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Thursday, 20 January 2011

Sprint the Bay preview

Pretty much everyone connected with the NZ orienteering scene will know that this weekend sees the 2nd instalment of Sprint the Bay, a series of 6 sprint events over 3 days in the sunny (although rain is forecast this weekend) Hawkes Bay.

The brain child of the Morrison kids and a huge success last year, the weekend is run as a tour format; complete with yellow singlet for the leader, green for the sprint leg leader, and this year a new polka dot singlet for the leader on the hill climb legs.

Last years elite woman grade was won by Maja Alm (we take part credit for her stunning european season after her summer training in nz :), closely followed by our own star Angela Simpson. The men's was taken out by Darren 'the flash' Ashmore, showing his experience and skill, with a number of other contenders crashing out with mps in various stages.

This year the areas look, if possible, even better, and the competition will be just as hot, with a mixture of nz's best and some overseas stars.

Unfortunately for me, I won't have the chance to improve on last years 3rd placing, with doctors orders not to compete in sprint races. (too much sharp turning and stop/start for my poor bruised talus). So I'll be spectating, and hopefully get out jogging around some of the maps.

Anyway, enough from me, I'm off to drive up to the bay. much more info about the races, format, competitors and results can be found on STB website!

Headcam and GPS fun

Whilst procrastinating at work the last couple of weeks, I've been keeping track of an interesting discussion going on on attackpoint.

Pretty much, if you don't want to read through all the comments; someone asked if there was available tools to sync up your GPS tracking data with headcam footage. This resulted in ken (one of the guys behind attackpoint) scripting up a function for use on attackpoint (for donating members). You can find an example of it on newpatrick's log here

Some seriously cool stuff aye?! We've seen it done by Gueorgiou and a couple of the other top elites before, but now given you have the correct equipment, we could all do it. And it would be a pretty amazing tool for training and analysis of your techniques. Imagine being able to watch yourself make a parallel error, and seeing on the headcam exactly how you made it.

Unfortunately for me, I'm too poor to have a GPS watch, let alone a headcam. (although i'm seriously tempted). But certainly as a training group we could probably pull it together, and the benefits would be great, let alone the entertainment!

Anyway if you want more indepth info and better writing on this subject, Jan Kocbach has just written about it on

Monday, 17 January 2011

How confusing is this?!

A good way to make use of a small area, looking forward to trying it. Gutted I didn't find this map til after junior camp, would have been carnage!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Map Interpretation Skills

Above is the night event map from Junior Camp. courtesy of Nick Hann and Jamie BW who field worked the area, but unfortunately ran out of time to put it on ocad. Not to be put off, we just took their rough sketch to the printer and went with it.

You think it's hard reading now, try racing on it in the dark and rain! Much to our surprise the kids actually followed the map reasonably well, and even found the controls we'd hidden (including teaming together to get one down off the flying fox!). All of this whilst running from coaches with waterbombs, and avoiding having their maps stolen by waterbomb-less coaches! Fair to say the coaches had fun, the kids seemed to too.

Personal favourites of mine from the map:

- the unscaled gap between the right and left parts of the map

- the blow up of the maze, which holds no correlation to the actual maze

- two number 24's (by mistake)

- northish? and safety bearing off the left of the map

- number 7, which was hidden inside a shed. like shooting fish in a barrel with the water bombs!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

New Years Day Mission

To anyone who actually checks this blog (Jamie, Carsten, anyone else?), a happy new year! Yes, I survived junior camp and made it to 2011!

Having spent a wicked new years at Jamie and Penny's, including some geekish orienteering celebrations (ie. orienteering), some 10 year old fire works which barely made it above the 1m hedgeline and a good game of space chicken helmets, someone had the bright idea that we should conclude our celebrations with a 6hr mission in the akatarawas the next day. yay!

So come 11am, 8 of us were gathered at the end of moonshine valley, ready to take on some hills and rivers. Or not ready, but with little choice at that stage! Interestingly enough, it was those who didn't make it to town the night before who were there for the mission. Although Greg had the best intentions of making it to town but got lost somewhere on mt vic on the way.

Anyhow, the mission for the day was the Whakatikei river, which it turns out, has a wikipedia page. Not that you'll learn anything from it. However we started in same place as the NZ rogaining champs, which were held in the area last year, and a map can be found here. good luck following my description on it!

Pictured Right: Nowhere near the ridge that we were on, but thanks for the pic Jamie!

Off we started, pretty much straight into a rugged uphill on a 4wd track. After 10mins we'd had enough of that, so went off track and literally straight up the hill, eventually reappearing on the ridgeline, minus greg. He materialised out of the bush a couple of minutes later, to be serenaded by my "I see greg, I see greg, I see gre-eg!" (to tune of "I see red" for those in need of an explanation). He wasn't appreciative, well he was, but he hid it well.

We continued along said ridge for about an hour, passing a couple of hunters and a couple of dozen hunting dogs along the way. Which made me glad that I was wearing a relatively bright, non deer like top that day. One of the dogs mistook us for her pack and stayed with us for half an hour. Apparently we look and smell like dogs?! Maybe after another 3-4 hours, but hopefully not at that point! All of the dogs had fancy garmin's on their necks, which made me slightly jealous. Perhaps I could start a new fad with necklace garmins?

Pictured: Actually the whakatikei river, but not us.

Anyway, eventually we slipped and slid our way down to the Whakatikei River, and after 1.5 hours we entered the water. What ensued was 4.5hrs of wading, rockhopping and swimming down the river. Casper had some good fun with his new waterproof camera,trying it out on us and the few eels we encountered enroute. (I haven't got the photos off him, as apparent by the lack of them here)

Being the wimp that I am, I tried to avoid having to swim, mainly so I could keep relatively warm. However, after 4 hours in the river, the final gorge left no option but to brave the chance of large deep water eels and swim. I once again showed my swimming prowess, almost catching Casper up. This was, however, at the expense of any energy left in my muscles. Not to worry, the end was just around the corner, and with it a chance to collapse and warm up in the sun.

Pictured: "feed me!"

So all in all a good start to the year, got to love summer and the adventures that come with it! What missions has anyone else been on lately? Anyone?