About two years ago I paid a visit to Lake Louisa State Park on the hunch that it would be a good location for orienteering. As I stood on the deck of the beach pavilion overlooking Lake Louisa I thought to myself that someday I would like to put on an orienteering event there. It was just so beautiful.
Thanks to the support of Florida Orienteering I was able to produce an orienteering map of the park and to be given the opportunity to host the 2012 Florida Orienteering Championships there on December 8th and a long distance race on the 9th. As planning took place I kept thinking how people were going to enjoy the scenery of the start/finish 'arena' as much as they would the actual orienteering. So you can imagine my disappointment when I arrived at the beach race day morning and found we could barely see 200 meters out on the lake let alone across the lake to the beautiful hills of Claremont. With participants coming from as far away as Finland, Britain and Brazil as well as several northern states I wanted to have everything just right, including the weather.
The support of the Lake Louisa Park officials and staff was just great. From helping with course design to avoid sensitive areas to park clean up and help in setting out controls I cannot imagine a park staff being more supportive than the staff at Lake Louisa. So was the help given by many FLO members, particularly Jonathan Linforth in printing the maps and dealing with park officials, Janet Putnam and Terry Czigan in handling registration, Paul Czigan in getting people started, Ray Bruneau and Bob Putnam in stepping in to help wherever they saw it was needed and Laura& Cheryl who along with Lise Hunter did a great job on the Finish and Results posting. After the event, Ray, Jerry Sirmans, Joe Maliszewski, Tracy Acuff and cadets from Winter Park High School did a fast and efficient job of retrieving the control flags.
As for the competition what can I say about Nick Barrable and Sarah-Jane Gaffney. They are British orienteers currently living and working in Sweden. They take the sport seriously. Nick is editor of Britain's CompassSport magazine. Nick blitzed around the 9 km Blue course in 54:10, 32 minutes ahead of Yuriy Bulka of Mobile AL. Any other year Yuriy's time at less than ten minutes per km would have been considered great as would have David Ashley's time in third place.
Sarah-Jane's 65 minutes on the 8 km Red course was fifteen minutes ahead of David Waller, the first place male. Jerry Sirmans placed third.
Another overseas visitor, Tapio Halme of Finland topped the 5 km Green course in 42:51. Halme who owns a home in North Palm Beach is a veteran of orienteering competitions around the world. Florida's Reid Hardman placed second and third place went to Heidi Onkst of Maryland, closely followed by Rick Shane of Georgia.
Ed Spiezio topped the Orange course with the Konstanz team second and Tony Jakusoves third, just barely ahead of the Girlzgo team. A team called "Boone NJROTC" topped the Yellow course. Cheryl McDonough placed second.
The 2.4 km White course is usually reserved for newcomers to the sport. This time an experienced Adventure Racing team, Canyoneros, ran the course in a fast 24 minutes while recording their route on a head cam. It is posted on line. The video and the dialogue are great examples of the route choices that take part on an orienteering course. Thank you, Hein Nguyen. After completing the white course the Canyoneros headed out to also complete the Blue course.
John Murphy, Nikki Rupert and 76 year old Marianne Nicci had noteworthy "first time" times on the White course.
The event ended with a joint award ceremony for the JROTC and FLO Championship competitions. JROTC and FLO results were combined to award medals to the top three male and female finishers on each course. Suffice it to say the young fit cadets took many of the top places in the three courses used for their competition.
As we handed out the awards to the winning individuals and teams among the close to 200 participants I looked out over the now sunny Lake Louisa and thought "this is how I hoped it would be: another beautiful day in paradise". You can relive it all in the slide show.
Related Links:Photos - Lake Louisa - FLO Championships - 8 Dec 2012 Video - Lake Louisa - FLO Championships - 8 Dec 2012 Photos - Bubba Goat - Lake Louisa - 9 Dec 2012 Video - Mini Bubba Goat - 9 Dec 2012 Video - Full Bubba Goat - 9 Dec 2012 Master Map - Bubba Goat - Lake Louisa - 9 Dec 2012
|WOHS, Rae Ellen Back||147:46|
|K & P Mundschenk||79:28|
|Hawkins / Lunt||100:12|
|BSA 72, Gomez||129:00|
|Jo de Martina||133:13|
|GSA 48, Dorvil||133:26|
|GSA 48, Brotherton||134:26|
|GSA 48, Sherman||135:46|
|D L Bly||156:55|
|GSA 48, Hennessey||157:39|
|BSA 72, Willis||206:30|
|Card # 339||NTR|
|BSA 72, Ruprecht||NTR|
|West Orange DT 1||NTR|
|Tapio Halme||42:51 - Finland|
|Heidi Onkst||54:36 - Quantico|
|Rick Shane||60:25 - Georgia|
|Tracy Acuff||64:58 - Suncoast|
|Auri Copetti||65:00 - Brazil|
|Fabiana Copetti||65:00 - Brazil|
|Mark Cicharski||73:45 - N Carolina|
|James Nici||74:25 - Suncoast|
|Dennis & Carolyn||98:26|
|Donna Fluegel +1||126:50|
|Scratch & Sniff||159:10|
|Sarah-Jane Gaffney||65:11 - UK|
|Boris & Lami||122:30|
|Nick Barrable||54:10 - UK|
|Tom Strat||92:35 - Quantico|
|Mike Minium||94:02 - Cincinnati|
|David Onkst||99:05 - Quantico|
|Card # 807||110:13|
|Card # 809||NTR|
|DNF||Did Not Finish|
|DQ||Disqualified (Missed Controls)|
|OT||Over 3 Hour Time Limit|