Perfectly Fine Orienteering. That's what we all enjoyed at Woodpecker Hill and Shockley Ranch on Saturday. Despite one small hiccup in public relations regarding 85 Yellow course orienteers traipsing up to the now-posted Shockley Cemetery (actually the Maple Grove Cemetery), this was as fine a day as can be had. The second biggest crowd ever at an Ocala Forest venue, 260 starters turned out despite the bitterly cold weather!
Bitter, I say! Why, do you know it never got above 65F all day long? And the wind! My gosh, the wind was often gusting to 10 or 12 MPH. Not at all your typical Florida orienteering experience. But we FLO'ers with the sturdier constitutions braved the elements with customary grit. I have to say all that just to tweak the sensibilities of northerners reading this. Jonathan Linforth pretty much ran the show as event coordinator and course designer for advanced courses, and good courses they were, too, while I was responsible for White, Yellow and Orange courses.
It was gratifying to see everyone simply find this event, since the web page had directions that led you to the previous event's staging area. Thanks for not tearing our heads off over that. We do know how frustrating it can be. Thanks go to everyone who pitched in. John Ide arrived early, as did the Titusville HS JROTC team, providing helping hands everywhere. Donna Fluegel arrived early to set White & Yellow courses on the Shockley Ranch map and also placed those helpful ribbons along the course of an old trail that had disappeared near Yellow #3.
Jonathan ran start/finish along with help through the day from Toby Henson and Russ Steinke. Ray Bruneau did registration after John Ide went out on Green, and Arild Orsleie plus Joe Maliszewski retrieved controls. I apologize if I've forgotten anyone - please know your help is much appreciated. This event served as the make-up 2003 Florida Champs for the Men's Red course and the competition was tight, even though Ron Eaglin didn't show.
Note that Dave Gottshalk edged out Derek Bohn by a mere 49 seconds to take home the Bronze medal. This means both Gottshalks, Dave & Debbie, are 2003 medal winners since Debbie previously won Gold for her Red course win at the Wekiva Champs in December. Also, Toby Henson is a 2003 double medal winner, winning a Silver medal on this Men's Red while having previously won the 2003 Green course Men's Bronze at Wekiva.
There were a few surprises, one of which was the new No-Trespassing signs on what we'd always called the Shockley Cemetery. The owner had posted it within the last month and happened to be out there housekeeping that morning, just as the first of our huge Yellow course contingent came up to punch in at Yellow #3 hanging on the surrounding fence.
Relatively polite words were exchanged. Back at registration, we learned about it soon enough and met with the owners, but not before they called the police. Apparently additional signage had been torn down; he thought we'd done it; I assured him we hadn't; he didn't believe me; I promised to double check; he began to feel better. I also promised we would not use the cemetery fence as a control location again, and that I'd get his approval next time. I think they were satisfied in the end that we were not their worst problem, but its the local yahoos who range over Ocala Forest vandalizing everything out of habit.
Our lesson consists of (1) not taking private land for granted and (2) giving a big Thank you to all our people who behaved calmly and appropriately and did nothing to inflame the situation. The other surprise was (were) the multiple new trails the four-wheelers had carved since we had last visited the site and designed courses. In my case, I carelessly left red #1 on what I thought was a rough NW heading, crossed "the road" soon enough, noting its angle seemed odd, so I bore further left, naturally never checking my compass all this time - over a hilltop, thinking vaguely: there should have been another trail there.
Then came a depression, unmapped! Then two trails close together. Hmmm, I said to myself. Puzzled and wandering idly (the old PAWI syndrome), I finally relocated on a distinct pair of thickets with a control on the Orange course I'd designed and I was back on track, but about 300m from where I thought I was, rattled now and low on confidence. continued on page 3
All because of that first unmapped trail, but also because I never looked at my compass when I should have. Many others reported similar confusions on that trail and others. We try to keep up with these things, honest, but we miss some.
Notice that a pair of newcomers, adventure racers, Scott & Charlie, first ran the Yellow course in record time, then went out on red and finished. Congratulations to them for pulling off such a rare feat. Hope they continue to come out and steadily improve. On Green Joe Maliszewski absolutely blew everyone away. We cannot explain the number of DNF's on Brown, but notice the tight finish for first place where a team of three edged out Bret Barker. On Orange, Walenty Prytulo returns to dominant form, after a season of broken ribs and various ailments. It was great to see Steve & David Savrda again after a few years' absence. The Savrdas have been mainstays of FLO success over the years.
One last item - In the last newsletter we discussed a new resolve to firmly enforce the Max-number-in-group rule for each course.
Red - 2. Green & Brown - 3. Orange - 4. Yellow - 5. White - 6.
Out of the 106 maps issued, there was one group of 3 on red, Brown & Green were OK, while Orange had an 8, a 7 and five 5's. Not bad. Thanks, everyone. And for those of you among the over-sized groups: do what you can to limit your group size next time. The smaller the groups, the more fun it is for everyone. Thanks for turning out and we'll see you in the woods next time
|Fox, Jim (Troop 234)||50:43|
|Bates, Bob & Elaine||66:40|
|Riggs & Hillard||74:09|
|Auburndale #3, Folds||98:24|
|Auburndale #2, Mount||109:18|
|Keys, M (THS)||113:35|
|McAdams, B (THS)||124:27|
|Auburndale #1, Ray||129:43|
|Kromer, John & Karen||109:10|
|Odermatt, S (THS)||DNF|
|Voorwinden, S (THS)||DNF|
|Horn, A (THS)||113:17|
|Pattillo, R (THS)||123:57|
|Royer, Steph & Julie||140:13|
|Auburndale #5, Stiles||146:33|
|Rosenberg, M & A||150:14|
|Padrick, Al (THS)||152:05|
|Hugoboom, A (THS)||160:45|
|Taylor, J (THS)||164:55|
|McCarthy, D (THS)||170:36|
|Misa, Jeff (THS)||172:56|
|Auburndale #4, Reynolds||DNF|
|Johnson, B (THS)||107:04|
|Swiercinsky, E (THS)||131:05|
|Keys, S (THS)||131:05|
|DNF||Did Not Finish|
|DQ||Disqualified (Missed Controls)|
|OT||Over 3 Hour Time Limit|