Pawtuckaway 2007 Canoe-o
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Pawtuckaway 2007 Canoe-O
by Joel

Photos Pawtuckaway 2007 Canoe-o Pictures
Punching Control 2
Worthington Group Paddles into Canoe Launch

Welcome to the official results page for the 2007 edition of the Pawtuckaway, NH Canoe Orienteering meet. Every year, the Goulds organize a canoe/kayak orienteering meet in conjunction with the annual UNO orienteering and camping weekend at Pawtuckaway State Park in Raymond, NH. (UNO is the orienteering club that covers New Hampshire and Maine.) This year's event was our ninth, and was organized by Joel and Daphne. Ben, who was co-organizer last year is now at Brown University.

We had 36 groups compete this year, not counting repeats. Saturday was very hot and humid, Sunday morning was rainy (but cooler). Fortunately the thunderstorms missed us, so no one had to rush to get off of the lake. That said, the weather did not dampen anyone's enthusiasm for this year's event.

This year's rules we the same as always. The canoe-O was organized as a score-O. There were 14 controls placed around Pawtuckaway Lake, all accessible from the water (except for one land control). Paddlers had 60 minutes to find as many controls as possible and then return to the start. Each control was worth 3 points, and each minute or fraction thereof after 60 minutes was worth -1 point.

Before summarizing this year's meet, I am sorry to have to announce that this will be the Gould's last canoe-O. With both of our children off at college, we have decided to pass the paddle. Next year there will still be a canoe-O event at Pawtuckaway, but we will only be participants. We have organized nine canoe-O events, every year since 1997 (except for 2003, when there was no camping weekend at Pawtuckaway). Each event takes a day of planning (which includes driving up to Pawtuckaway and paddling to every control point), two full days of execution (setting up the controls and manning the start/finish table) and as much as 20 hours of work after the event to pull together the results page and photo gallery. It has been worth every minute of work, but it is time to consider actually running some of the courses at the Pawtuckaway orienteering/camping weekend.

Course Notes

After nine years, I am afraid that the courses all start to look the same. This year, I remapped the island cluster south west of the canoe launch (where controls 4, 5 and 6 were located) and much of the adjacent coastline, so the map was more accurate than ever before. (The map corrections were done by tracing recent satellite images of the lake, thanks to Google.) The total distance was similar to years past. (We have to visit every control to set the course, so we do not make it too long.)

You can see the 2007 course in the map below. The key feature in this year's course was control number 2, which was placed to allow convenient photographs of the participants as they punched that control. Control number 2 was visible from a clearing just west of the start/finish table, which I joking call the Wedding Spot, because it was the site of a wedding in 2004. Especially on Saturday, when it was sunny, I was able to get some very nice pictures (many of which are posted in the photo gallery.)

Control 10 was completely on land, but controls 1, 7 and 8 were also reachable from the start without a boat, and it was possible to wade out to control 2 as well controls 11 and 12 (as Mark discovered). This year, control 3 was the one skipped by the most people, since it was pretty far west of the rest of the controls.

  Steve & Seth Miller Andy Hall Vanessa & Keith 1
2007 Course Mark & Pia Webb Aims Coney Vanessa & Keith 2

The Winning Teams

This year the Miller brothers, Stephen and Seth, were the overall winners. They were able to visit all 14 controls in just under 50 minutes. You can see their route on the interactive map above (click on the tab with their names). The Millers optimized their time by running to three of the controls. They started by running to control 1 with the canoe, but they overshot and ended up punching control 1 from the water. Towards the end of the course, they optimized their time by splitting up. One brother ran to controls 10 and 8, while the other brother moved the canoe (including a one-man portage from control 7).

Andy Hall was the individual winner. He visited all the controls in 51 minutes, 30 seconds, and you can also see his course above. The portage across the peninsulas to control 1 and from control 8 are popular route choices. But the portage from control 7 to control 8 was an interesting choice. Andy obviously believed that he ran across land carrying his boat faster than he could paddle the same distance. After the course, Andy complained that control number 8 had broken off and fallen into the water. He said that searching for the control cost him two minutes. But those are the hazards of the canoe-O (just like the weather, the wind and motor boats).

