Suncoast Orienteering - a Winter Treat!
With winter dragging on,
I was looking for any good excuse to travel to some place warm, by the
sea, and not too far away. I knew that Gord Hunter was organizing the
Suncoast Orienteering Championships near Tampa, Fla. so I wrote him and
asked if he needed any help. : )
he said yes. With 240 cadets pre-registered, and another 40 public orienteers expected, it was going to be a busy event. |
So, a couple of days
later, Gloria and I hopped on a jet to Sarasota where Gord and
Lise have been hiding since last fall. Their rented house hides
behind these bougainvilleas in full bloom. Winter seemed so far away!
has been mapping and organizing O-meets all over central Florida for the
past few years. This year his "main event" was to be the Suncoast
Championships at Fort Desoto - a former military post and training
area transformed into a campground and day-use recreational park. It
has some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. |
had designed five courses, the longest being the split-map blue course.
It was about 7.1 Km long with 29 controls. Click HERE to open the complete Part 2 map.|
On the day before the meet, we
headed up to Fort Desoto for a long, hot day of hiking the forests and
beaches setting up controls. Real hard work, but somehow we persevered. ; )
|From these photos you can appreciate the difficulty we had setting up the courses. |
The scenery was so darn distracting!
Controls 8 & 10 on the blue course.
|At left, on the lagoon side of the map, Gord found this little inlet among the mangroves. Very spooky! Control #14.|
the right is what happens at high tide to your low-tide course
setting. The stream junction near the inlet east of Control #9.
|On race day, there were lots of spectators.
Among others, a great egret, a white ibis, and a great horned owl in
the woods near the finish chute. On the map, you can see the temporary
fencing set up to protect her nest from the snoopy public. Thank-you to Blaik for this shot with his monster lens.|
Here is the link to the FLO page: http://www.floridaorienteering.org/index.htm Click results to find the meet details.
Gord for your hospitality and congratulations on your highly successful
event. For sure we will be checking the FLO schedule next winter.
Cheers, Bill & Gloria.