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Sprint San Francisco

Date: Dec. 8 - 10, 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Event Director:
Course Setters: Erin Schirm, Matias Arola
Type: A; Three-day event (final day is a National Event); Night-O Relay on Friday, three-round tournament on Saturday, two interval-start races on Sunday; part of the 2017 U.S. Sprint Series (entry deadline: Dec. 4; no late or day-of registration)

Table of contents
Please note that fees and time limits apply. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.

The information has been updated often, and might be updated more, as details solidify. Be sure to review the whole page shortly before each day's event.


Monday, Dec. 4: Last day to register (11:59 PM PST deadline). No late or day-of-meet registration.

Friday, Dec. 8: Night-O Sprint Relay at Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline, San Leandro (permit approved)

     6:30 PM       Mass start

Saturday, Dec. 9: Three-round Sprint Tournament at Bedwell Bayfront Park, Menlo Park (permit approved)

     9:00- 9:50   Packet pickup
    10:00-10:12   Round 1 heats  
    11:10         Round 1 course closes
    11:10         Semifinalists posted  
    12:00-12:09   Round 2 Semifinals (*)
    12:12-12:25   Round 2 starts for non-qualifiers (*)  
    13:15         Round 2 course closes
    13:15         Finalists posted  
    14:30         Round 3 Finals (*)
    14:50-15:10   Round 3 starts for non-qualifiers (*)  
    15:30         Award ceremony  
    15:40         Help with breakdown and clean up  

(*) Note: Times for Round 2 are tentative. We will announce exact times when we announce the qualifiers for the Semifinals around 11:00. Similarly for Round 3.

Sunday, Dec. 10: Sprint Qualification and Sprint Final at U.C. Berkeley (Barrows Hall), Berkeley (permit approved)

These are National Ranking Events.

     8:00- 8:50   Packet pickup
     9:00- 9:35   Qualification round with assigned starts
    11:15-11:35   A-Final with assigned starts
    12:00         Award Ceremony
    12:35-13:20   B-Final with assigned starts
    14:45         B-Final course closes


For all three days, everyone will be competing on the same courses. In particular, there are no Beginner (White), Novice (Yellow), or Intermediate (Orange) courses. Nevertheless, given the nature of the venues and the courses, some people without a great deal of orienteering experience may wish to give it a try. That was the case last year, and those who did go out appeared to enjoy themselves.

For the two National Ranking races on Sunday, results will be grouped into the usual OUSA age/gender classes ( (even though everyone is running the same course).

Race Formats

Be sure to also read the Map and Course Notes below.

Friday Evening Sprint Relay

The event will be a two-person sprint relay, with each person running two legs. No need to have a partner in advance: we’ll form teams so as to make the competition interesting. All the legs have many forkings. That means you're not always running the same thing as other people on your leg, so don't follow anyone blindly.

Saturday 3-Round Knockout Tournament

Each round has groups starting in flights, so there will be some exciting head-to-head competition. Everyone gets to run each of the three races, but only the top runners at each stage still are in contention for the tournament.

Round 1 will have 5 heats. Top 3 in each heat, plus the fastest 6 among the rest, qualify for the Semi-Finals. The Semi-Finals (Round 2) will consist of 3 heats of 7 people. Top 2 in each heat, plus the fastest 4 among the rest, qualify for the Final (Round 3). All the heats in Round 1 and in the Semi-Finals, and the Final, will be mass starts. Those who didn't qualify for the Semi-Finals will be able to run Round 2 after the Semi-Finals start; those people will start at 30-second intervals (no pre-assigned start times, just line up at the Start). Similarly, those who didn't qualify for the Finals can start after the Final is finished (great spectator opportunity), again at 30-second intervals with no pre-assigned start times.

Round 1 and Round 3 have butterfly loops, with different people running the wings of the butterflies in different orders. For Round 2, each competitor can skip one control, but you may not skip either the first or the last control. Also, in Rounds 2 and 3, all roads, trails, and paths are removed from the map; please read the Map and Course Notes below.

For all three rounds, there is a 5-minute walk from the assembly area to the Start.

