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!