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Thursday, 28 May 2009

GPS Watches

There is a lot of discussion about the recent banning of GPS watches by the IOF in WRE's etc. Contrary to what seems to be a majority on World of O, Attackpoint and Maptalk, Im in favor in the IOF's decision.
Seems most people think: "Oh no, now Im not going to be able to track my route anymore..." this is crap you can still use a GPS to track your route, the IOF has only banned devices with a screen. Why do you need your GPS in watch form in a race? If you want to be able to upload your route using Quickroute etc then a GPS data logger can do just the same. (One example from World of O is the Globalsat BT-335 Data-logger). What advantages does your fancy Garmin have over a little black box if your not going to use it in a race? Maybe it logs your heart rate as well? just wear a heart rate monitor then. Im not sure how much feedback on your HR your going to get from a race anyway, its more of a training tool than anything. Just suck it up, take some harden up pills, buy a data logger, build a bridge and get over it.


Jamie said...

Geez theres some fire in that belly aye ;-) I agree though, they had to do something about this, it reminds me of that old legal aphorism...

"justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done. "

The fairness needs to be palpable. You need to be able to grab the event like a sponge, wring the water out of it and feel the fairness puff the sponge back to its original shape.

Mickos said...

Hey Tane - you don't need a screen - but quite a few elites worldwide are already using the data from their watch and don't want to buy a second GPS unit.
Mats Treong has also put a lot of his own time in to set up Quickroute software for calibrating traces to courses.
I reckon a compromise might be in order eg carry but not use watches and if someone is seen with one on a wrist then DSQ. If you really want the data then you put it in a small backpack/camelbak etc my 2c

Mickos said...

Here's comment from Mats Troeng:
This is really sad news, especially for me as the QuickRoute developer. The result of hundreds of hours of unpaid work (i e the QuickRoute software) is now banned to use at major international events. At least for the vast majority of athletes that do not have a non-display GPS watch.

This is a really contraproductive decision made by the IOF. In my opinion, IOF should aim for making our sport more attractive. And letting the top athletes share their route choices with their fans world-wide certainly makes the sport more attractive and visible. Banning them to do so is NOT attractive.

What’s next? Forcing top athletes to stay in some kind of quarantine the months preceding a big race just to make sure that they won’t cheat by visiting embargoed areas?

Let’s face it. Orienteering is, and will be, a sport based on fair play and gentlemen’s agreement. I hope rule 21.3 will be canceled as soon as possible

MarcusD said...

Nah, I am against this rule. Brent had an interesting point on maptalk in that he can lock his watch before he starts and it gives him no benefit apart from looking at elapsed time. What is wrong with that? Nothing. Sure, other watches don't have that facility but just make them carry it in a camelback.

For me I have learnt alot by looking at Brent's courses that he runs and seeing where he goes, plus the speed he is moving at. It definitely makes me think about my own route choices quite a bit. If he cant load routes by using a GPS I will have to starting talking to him instead!

In today's climate we should be making the sport more appealing to the public - this is one way of doing it. Face it the generation of today want all the technological features that go with it.

Jamie, should we start a post trading legal aphorism's but with an orienteering bent?

Mickos said...

cmon guys, stick to two syllabs please

Tane said...

Mick, you have some good points there.

The Quickroute program is not based only on Garmin watches as far as I'm aware. Michael Smithson uses a Data logger and he still uploads his routes using Quickroute.

In many cases the data loggers are much cheaper in comparison to a watch with all the fancy bells and whistles.

So if Brent can lock his watch while he is running...then he can unlock it during his race too! regardless of whether or not he is going to use it.

Keith said...

I think the decision is OK too, I use a garmin 405, for training and some orienteering races. But in bigger races (WRE etc) I don't wear it as it annoys me anyway (excess weight, faf, beeping etc).

Also i do think that you could gain some advantage from the distance function (although not someone who is capable of wining a world champs).

So as long as national bodys don't make the same rule for non WRE it's all good.

And tane your correct, quickroute tacks a standard gps format - that the 405 doesn't output directly (grr!)