Sunday Qualifier and Final

These races will be interval-started. The top 12 men and top 6 women in the Qualifying Round run in the A-Final. Everyone else will run in the B-Final, which will start after the A-Final is done so that everyone can watch the A-Final. Both races will be National Ranking Events.

The Qualifier will use a 30-second start interval with assigned start times (don't be late for your start!). Both Finals will use a 1-minute start interval, with the start order in reverse order of the results of the Qualifier (that is, fastest runners start last).

For both the Qualifier and the Final, there is a 15-minute walk from the assembly area to the Start (different locations). Mini-maps will be available in the assembly area to help you find your way to the Start area for each race. It is important that you use these maps so as not to enter the competition area on your way to the Start. You will be called up to the start line 3 minutes before your start. Please don't be late.

The lengths of the two courses at Berkeley have been measured along the optimal route; this is in accordance with IOF standards, though it is not usually done for races in the U.S. These optimal-route distances are in excess of 3 km, which is roughly equivalent to a straight-line distance of only 75% as much. Still, keep in mind that the courses are designed so that elite M21's will take about 15 minutes; the rest of us might do well to approach these races as Urban Middles rather than as Sprints.

Please be sure to read the additional information about the Berkeley event at the end of the Map and Course Notes section below.

Map and Course Notes

Oyster Bay, Friday

Map Notes: The park has gone through a lot of big changes in the last couple of years. For this reason, a large part of the map is marked out of bounds to show that the map is out of date. This out-of-bounds is bordered by a trail, so it is the catching feature before you go into the out-of-bounds area.

Vegetation is a mix of manzanita marked dark green and reed-like tall grasses marked as green slash. Green slash is hard to get through, though you can get through it. Dark green is mainly in patches; in the larger patches you can't get through it.

There is a picnic area with a number of individual boulders that in reality are boulder clusters, but the other rocks around are too small for map standards. There are black solid lines that represent picnic tables oriented in the direction they are anchored. There are a number of blue ×'s on the map. They represent wells of varying sizes. They range from a plastic cover on the ground, to a sign-like post, to a wide three-foot-tall drain-type well. All are blue ×'s. The black ×'s on the map mainly represent sign posts.

Course Notes: This is a Night-O Sprint Relay. There are 32 variations of the forking, and the courses range from 2.6–2.8 km. Each team consists of two runners who will run twice, for a total team distance of about 11 km. First-leg runners will start in a mass start. When they finish their course, the first-leg runner will hand their map to the second-leg runner. The second leg will run the same course as the first-leg runner. When the second-leg runner finishes, the first-leg runner will get a new map as they go out, and later will hand off that map again to the second runner. The first team across the line is the winner. There will be a run through about 15 minutes before the start to familiarize everyone with the exchange area and start and finish procedures.

There are a number of areas where there are controls close together, and variations through them, so make sure to check your codes and do your own navigation. Of course, it will be at night, so be doubly careful.

Bedwell Bayfront Park, Saturday

The Bayfront map uses some non-standard symbols, and uses some standard symbols in unusual ways. Here's the map legend:


Knoll with Cover: These are small mounds with a metal plate on top. In the wide-open terrain of Bayfront, these mounds are often visible from a fair distance.

Boulder Cluster: The "boulders" in these clusters are almost always small, less than half a meter high, and sometimes much smaller than that. When such a cluster is not in an open area, you sometimes have to be practically next to it to see it. (Notice, too, that the two sizes of boulders in the legend are "small" and "very small".)

Gas Well: This symbol is normally used for a water feature, but here they are small, round metal plates, often nearly flush with the ground, and, therefore, hard to see.

Rock Sculpture: This symbol is normally used for a cairn. Here they are sizeable rocks (bigger than the boulders in the boulder clusters). They are sometimes accompanied by wooden stands explaining the sculpture; those wooden stands are not on the map.

Bare Gravel: This symbol stands out on the map, but the feature is often hard to see unless you're right on top of it. Update: Most of the gravel has disappeared, and in those places the gravel symbol has been removed from the map.

Fallen Tree: These little green T's are oriented in the direction of the fallen tree, but the symbols are all of the same size, and don't represent the length of the fallen tree.

