Bud O'Leary (Dan's father): Recreational orienteering at the JWOC Tour
Each day affords teh non-competitive orienteer opportunities to enjoy the terrain and courses of the JWOC Toru.
We decided to experience European orietneerign on Day 2 of the Tour. The terrain was flat so we chose an intermediate course. We DNF'd the course but had a lot of fun and learned a lot.
We realized why everyone says you need to experience the courses in Europe! The mapping is subtly different than US maps at A meets and club meets. That subtly confounded our mediocre orienteering skills for almost an hour to locate a relatively simple feature /control. Gradation of trails and vegetation are subject to interpretation. We find the maps we've used in the States much easier to interpret than the maps we have reviewed here. For this experience alone joining the JWOC Tour has been well worth our effort.
Since in the excitement of the start of the tour we fell of the radar, I guess that I get to recap the last two days. Yesterday was the JWOC Tour long, occurring concurrently with the JWOC long. We were on a map that was adjacent to the map the competitors used. This let us both: be close to the arena and be able to race on the same terrain as JWOC. The terrain was not especially challenging but it was hilly. The thing that messed with most of the juniors in this race wasn't the terrain but the start procedure. You were not given clue sheets at the start but had to have gotten them at the arena, 1 kilometer away down hill the whole way. By the point that many of us couldn't run back and had to run sans clue sheet, not too bad if it was printed on the map, which (of course) it wasn't. Otherwise the races went well and we finished in time to see most of our racers finish, which was quite exciting.
Today we had a middle race, held at the campgrounds most of the people on the tour are using. The terrain was very flat and pretty open, due mostly to the logging in the area. A grid of trails kept route choice quite import on every leg. The run was quite fast and the vegetation was much kinder compared to the New England variety. Personally I felt that the race went well with a few slight navigational errors, mostly misreading vegitation boundaries. Thus far Europe has been very exciting and fun. The team has been bonding really well and our karioke skills have been steadily improving over the course of the week.