Event Report: Vasquez Rocks, December 2011

Vasquez Rocks scenery

Those of you who have experienced Vasquez Rocks know that in December the weather can be a bit blustery, drizzly, and downright cold. (Of course that doesn’t detract from the event; a fun day of orienteering can’t be quashed by a little nasty weather.) Thankfully though, on December 10 we had the most beautiful weather you could imagine! A little cool in the early morning but as the sun rose things warmed up into a warm, clear, and windless shirtsleeve kind of day. Ahhh, with a little luck, the upcoming Borrego meet in January should be as wonderful!

December being a busy month for the course-setting crowd, Meet Director Sue came up with a brilliant idea to reuse courses from four years ago designed by Christian Bower, but with enough twists to make them unique to 2011. The courses were run backwards, and with a few control points moved around a bit, just enough to fool those with good memories from 2007.

Turnout was great as usual for Vasquez Rocks. Competing were over 50 individuals and 112 teams including a number of Boy Scout troops, several ROTC groups, and Joe Vlietstra’s Venturing Crew. There were LAOC members competing as well.

Introductory beginner training was once again aptly provided by Gary Dolgin in his inimitable style with his eloquent and colorful language. Cookies were provided by Sue, and various other goodies provided by anonymous contributors.

Marvin Johnston and Rich Hoesly did their usual efficient job and handled the inevitable technical problems in a manner transparent to participants.

A large number of controls needed to be set out. The park does not open until 8 AM even for the dedicated volunteer staff, thus the start was delayed a bit, but a good opportunity to hob-nob with fellow orienteers. Once Allan Pincus opened the starting gates however, it was off to the races.

A variety of courses were offered from white to red, including two yellow courses. In addition, Clare Durand set up a string-o course for the young’uns, and raised some funds in support of Team USA.

As everyone who has been to an LAOC orienteering event knows, these take place only through the efforts of the members and other volunteers. Thanks are in order to Meet Director Sue, assisted by Frank Toothaker; course flaggers Rich, Clare Durand and Andrew Tomlin; control setters Christian Bower, Scott Schmitz, Steve Durand, Don Sieveke, Bill Schnieber, Samual Markham, Jesse Hendrickson and other scouts of troop 718, Mario Currado, Danny Trudeau, Clare Durand, and Chris Cassone; control picker-uppers Rex Winterbottom, Bruce Corning, Scott, Joe Vlietstra and Venturing Crew, Jordan Brown of Troop 92, Frank Toothaker, Judy Gordon, Don, Clare Durand, and Jesse (these are the angels that stick around to the end when they’re tired and hungry, and run around the countryside picking up the controls); e-punchers Marvin Johnston, Rich Hoesly and Allan Pincus, registration table Darrin Greenstein and Kim Pincus; and of course all the other unnamed folks that helped in the background.

-Frank Toothaker

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