Raccoon Creek State Park
Raccoongaine V Initial Results
23 March 2014

It was quite a cold day for orienteering.  The temperature did not reach 30 degrees and the wind blew all day long.  The one good thing is that is was not raining or snowing.  Again this year, we had a lot of cooperation in terms of carpooling.  We had some extra spaces left over around Rec Hall.  We want to thank all the competitors for making an effort to deal with our parking limitations.

Registration was again limited to 150 people this year and again we sold out, this time more than six  weeks before the event.  This amounted to 65 6-hour teams and 28 3-hour teams; however on Sunday, nine teams did not show up and a couple of teams lost one or more team members.  Consequently, we probably had closer to 140 people altogether.

The format was the same as in previous Raccoongaines.   50 controls were placed in the forest with values of 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 points (10 controls for each value, a total of 1500 points).  Point values were mostly determined by distance from the start and difficulty in getting to them; we did not expect anyone to reach them all.  Four controls (mystery controls) were not marked on the competition map (in this case they were 40, 41, 42 and 43); at four other controls (mother controls, in this case 36, 35, 33 and 39, respectively) that were marked, we placed maps showing where one mystery control was.  After arriving at a mother control, competitors could choose to go to the mystery control or not; all mystery controls were 20-point controls.  Control 40 was very near Rec Hall; it was clear that several teams found it without going to its Mother control (36).  Fewer than one-third of the teams that went to control 35 chose to go to its mystery control (41), undoubtedly because it was too far in the wrong direction for what they wanted to do.  In contrast, nearly everyone who went to control 39 chose to go to its mystery control (42) which was just down the hill.  You can see the visitation counts at  Visitations

The overall winner for the 3-hour course was team Jonestown with 440 points, having visited 13 controls.  Eric Mencke (last year's 3-hour winner) and Will Austin visited 14 controls (the most of anyone in the 3-hour race) but only accumulated 380 points.  The overall winner for the 6-hour race was team Hail to the Chimp with 1080 points, having visited 35 controls.  That was 150 points more than the nearest competitors (MMM and Scott Angove) in terms of points and 5 controls more than the nearest competitor (Kimmo Berg).  Hail to the Chimp managed to visit all 40-point controls, the only team to do that.  MMM and Scott Angove visited 8 of the 50-point controls; no one else did as many.  You can see full results at  Results The average number of controls visited by the 3-hour participants was 7.5 with the average number of points being 175.  The average number of controls visited by the 6-hour participants was 18 with the average number of points being 576.

Analysis of the punch cards reveals that there were four overall stragegies used by the participants in both the 3-hour and 6-hour race.  The majority of teams chose the "northern route" with a few 3-hour teams reaching control 79 and one even reaching 78; many 6-hour teams reached both of these controls.  A second choice was the "northeast route" aimed at controls 72 and 73; this was usually combined with a shorter version of the northern route or the "eastern route" aimed at controls 74 and 75.  There were a couple of 3-hour teams that reached 74 and 75; but none who also did 76 and 77.  Most who used the eastern route stayed to the north of the lake.  The most successful teams combined parts of the northern, northeastern and eastern routes.  The fourth strategy was to stay relatively close to Rec Hall and was mostly used by 3-hour teams who were not trying to be competitive.

The most visited control for either 3-hour or 6-hour teams was control 70.  This was not surprising due to how close it was to Rec Hall.  Not far behind were controls 56 and 57 which were in the same general direction.  I was happy to see that control 30 was the least visited; it is easy to get caught up in some profoundly nasty briars there.  Second least visited was control 45; it was out of the way for nearly all teams.

We hope you had fun, even if you didn't win anything.

Once again, you can get results  here

And Alexis has provided some photos at the following locations

 Set-up pics
 Race pics
 Racer's route pics

A lot of people helped to make Raccoongaine possible.  Thanks to Alexis Rzewski for designing the course.  Thanks to Dave Battista for vetting the course.  Thanks to Joe Logan, Dave Battista, Dan Marincel and Gordon Huang for controlling the parking.  Thanks to Sherry Shank and Laurie Opila for dealing with registration.  Thanks Joe Logan, Dave Battista, Yaki Barak and Laurie Opila for helping with scoring.  Thanks to Giuseppina Mecchia, Laurie Opila, and Joe Logan preparing the food managing the kitchen.  Thanks to Dave Battista and Joe Logan for putting out the water stops (did you notice that the water wasn't ice - we didn't put out the water until just before the start).  Thanks to Jennifer Livingston for helping pick up the control flags.