The Presenter jogs across a clearing towards a control on a distinctive tree [or whatever].
This is my second orienteering competition and I’m halfway through a course with medium level navigation. I’ve learned how to plan my route, made my first navigational mistake and – luckily - learned how to relocate. I think I’m doing pretty well. But I can’t help noticing that just about everyone else is moving smoothly through their controls, without really stopping.
As she punches the control, two orienteers – a young junior and a veteran – pass through the control in quick succession.
I think I’m going to need a little help on this one.
She clicks her fingers and her Elite friend appears.
Thanks for stopping by.
No problem. How can I help?
I’ve noticed that everyone seems to be able to pass through the control circle really quickly. Whereas I seem to spend a lot of time standing around.
ELITE (ad-lib, along the lines of…)
That’s called control flow, and it’s a good thing to work on even when you’re just learning. There are two parts to control flow. The first part of it is the approach. Always check your control descriptions before you’re in the circle to make sure you know what you’re looking for.
CLOSE UP of control description.
ELITE (ad-lib…) (cont’d)
You also need to check which side of the feature the control will be located on. You can check the number then too if you think you can remember it. If not, you can always quickly check at the control.
As the Elite and Presenter study her map and clue description (no sound) -
In this competition, I’m using control descriptions with international symbols.
SCREEN SHOT of a map, with a close up of a clue sheet with international descriptions.
PRESENTER (V/O) (cont’d)
Instead of describing the feature in English, international symbols denote individual features –
The position of the feature relative to others nearby -
And which side of the feature the control flag will be on. Other features, such as drinks and radio controls, are shown in the last column.
Back on Presenter and Elite.
So it’s just a matter of learning the symbols off by heart?
Pretty much. But the symbols are often very similar to their symbol on the map, so you pick them up pretty quickly.
Now you said there were two parts to control flow. What’s the second part?
The second part is planning the direction you should leave the control – before you get there.
CUT TO footage of elites showing good control flow – approaching, slowing down and moving quickly away from the control.
When you can see the control flag – or even the feature, if it’s obvious – you usually have at least a few seconds when you’re running towards it that you don’t need to navigate. So you can start looking at your map and planning the direction you need to head in after you’ve punched the control. You might even have time to plan your route.
Back on Presenter and Elite.
Sounds pretty simple.
Race you to the next control?
They both set off in slightly divergent directions.