Special Note: To make things more interesting, in Rounds 2 and 3, all roads, trails, and paths are removed from the map. The one (large) tower on the map is removed as well.

Map Parameters: The maps have been printed at a scale of 1:4,000 with a 2 m contour interval.

Footwear: There is very little pavement. The ground is soft. Cleated shoes are highly recommended. Dobbed (metal-tipped) cleated O-shoes are ideal.

Food, Drink, Shade: All three of these are in short supply at Bayfront, and you're going to be out there for a long time. Please bring plenty of your own.

Berkeley, Sunday

Please be sure that you've read the information about the Berkeley event in the Race Formats section above.

Map Notes: UC Berkeley is a classic college campus with multiple-level buildings, park-like areas, and a nice mix of technical and fast orienteering. It's important to make sure that you brush up on your ISSOM symbols, because there are a variety of gardens mapped with olive green (forbidden to cross), and also the very dark green symbol (impassable vegetation​—​forbidden to cross) is used in several places. There are a few areas marked out of bounds on the map. These are not marked in the terrain, and should not affect route choice in any way.

The maps have been printed at a scale of 1:4,000 with a 10 ft contour interval. Note that the N-S lines on the map are not parallel to the edge of the map sheet.

Course Statistics: Qualifier: 3.3 km (optimal route, not straight-line), 40 m climb, 18 controls; Final: 3.6 km (optimal route, not straight-line), 40 m climb, 18 controls.

Course Notes: Both Qualification and Final will have a run up to the start triangle. So, you will receive your map and punch the START unit, and then run along a marked route to the triangle, from which you can start navigating along your course. No need (or opportunity) to punch again at the start triangle. The Finish is the same for both courses. Courses are a little on the longer side, but they should provide some fun and challenging orienteering.

Approach to the Assembly Area: The Assembly Area is on the north side of Barrows Hall. You must approach this from Bancroft Way (just south of Barrows Hall) to avoid walking through the competition area. See details about parking in the Driving Directions section below.

Getting to the Starts: There is a 15-minute walk from the assembly area to the Start for the Qualification and also to the Start for the Final (different location). Mini-maps will be available in the assembly area to help you find your way to the Start area for each race. It is important that you use these maps so as not to enter the competition area on your way to the Start. You will be called up to the start line 3 minutes before your start. Please don't be late.

Start Times

We're having some trouble displaying start times in Event Register, so we're posting them here.


Heat 1, 10:00: Borish, K.Culberg, M.Ertmann, H.Gaston, Haas, Hulse, Walker, Cody
Heat 2, 10:03: Alter, R.Culberg, Enger, A.Ertmann, C.Brew, Ka.Mihata, Spalding, Fung, O'Kelly
Heat 3, 10:06: A.Campbell, Christopherson, Harrison, Kuestner, Prior, E.Rosenzweig, Sebo, Woolworth, Poon
Heat 4, 10:09: Ke.Mihata, G.Brew, J.Campbell, Carpenter, Durand, Gordeeva, Rennie, Wyatt-Mair, Q.Rosenzweig
Heat 5, 10:12: V.Campbell, Laraia, Ort, Parayre, Petersen, Sanbo, Woods, Ingulfsen


The times posted on Event Register ( are correct, they just don't have the seconds. So, for each minute, you will see two people having that start time. In reality, one of the two starts on the minute and the other starts at 30 seconds after the minute. The start crew will have the details at the Start. Note: If you sort Event Register by the Sunday Start column, it actually has everyone in the correct order, that is, the first person listed with a given start time is the one starting on the minute.

Event Staff

Erin Shirm: Event Creator, Event Director, Course Setter (Oyster Bay and Berkeley), Oyster Bay permit, Start Crew Chief
Dennis Wildfogel: Associate Event Director, Volunteer Coordinator, Vetter (Bayfront), Course Consultant (Oyster Bay), Berkeley permit, webpage content, publicity
Matias Arola: Course Setter (Bayfront), Start crew (Bayfront)
Trinka Gillis: Registrar
Jay Hann: Results
Jeff Lanam: Bayfront Onsite Assistant Event Director, Facebook publicity
Gavin Williams: Berkeley Vetter and Start Crew
Sarah Williams: Berkeley Vetter and Start Crew
Carl Williams: Berkeley Vetter
Steve Haas: Bayfront permit
Chuck Spalding: Webpage assistance
Bob Cooley: Map printing


Registration is closed. (The deadline was Monday, December 4, 11:59 PM PST.) There is no late registration, no day-of-meet registration.