We had the highest hope for the team of Vanessa Wood and Keith Dusand. Vanessa and Keith studied many of our previous courses (most of them are posted on this web site). And the weekend before the meet, Vanessa and Keith took a practice run on the lake, visiting all of the control points from the 2006 map. (Unlike "A" meets, we impose no embargo on visiting lake Pawtuckaway before the meet.) But on the 2007 course, Vanessa and Keith were almost 7 minutes slower than the Millers.

Vanessa and Keith's route is shown above (look at Vanessa & Keith 1). Their route choices were very similar to both the Miller's and Andy Hall's, although they paddled to control 8 instead of running across land (having picked up control 7 at the beginning of their loop). After the race, Keith was wondering how he could have done it better. With a couple of ideas in mind, Vanessa and Keith tried to better their own time on Sunday morning (look at Vanessa & Keith 2). By substituting running without the boat for portage (for controls 1 and 8), they were able to shave six and a half minutes off their time, although they were still 14 seconds behind the Millers.

Last year's overall winner was the team of Aims Coney and Andy Hall. This year Aims and Andy split up. Andy came in second, but Aims was pretty far behind, five minutes slower than Andy. Most of that time was attributed to a big mistake; at the start Aims paddled right past control 2 without stopping. Only later did he notice his mistake, and he had to wade to control number 2 at the end of the course to pick up this last control. Aims' route choices are also shown above on the interactive map.

I have included one more group on the interactive map. Mark and Pia Webb (last year it was Mark Webb and Pia Kivisakk, so I guess congratulations are in order) visited 11 of the 14 controls. Their route choice was interesting because of the decision to drop Mark off on the western side of Horse Island and have him run and then wade to the eastern two controls (11 and 12). Mark said he decided to run across Horse Island because the wind had picked up part way through their course. Mark was the only person to wade out to controls 11 and 12. (Although he was not the only person to get his feet wet since Aims waded out to control number 2.)

Punching Control 2 - Second Day
Aims Coney Finishing the Course

Stories from the Meet

Aims Coney arranged to rent a few canoes so people would have canoes to borrow. Aims also supplied paddles and life jackets. But not every paddle was up to the competitive challenge. Marva Moller returned to the canoe-O start after only 10 minutes. Did she have trouble finding the canoe launch? (It has happened.) No, it seems that Marva had selected one of Aims' older wooden paddles and the paddle broke in two part way through the course. Oh well. We let Marva choose a different paddle and we restarted the clock for her.

Theo (who did not want his picture taken) credits the 2005 canoe-O with matching him up with his girlfriend, whom he is still dating after two years. His girlfriend was not at the canoe-O this year, and Theo paired up with someone else (maybe this is why he did not want his picture taken).

Peter Anderson arrived at the finish table after 64 minutes and 50 seconds. While we were explaining the scoring, Peter realized that he could probably run to control 8 in less than 2 minutes and pick up an extra point (each control scores three points, with one point off for each minute over time). So with our blessing, off he ran. It took Peter 2 minutes and 10 seconds to run to control 8 and return, which would normally wipe out any three point gain from picking up an extra control. But wait, Peter was actually only 4 minutes and 50 seconds overtime before accounting for this extra control (an extra 2 minutes and 10 seconds). After adding everything up, Peter ended up only 7 minutes overtime, so running to control 8 did gain him a single point.

Martin Kessel is Terry Myers' brother. On Sunday morning, Terry ask us to keep an eye out for him, since he was coming to the meet on Sunday to try the canoe-O. Terry was not sure when Martin would show up, but she assured me that we would have no trouble recognizing him since he looked just like her. (Judge for yourself -- Terry and Martin.) Anyway, soon after Terry took off to do some paddling, a gentleman whom I had never seem before (and whom did not look much like Terry), walked up to me and asked me where the campground was. This was a curious question; the only reason someone would want the campground, was if they were going to be camping, and on Sunday morning everyone should have been done camping. So I played a hunch.

"Are you looking for someone?" I asked.

"Yes, Terry Myers," answered the strange man.

