It was a fine day on Braddock Bay with lots of sunshine a light breeze coming off Lake Ontario. The Army Corp of Engineers is in the process of restoring the marshes in the bay by cutting new channels and digging new potholes to promote the flow of water and to improve the habitat for fish and aquatic plants. The new channels, although not designed for navigation, created an interesting maze for orienteering. We spent many hours in the marsh tracking the channels on GPS and later matching them with existing aerial photos to create an accurate map for the course.
We counted a total of 27 canoes and kayaks at the mass start. Boats took off in all directions. Some headed for the controls in the open areas of the bay while others, including the eventual winner Stina Bridgeman, headed into the maze. Prior to the start we tried to demonstrate some helpful tips to be efficient in the narrow channels. These included grabbing cattails on both sides of the boat and pulling the boat through and placing one foot on the floating bog to push while keeping the other foot in the boat. There were a total of 24 regular controls and one bonus control with the clue being “Where Gilligan was stranded” Controls were worth 10-40 points and the bonus was worth an additional 20 points. The maximum orienteering score was 620 points. Additional points were awarded for pieces of garbage (1 pt for each piece up to ten), best decorated boat (10), best decorated participant (10), and infamous “style” points awarded by the organizers for things like praising the map, the courses or the meet director. Picking up the most controls and falling out of your boat at the finish also earned some extra points from the organizers.
Stina was the overall winner as she completed the course 2:15:00 and then piled up “style points” by complimenting the mapmaker and meet director, helping later finishers land their boats and picking up most of the controls. She ended up with 645 points, while Chris Joyce and Lindsay Worner finished second with 630, helped by 10 points for trash that included two full size muddy tires. Bob Bundy got an additional 5 points for his creative exit from his boat at the finish.
Doug and Heidi Hall got 10 points for best boat decorations and Kathy Bannister in her moth costume got 10 points for best costume.
Almost everyone hung around for a picnic in the town park. Special thanks to Kathy Bannister and Kay Sheehan for the nice salads and to Lindsay Worner for the brownies.
Thanks to our volunteers:
Meet Director: Rick Worner