Warrenscourt Video and Splits Analysis

Post date: Jun 24, 2012 3:38:10 PM

As several competitors have uploaded their routes to Route Gadget it is possible to do some video analysis on the Long course route choices in Warrenscourt Wood. The Route Gadget video below is from four of the top ten finishers. While Darren stormed ahead from an early stage it is interesting to see how the other participants were very evenly matched along the course with each taking the lead at some point only to lose it due to an error, route choice or simply the speed of their opponents on the tracks.

Route choice from 4 to 5 proved advantageous for one competitor and interestingly the field was split 50:50 on the high track versus the low track in getting from control 5 to 6. Leg 11 to 12 seemed to provide the most diverse range of routes as competitors opted for different ways through the rough open. Finally the speed of some participants on the tracks seemed to be the final differentiator.

Thanks to all those who uploaded their routes it really doesn't provide interesting insight into how we all interpret the map differently and how crucial some of our decisions can be.

Short Course Analysis

One of the real benefits of the SI system is the ability to compare splits with fellow competitors and this allows us to calculate exactly how costly our mistakes were and more importantly if we didn't think we made a mistake did we not spot a better faster route option or are some fellow competitors just too fast for us.

The Short Course from Warrenscourt is shown below and using the Splits browser we can easily plot the splits from the top three finisher who are all members of the super fast Team Bosonnet. This was the first occasion in the Summer League when we had tie for first place with Sienna and Sean Bosonnet finishing with exactly the same time. The splits plot shows how Sienna's steady pace over the course and her sprint over the last few controls gained her valuable time over her brother Sean and allowed her to attack his lead only to eventually finish with the same time.

The plot also illustrates how two small errors by Joe Bosonnet one at the start and the other at the finish cost him precious time. Joe has kindly provided the following account of his route around the Short course:

"Hilly enough course at Warrenscourt on a nice dry evening! Made a map error going to number one and found it after four minutes. Talk about a bad start! But I found number two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight easily. I missed number nine and had to go back for it which cost me a minute and a half. But still happy coming third with a time of 19:21.Looking forward to Tramore next week!" by Joe Bosonnet (Team Bosonnet)

Orienteering Techniques

To assist Joe and others with navigation it is probably beneficial to discuss some key orienteering techniques.

Line Features

These are handrails for the orienteer - they simplify navigation and are the main navigation guides for less experienced orienteers. They are easy to see on the map and the ground. You can follow them or realise when you cross them. Junctions of line features give you a very precise identification of your position.

Examples: Forest roads, walls, fences, streams, earth banks, gullies.

Take for example leg 8-9 on the Short course below. It is possible to use line features to guide us straight to the control. Starting from control 8 we proceed along the wide path line feature until we reach the path junction. At the path junction we know our precise location on the map and on the right hand side we look for the steam line feature and follow this until we reach the small track line feature. Turning left onto this small path we can follow it directly to control 9.

Attack Point

This is an easily recognisable and easily found feature as near the actual control as possible. Proceed as though the easily recognisable point on the line feature was the control and then go from the easy feature to the actual control.

Taking leg 8-9 again and if we opted for the alternate route of staying on the wide track our attack point for the control would be the end of the cliff on our right hand side. This should be easily recognisable and once we reach the end of the cliff we can navigate easily to the control.

Catching Features

When planning your route between controls try and notice features which will tell you when you have gone nearly far enough - before you reach the control and also notice what features will tell you if you have gone too far.

Looking at the second route option from control 8-9 there are two catching features we can identify to assist with our navigation. Firstly the presence of the cliff face on our right will tell us we are approaching the control and secondly the stream on the left hand side which will tell us we've gone beyond the control and should turn back.