Lockdown Orienteering - the Sprint Edition

This weekend saw the second event in the Lockdown Orienteering series. There were eleven takers from SOC this time around. The format was similar to last time but with a sprint theme to the ten stages. Some of the stages used the same online activities as the Easter event but there were also some new tests for competitors which are highlighted below. The next event takes place on the Bank Holiday weekend and will switch back to the virtual forest and there look to be yet more innovative activities - get your entry in on Fabian 4!

The first stage, for example, required you to pick the shortest of three courses with a maximum of 20 seconds to decide (something I was particularly bad at). Street View featured again but this time the course required you to navigate through the narrow back alleys of Bristol and jumping from one place to another on the map was strictly disallowed!

Stage 4 required you to pick the fastest route between two controls using a new, purpose-built, website. The routes were planned by sprint World Champion Emil Wingstedt and got more and more fiendish as the stage progressed. I'd swear I'd found the only possible route on the last test but still got it wrong! The next stage was a fiendish rendition of the children's game "pick-up pairs" with twenty pairs, each containing a section of very similar looking map.

For Sunday, we had another new stage in the 3D Maze. Whilst relocation was nigh-on impossible in the hardest course, it actually didn't prove to be too tricky to navigate the course. Jigsaws might seem a sedate occupation but with the clock ticking and pieces with straight edges, the next stage was still pretty taxing.

This time I completed the three Catching Features courses which featured two fantastically detailed maps. I have to say that I preferred the clear features of the urban area but my times were still more than double those of the winners. The graphics are a bit of a throw back to the 1990s (not surprising given the age of the game) but it's still an excellent test of several orienteering skills. If you fancy something more photo-realistic, take a look at the preview for Virtual-O.

There was also a shiny new results website custom-built for the event. Congratulations to Tamsin who just pipped Rob for the position of top-SOC. She also placed an impressive 35th in the 10 stage competition. The less said about my own results the better!


Southampton Street View Course

Today should have been the first of our series of summer events. To compensate, inspired by last weekend's Lockdown event, Duncan has planned a virtual course around Southampton on Google Street View with a series of questions to answer as you go. Due to OS licensing, we can't share the orienteering map on the website but, if you drop an email to soc [at] david.currie.name, we'll send you the map and instructions for taking part.

In reply to by dk72

Hi dk72, yes it does but it hasn't been used or updated in years (2000). Dave and Christine were the mappers so give Dave (above) an email. Or I have a scan of a printout. We've not been able to get permission for a while.. 


Lockdown Orienteering

Over the Easter weekend, Duncan and I, along with Rob, Tamsin, the Lights and 500 others took part in the virtual Lockdown Orienteering Championships which proved to be great fun and with proceeds going to a good cause. A full write-up follows but, if you missed out, there's another chance to take part on the 24-26th April, this time with a sprint focus. Details on the website and entries via Fabian4 close on Tuesday.

Lockdown Orienteering was the brainchild of GB orienteer Chris Smithard and, thanks to a heads-up from Rob, Duncan and I managed to get an entry for the Easter competition before the deadline (which closed early due to the explosion in interest for the event).

There were two parts to the competition, the first consisted of eight online challenges, all with an orienteering theme:

  1. Friday started with a simple Route Choice Game where you have to pick the shortest route for a leg: left or right around some obstacle. Amazing how something so simple can get the heart racing!
  2. Next up was a course on World of O's Running Wild site that Tamsin has previously written a post about.
  3. Saturday's first test used Simon Errington's control description site that Kevin has already mentioned. If you don't know your anthill symbol from bare rock, here's a chance to learn!
  4. Graham Gristwood had then set a quiz whereby, after a brief glimpse at a control site on a map, you then had to select the photo that matched without referring back to the map. A good exercise in simplification.
  5. This was followed by a quiz. Even with access to the internet, I still struggled to answer many of the questions.
  6. Sunday brought a fiendish spot the difference competition - comparing two fragments of map under time pressure.
  7. There was then a course around Chester where competitors had to make use of Google Streetview to answer a series of questions.
  8. The competition ended on Monday with a challenge on a Czech site that allows you to test your TempO skills - attempting to identify which, if any, of the controls in the photo match that shown on the map.

The second part of the competition consisted of four events in the virtual orienteering game Catching Features. We made use of the discount code provided in order to buy a copy at a reduced price but weren't sufficiently practised to enter our results in the competition. It's a surprisingly good test of orienteering skills and, in particular, provides a valuable lesson in not loosing contact with the map! There is a demo version for free or, for something similar that you can just play for free in your web browser, I can recommend The Forest.

The Catching Features competition concluded with a live final that the Currie family watched whilst eating dinner on Monday!

All in all, the competition provided a welcome distraction over the Easter weekend when we would normally have been away at the JK. Emma was sufficiently enthused that she'll be joining us for the next event and I see that Anya and Helen are already on the start list. Why not join us?!