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Max and Victoria at the Emerald Hills Street-O in 2003, after answering the question "How many skunks on the fence?"

Point Pinole - BAOC Sprint Championships

Date: Sunday, March 6, 2005
Location: Richmond, CA
Event Director: - 510-531-6697
Course Setter: Steve Gregg
Event Type: C; BAOC Sprint Championship, plus White, Yellow, and Orange courses

Sprint-length orienteering is becoming increasingly popular, both in the US and worldwide. A sprint race was introduced at the World Orienteering Championships in 2001, and rumor has it that USOF will soon sanction an official US Sprint Championship event. Peter Gagarin is even keeping a web page of all the sprint races held in the United States each year, at . As usual, BAOC is well ahead of the curve here, as the club has been holding sprint races of some sort every year since the mid 90's. The sprints have gradually evolved into their current form, which more or less follow IOF guidelines for the recommended distance and difficulty of a sprint event.

Small piece of the master map at Annadel, 2003

The 2005 BAOC Sprint Championships will follow the same format used in previous years. The Prologue course will be roughly 3.0 km in length, with an unmanned remote finish requiring a 1 km to 1.5 km walk back to the start. The Chase will be around 3.3 km in length with a remote start, and will finish back at the staging area. The controls will all be White to Orange level of difficulty. I once again plan to use a "butterfly loop" pattern at some point during the Chase, to split up the packs a bit. (If this idea is new to you, the "butterfly loop" is described in detail at I also have tentative plans to blow up a portion of the Prologue map to 1:5000 scale, to allow me to set a sequence of controls in close proximity to each other without hopelessly cluttering up the map.

For those of you who are new to this, the Prologue course will have first-come, first-served starting times just like a regular event. However, if you wish to participate in the Chase that follows, you need to be sure you arrive early enough to finish your first run by 12:00 or so, since your starting time for the Chase will be 12:30, plus the amount of time it took you to complete the Prologue. The winners of the event will be the first people to cross the finish line at the end of the Chase.

As usual, the terrain at Point Pinole is flat and blazingly fast. Rumor has it that last year's champion Eric Bone will be missing the event this year due to prior commitments -- if this is actually the case, the race for the victory will be wide-open! I hope most of the club "regulars" will choose to compete in the championships, as this particular event format is much more fun for everyone if a lot of people participate. However, I do plan to set a regular Orange course with electronic punching for those people not interested in running the sprints. Normal White and Yellow courses with manual punching will also be offered.

Steve Gregg, Tapio Karras, and Werner Haag compare split times on Red at the Morgan Territory A-meet, Oct. 2001 (Photo: Judy Koehler)

Driving Directions

Take the Richmond Parkway exit off Interstate 80 in Richmond, and go west for 1.3 miles. Immediately after the stoplight at San Pablo Avenue, turn right onto Atlas Road. After 0.8 miles on Atlas, you will cross over a set of railroad tracks and encounter a stop sign. Turn left onto Giant Highway at this intersection. You will pass a detention center on your right, and the park entrance will be immediately after that, also on your right. Pay the fee (if any), park, and walk over the railroad tracks to the staging area in the meadow. If you have questions or want to volunteer to help, please contact me.