Apologies to the one competitor who found the only Long map in the Easy box. The briefing instruction should include "Check your map is for your course"!
Speaking of which, the first point of the briefing stressed the existence of OOB areas and lines, that they should not be entered or crossed, even if possible to do so. Mindful of the transition from Metro to Sprint format I was particularly aware of this. Attention was drawn to the copies of the legend for these at each map box (see photo below). Despite this, a few people still crossed the thick black zig-zag line to the east of the map, even opening a one way door to do so! Perhaps we need to keep reinforcing these OOB features at every campus NavDash.
Unusual international descriptions on the day: the guidelines for running a NavDash event, in section 6, 'Control Descriptions', states that both international and English descriptions should be available. They also say that the English version must describe the actual item if a special feature ie. BBQ, seat, pump etc. The problem with this is that most of these items are not listed on the international descriptions as they are mapped as ‘special features’. Everything else we describe needs to be described as it is on the map so why the difference with this one feature? Thanks to Ian Fletcher for help to do this. Also thanks to Tony Simpkins for the recent updates of all the setting guidelines – they are easy to follow.
As a final comment we were particularly mindful that the map is very busy and designing a sprint course makes it even busier. Considering our aging eyes we contemplated making the Long map double-sided but instead used the function of white shadowing the numbers which helped in having them stand out. This seemed to work well and future setters should be mindful of this, especially on busy maps.
“I did Long and Short courses and it was good they were quite different, rather than one just being an extension of the other.”
“The E led us gently through the basics for the first half then challenged us more on the second – thanks.”
“Loved the route choice options – right from the start triangle! Aaahh, which way do I go?”
“Enjoyed having to think all the way around – great fun.”
“My daughter was a bit annoyed she got the wrong map!”
Photo: Liam starting at ECU Joondalup, by Sue Dowling.