Georgia Orienteering Club
April 2003 News

Watson Mill Bridge Meet - May 26
By Bob Domine

Our deepest Thanks go to all who joined us Saturday at Watson Mill Bridge State Park for our orienteering event. Additionally, a very special Thanks to those who help us. David Cossett was invaluable in helping us set up and finishing last minute details along with running the entire Start/Finish.

Shawn Callahan was also invaluable in sweeping up the controls on the Northeast end of the map. While I was still out in the woods, Robin aided us with instructions, as well as later coordinating with Steve and our team getting in the last of the runners. Linda took care of the Registration, helped put out and pick up the courses and supported me in a 1000 other wonderful ways like she always does. Many, many Thanks to her too!

We were very pleased to have several new smiling faces join us including Giudo's friend from Switzerland, Cecile Schnyder. Frank Jennings came out and did both our White and Yellow courses after David gave him instruction.

Mark Bussey and Karin Muller, also new to us, went out and did the Yellow and Orange courses successfully. Way to go! We also had a great group of Boy Scouts from Troop 2 in Athens. I was glad to see such enthusiasm as they broke up into 9 teams and tackled the Yellow and Orange courses. The adults were great and obviously having as much fun as the youth. By the way, they - the adults - came in second on the Orange!

Southeast Champ Mike Ferguson - won the Red! Congratulations to all of our winners and again Thanks to all who shared our day!

Thanks to all of you for all you do to support our club,

Bob Domine
GAOC President

First Duke's Creek Meet - May 4
By Sam Smith

Just a heads up for everyone - I know you don't want to miss this meet.

This is a NEW map, and is one of the maps that will be used for the convention in 2004. We are going to use the same start/finish location as we will use for the convention A meet day 1. There will be a remote start, with a van shuttle to the start courtesy of the park. They have 2 15 passenger vans.

Here is the important part:

THE SHUTTLE WILL NOT START UNTIL "ABOUT" 10 AM. So those of you who have been showing up at 9AM hoping for an early start will be dissappointed.

THE SHUTTLE WILL STOP RUNNING AFTER 12 NOON. If you are early or late all is not lost. You can walk to the start. It is a very pleasant walk of about 2 kilometers. Only the first 200 meters is a "godawful" climb :-)

Our official start time has been 11 AM forever - it's just that we have been getting earlier and earlier over the years - and now people come to expect it.

It is a state park, so you will have to pay the $2 parking fee (unless you have a yearly pass). They do not have a green collection box. You will have to go into the visitor center to pay for parking.

Duke's Creek/Smithgall Woods is located between Cleveland and Helen, GA.

About the vegetation

On most of our maps the green areas can be safely ignored. I really can't think of a single green area on one of our maps that would be a big problem to run through. Not true on the new Duke's Creek map. I am using all 3 levels of green.

I am not saying that I have accurately mapped every spot that should be green, but you should pay attention to the areas that I have mapped.

Rhododendron: mapped as light green, it lives in the wet bottoms of the reentrants. They are huge, and it's not so bad running through them. Some agility and flexibility are required.

Mountain Laurel: mapped as all three colors of green. It grows on the northern and western slopes of the spurs, where it is cooler and wetter. Lower on the spur it is light green. Closer to the top of the spur, where there is more light, it may change to medium green. When it is combined with pine beetle damage, it is dark green.

Pine beetle damage: Everybody should know what this is by now. The pine trees die standing up, then fall like so many pick-up-sticks. Mapped as vertical green bars, the closer the spacing the worse it is. When they fall on an under story of Mountain Laurel it is mapped as dark green.

Dot Knolls

We are not talking about 1 or 2 knolls, but too many to count. First, where did they come from? They are not natural. They mined the gold using high pressure streams of water to wash the dirt down a sluice. At the end of the sluice a mound of gravel formed. When that mound got too big they moved the sluice. Also the hillsides that they washed formed into knolls and gullies as well.

Nothing less that a meter tall is mapped, unless there are a lot of them at that height. Then they are mapped as the tiny brown dot area symbol. The standard small knoll point symbol, the brown dot, is used for knolls more than 1 meter tall and less than 5 meters in diameter. The elongated knoll point symbol, an oval brown dot, is used for knolls more that 1 meter tall, less that 12 meters long, and less than 4 meters wide. If there are too many of these to map legibly, I used the tiny brown dot area symbol again. Knolls larger than this are drawn with either form lines or contour lines.

Don't get too excited about these exact dimensions. I measured them until I got a feel for the size. When I drafted them it was obvious which ones had to be a point symbol and which could be drawn with contour lines.

In practice, the contour lines are mixed with the knoll symbols, gully and ditch symbols, and depressions. There are some multi contour knolls, topped with dot knolls, next to brown gullies, etc.

Some of the areas are pleasant, not too steep, with good visibility, and easy to figure out. Others are steep, rocky, confusing, and covered with rhododendron.

See you May 4th!

U.S. Trail-O Champs
By Bill Farrell

Check out the results from the 2003 U.S. Trail-O Championship hosted by COK at their Kings Mountain A-Meet. Bill Farrell designed the courses and managed the event.

U.S. Orienteering Team Fundraiser
By Karen Williams

I am writing to you as the contact or web page master of your local orienteering club. As you may know, the International Orienteering Federation has recently made changes to the international format of the World Orienteering Championships. This competition will now be held annually instead of on alternating years. The relay format of competition has also changed, which has caused the US team to send two fewer members to the Championships. While sending two fewer members has helped to cut back on costs, budgets are still very tight in lieu of the fact that the team must raise funds for annual competition.

As a result, the team, through the help of Trimtex and Scarborough Orienteering, is raising funds through the sale of orienteering suits and training suits, similar to those that will be worn by the team at the World Championships and other World Ranking competitions. I have attached a document that lists available items and prices of these uniforms, as well as the contact information. I am hoping that each club might be able to either post this information on their web page, or at local, regional, or nationally sanctioned competitions. Selected US Team members or member supporters should be available at national meets for questions or interest.

The team GREATLY APPRECIATES any help you may give in supporting there efforts. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, please email me at:

Thank you very much.
Karen Williams, US Orienteering Team member and US Executive Steering
Committee member

Cost of Electronic Punching
Laurie Searle

Many orienteering clubs are taking the giant leap and purchasing the equipment and software so they may offer electronic punching at their A-Meets.  GAOC has considered doing this several times but has always concluded the cost and learning curves were too high.

But with our 2004 USOF Convention in site, we asked the co/host club COK if they'd be interested in splitting the cost. Since our A-Meets are seldom at the same time, we could easily share the equipment (though we'd probably need separate software licenses). COK is interested, and Valerie Meyers (from another club) has offered to help us ramp up by mentoring us at our Convention.

With all that said, Even Cluster has prepared a spec/cost sheet for our considerations.