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World Cup Sprint: Race cancelled after problem with punching

mapwclysekil

Today’s World Cup Sprint race in Lysekil, Sweden was unfortunately cancelled due to problems with the touchless punching system. The race was part of the pre-WOC for next years World Championships in Sweden.

The video below of Norway’s Martin Vister punching the last control illustrates the problem. When watching the last control, around half of the runners had to run back like Vister when they had not got the punch correctly – losing from a few seconds to 7-8 seconds. Vister got the punch right at this control, but was disqualified due to missing punch on the 9th control.

Some runners had a missing punch but had the correct punch in the backup system, and got a valid result.   Other runners did not even have a valid punch in the backup system and were disqualified. There were three controls on the course with this problem.

“ECO” mode

The touchless punching system used was SPORTIdent Air+, and according to the spokesman for the jury Helge Lang Pedersen the problem with the units was that they were programmed in “Eco” mode.  The SPORTIdent Air+ punching system was approved by the IOF Council for use in all IOF events at the IOF Council meeting in Turkey April 15th this year.

Touchless punching also in the forest

It is also planned to use the punching system at the middle distance World Cup race tomorrow – and at all races in next year’s World Championships in Sweden. The touchless punching systems were originally introduced for the mixed sprint relay, because many runners need to punch in a very short time in these races. The touchless punching has since been introduced also in individual start races.

Michiels and Alexandersson fastest

The fastest runners today were Yannick Michiels and Tove Alexandersson. Very sad for the athletes – especially Michiels who ran a fantastic race and would have gotten his first World Cup victory. But Michiels has a big future – and we will see more of him in the future. Guess who is extra hungry ahead of the World Championships in Scotland now?

Maps

World Cup 2015 Lysekil M21

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com
World Cup 2015 Lysekil W21

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Running times

Even if the race was cancelled, it is interesting to see which runners are in shape as this is the last international sprint race ahead of the World Championships in Scotland. For later reference the cancelled results are included below.

cancelled_women cancelled_men

About Jan Kocbach

Jan Kocbach is the founder of WorldofO.com - taking care of everything from site development to writing articles, photography and analysis.

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7 comments

  1. Nice sprint was ruined by this punching problems ((( I hope that tomorrow and during WOC-2015 we will not meet same problems.

    • It is really strange to have two start triangles on the one side of map (today Sprint and tomorrow Middle)!! many runners have been confused by this extra-start triangle during WC-Sprint. As I know it should be ONLY ONE POINT OF ORIENTEERING BEGINNING ON THE MAP. I don’t understand IOF-adviser functions then.

  2. Still waiting for start list for Middle. It is already 21:15. It is really early start tomorrow (and long way to drive for many teams). Without start list it is impossible to solve logistic problems.

    That’s bad for World Cup level!!

  3. Agnar Renolem

    I’m generally unhappy with the backup system of all punch systems today. Would you go skydiving if it was less likely that your spare shute would open than your main shute? In skydiving, the spare shute is designed for one ourpose: to open and save your life. It can only be packed by sertified personell. And the likelyhood that a skydiver will need the spare shute once during the cariere is almost 1.0.

    In Emit, it is far more likely that my backup slip will fall off than the electronic punch will fail. I tried Emit touch free in NM ski-o for the fist time this winter, and I had to turn back on two controls.

    • Jarkko Ryyppö

      Agnar, I have never heard of back up paper falling off when taped properly. It is supposed to be taped, so of course it falls of if you don’t tape it. All current back up systems may be poor, including this paper one, but saying paper falls of when not taped is not that good way to pinpoint it really.

      • Agree with Jarkko. EMIT has a working mechanical backup system, that is a big plus. There are other advantages with SI compared to EMIT of course, but EMIT’s paper-backup is a big plus with respect to risk reduction seem from my point of view. That also means that you don’t risk to lose time if you didn’t get a signal – you know that the backup takes care about it…

  4. Terje Mathisen

    Re EMIT backup: I have been saved twice over just 2-3 weeks when a pair of old EMIT units stopped working during important races! The same thing happened to me many years ago, making the total 3.

    I have lost the backup paper slip a few times during the same ~20 years, when I have skipped the tape, but this is also very rare, so I have never experienced a DSQ due to both EMIT and backup failing at the same time.

    It is very significant that when the EMIT system was developed, a mechanical backup system was an absolute requirement; this dictated the size and “one direction only” mechanical keying.

    SI’s use of existing car key safety units provided enough financial advantages that IOF certified the system, based on collecting the control units and downloading them as the backup system! As we all know this proved to be so cumbersome that the primary/electronic backup requirement was removed and the orienteer was instead told to listen for the audible beep and use an old style pin punch as backup.