You can see who has registered here (

Entries are limited to sixty people. Register early to guarantee your spot!

The entry fee for the combined three-day event is $85.

Priority will be given to those entering all three days. It is also possible to enter days individually, with the following fees: $15 for Friday, $45 for Saturday, $40 for Sunday.

Members of OUSA or other national orienteering federations will receive a $4 discount if entered for Sunday (but not for the other days, since they are not National Events).

For juniors, all the aforementioned fees and discounts will be divided in half.

If you need to make a change to your registration, please do not attempt to do it on Event Register. Instead, please contact the .

Normally, BAOC events include beginners (White and Yellow) courses and an intermediate (Orange) course. However, because of the special nature of this event, beginners courses and an intermediate course will not be available at this event. We apologize to all who would have liked to do one of those courses. Please look at the Schedule for another event to attend (on that page, select "BAOC" in place of "All Clubs" and click on the Reload button).

Preview Maps

Each of the venues for this year's event has been used for BAOC events in the recent past. You can see maps and past courses for these venues on the BAOC RouteGadget site ( Here are links for the most recent events at the venues: Oyster Bay (, Bayfront (, and U.C. Berkeley ( Maps and courses for older events (and other venues) are available on the BAOC RouteGadget site (

Driving Directions

There's a map here that shows the locations of the events. You can drag the map to center an event "pin", zoom in to see more detail, and select Satellite view for even more detail.

Directions to Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline, San Leandro:

The approximate coordinates are 37.7095,-122.1925.
From north or south I-880 (Nimitz Hwy), exit at Marina Blvd West (Exit 33B). Go west on Marina Blvd about 1.3 miles, to just before the main road bends left, to a short right-turn lane at Neptune Dr. Turn right/north onto Neptune Dr, and go 0.6 miles to the end. Park on the street.

Directions to Bedwell Bayfront Park, Menlo Park:

The approximate coordinates are 37.4909,-122.1773.
From the Peninsula, North, and South, take Highway 101 (Bayshore Fwy) to the Marsh Rd exit (Exit 406). If you came from the north, turn left onto Marsh Rd. If you came from the south, turn right onto Marsh Rd. Stay to the left so you can drive straight ahead into the park at the traffic signal where Marsh turns right into Bayfront Expressway.
From the East Bay, cross the Dumbarton Bridge (on Highway 84 West). Go to the sixth traffic light after the bridge (at Marsh Rd), and turn right into the park.
Park in one of the small lots or along the road. If you park along the road, be sure your tires are off the pavement or you may get a ticket.

Directions to U.C. Berkeley (Barrows Hall), Berkeley:

The approximate coordinates are 37.8703,-122.2581.
There are many ways to get to U.C. Berkeley. The most straightforward is to exit I-80 at University Ave (Exit 11) and head east (away from the Bay) on University. University Ave ends at an entrance to U.C. Berkeley​—​turn left or right and start looking for parking.
Parking, although always tight, is free on Sunday along the roads south of the main campus (Bancroft Way and south). Before 9 AM, there should be ample space on Bancroft near Telegraph (closest to Barrows Hall). More free Sunday parking is available on the streets south of Bancroft. There are many pay spaces around the campus and in nearby garages.
Note: You must approach Barrows Hall only from the south. Do not walk through the campus, since that is the competition area. For instance, if you park on the north side of campus, on Hearst, say, you must walk around the campus via Gayley and Piedmont (to the east) or via Oxford (to the west) to Bancroft.
Parking tip for Downtown Berkeley: Drive to the North Berkeley BART station (, park your car there for free (on weekends), and take BART one stop south to Downtown Berkeley. I used to go to Berkeley every weekend for a course, and this worked well for me. – Alak Ghosh
Public Transit: The Downtown Berkeley BART station ( is one block west of campus, and from there it's a pleasant 0.5-mile walk through campus to Barrows Hall.