Ah ha. Here was Martin, Terry's brother. I told Martin that Terry was on the lake and would be back soon. Martin asked where the lake was, so I pointed in the direction of the Wedding Spot and the canoe launch, and off he went. Needless to say, Terry came back from the lake and did not run into Martin, although we told Terry that he was around and they eventually met up.

As is my usual habit, I took pictures of the canoe-O event. This year I was using my new tripod, a Benro C-288 carbon fiber tripod (a clone of the more expensive Gitzo models), with a Acratech Ulimate ballhead (which is both rock solid and light weight). (It is said that amateur photographers brag about their camera and lens, but professionals wax eloquently about their tripods.) I used a Nikon D200 camera with Nikon's 18-200 VR lens. The lens is not Nikon's sharpest lens, and since I used a tripod, the VR (image stabilization) was not necessary, but the wide zoom range allows me to avoid switching lens as I take a variety of pictures. I also used a Nikon SB-800 flash for most of the pictures that were not in direct sunlight.

Saturday was sunny, so I only needed the flash for the people pictures by the canoe-O start. For those shots, the flash provided fill lighting. On Sunday, it was raining and darker, so I needed the flash to get any picture at all, and you can see that the people pictures from Sunday all have a very dark background, because the flash did not reach that far.

Most of my action shots were taken from the Wedding Spot, which was a quick run from the canoe-O start area. Unlike last year, I did not run down to the canoe launch more than a couple of times to capture shots of people paddling in after completing the course. It was just too busy at the start table to take 10 minutes waiting for a finisher at the canoe launch.

I always shoot in RAW format, and these days I do my post processing in Adobe Lightroom, a wonderful program for quickly adjusting the white balance, exposure, colors, cropping and sharpening in a large batch of pictures. (I did not use Photoshop at all for any of the pictures.)

I posted all the pictures in the Pawtuckaway 2007 Canoe-o Gallery which I hope you check out.

Final results for the 2007 Canoe-O

Participants were ranked based on points scored. Three points per control punched less one point for each minute (or fraction) overtime. In the case of a tie, the group with the shorter time was ranked higher. Some people repeated the course and both their times are shown (although only the first run counts for selecting a winner.)

Stephen & Seth Miller4249:45 pic
Vanessa Wood, Keith Durand (redux)4249:59 pic
Andy Hall4251:30 pic
Vanessa Wood, Keith Dusand4256:30 pic
Aims Coney4256:32 pic
Darrell Scott3953:13 pic
Theo & Siobhan3860:08  
Bill Gray3656:52 pic
Charlie DeWeese3658:47 pic
Worthington group3355:15 pic
Mark & Pia Webb3359:51 pic
Peter Anderson and group3267:00 pic
Paul, Terri & John Magnus3045:50 pic
Marcus White3057:51 pic
Alexei Azavow and group3060:00 pic
Trisha & Carl Underwood3062:50 pic
Steve Tarry, Julia Steed Mawson3065:20 pic
Terry Myers2752:14 pic
Hayden & Clint Morse2752:33 pic
Ken & Ben Coffee2752:40 pic
Lynne & Betsy2752:53 pic
Peter & Marva Moller2660:27 pic
Jessyka Bagdon2453:38 pic
H Williams & Alan D2453:43 pic
John Peeler2457:53 pic
Samantha Bagdon (solo redux)2462:09 pic
Scott Meeks2360:04 pic
Samantha & Skylar2360:45 pic
Geoff Pingree, David B2264:19 pic
Barb & Isabel Bryant2264:42 pic
Martin Kessel2154:32 pic
Maurice Gerow III2159:10 pic
Liz Brooks2063:07 pic
Faiman Family1853:20 pic
David & Zakwani Gibbs, David Bryant1856:29 pic
Roger, Mary & John Underwood1548:20 pic
Ethan H, Alan F, Steve C1557:20 pic
Ceire & Kiersten1245:10 pic
David & Zakwani Gibbs (redux)1254:09 pic

Stephen and Seth Miller - group winner
Andy Hall - individual winner
Samantha and Skylar

This web page (http://www.gouldhome.com/Pawtuckaway2007Canoe-o.html) was last updated on September 13, 2007. For any comments or suggestions about the site contact Daphne Gould. Contents copyright © 1999-2003 by Joel and Daphne Gould.