Alternative Akatarawa Attack 2011
Version Date: 17 Jan 11
Status: First-available version. There may be additions and changes prior to the event. Any changes will be referred to at the pre-race briefing.
NOTE: This version from two years ago is supplied as an example only. We'll of course write a brand spanking new set of instructions for 2013. Stay tuned!
This document contains information vital for competing in the Akatarawa Attack (such as finding the start!). There are some "rules of the game", and one or two details that weren't final when the entry form was completed. We've put also put some Helpful Hints on a separate page, read this if you haven't done the Attack, or a rogaine, or MTB-orienteering before.
The area is both sides of the Hutt Valley, including Lower and Upper Hutt. We aren't going to be more specific than that!
The start is at the Dry Creek entrance to Belmont Regional Park. If you're coming from Wellington or the Hutt Valley, turn into SH58 at Haywards. Then immediately turn left (south-ish) then turn right into the park. Orienteering signs will indicate parking.
If you're coming from Porirua or further north then take SH58 to the Hutt Valley. After descending the hill past the Haywards substation, turn right (south-ish) just before the traffic lights. Then turn right into the park and follow orienteering signs to parking.
The park entrance is about 20min from Wellington and 20min from Porirua.
8-hour event, maps are available at 7:30am.
4-hour event, maps are available at 11:00am
The map will be at 1:25,000 on two A3 sheets with an overlap. Contour interval will be 10m, this is twice as detailed as last year and may make things look very steep. Well things ARE very steep. Thank you city councils for this data.
Now you are there, we want you to have a fun day. However parts of the area are just as rugged as the Aka's, so please note:
We do NOT have exclsive use of any part of the Area!. You will be using roads where normal road rules apply. We will be using tracks that are open to other people, which may include walkers, other bikers, and vehicles. Expect a vehicle round every corner. Expect other teams. Ride conservatively, external help will depend on getting a message back to base.
State Highways 2 and 58 are out of bounds. They may not be used or crossed, except in the following ways. Footbridges, pedestrian underpasses, culverts, and traffic-light-controlled pedestrian crossings. These highways will be marked in red and locations of the crossing points will be marked on the map, but to be sure there will be enlarged maps at the start with these emphasised.
Subject to flow, the Hutt River may be crossed at places marked on the map; the decision will be announced at the briefing. A river crossing point is marked on the map with a set of purple obstacle bars, because (a) we think "most" of you will have to dismount to cross and (b) it takes about 5min to get across unless you want a ducking. While the river is very low as this is written the places have been chosen to make it as easy as possible in various conditions, usually wide places with low velocities just upstream of rapids. You may of course cross the Hutt River on bridges, but being narrow, ride single file.
Note the compulsory equipment in the entry form. So blindingly obvious that we forgot to mention it (and we forget every year) is a cycle helmet which must be worn throughout. Warm clothing and a rain jacket for when and if the weatehr turns bad and you are left waiting for assistance. Food and water to keep you going. Per team, a first aid kit, survival blanket and compass. Bike repair kit to fix basic problems.
The underlying safety measure is the team. The team must stick together except to obtain help in an emergency. Each emergency will be different but we would expect a cellphone call to the number on the map; an undamaged team member to get back to base; or get a message back to base with another team. Use the control numbers to help describe location. Cellphone coverage is available over most parts of the course but not everywhere.
In case you get stranded out there we're going to get you to give us an intended route on a black/white copy of the map. Don't just go home, failure to check in will initiate a search.
At base we'll have a 4WD vehicle which can get near most parts of the course and a first-aider.
Rules of the Game
Right, onto the fun stuff!
Your objective is to maximise your score. The control points have different values, being the first digit of the control number multiplied by 10. That is, control 15 is worth 10 points, control 99 is worth 90. Control points will range from 10 to 100 points, in general the higher the value the harder to get but not always...
There is a severe penalty for returning late: soft at first than getting tough! The formula is N squared where N is the minutes of lateness rounded up. In other words 1 SECOND late is rounded up to 1 minute, sp 1 penalty point. But 9 minutes something late, this will be rounded up to 10 and that's 100 points off! Half an hour will probably cost you everything you earned. Highest score wins, in the event of a tie the earliest to finish wins.
This paragraph is different from the past; though foot rogainers will recognise it. There will NOT be an orienteering flag and clipper at most controls. Instead, controls will be a landmark described on a question sheet; with a simple question. The answer (which will be no more than 3 characters) goes into a numbered box on your control card. Your cards must be named with your TEAM name and handed in at the finish. Yes you will need to bring a pen/pencil and a spare.
Some things about this system. You're honour bound to take your bike to within 10m of each landmark. There isn't always a suitable landmark, so we have sometimes hung a bright orange ribbon (sample at the start) in a place clearly described on the question sheet (eg "under the bridge"). The question will be, "what is the letter(s) on the ribbon?" The answers could be traded and of course this is cheating. A FEW of the controls may have orange orienteering markers and clippers; in which case clip the numbered box AS WELL AS answering the question. And though we've been using this system for many years, its still possible that what was clear to the course planner is not obvious to you, or "the thing" may have been moved. If you can't find "it" after 5min, write down something unique about the place on the reverse of the card and come and talk to us at the finish.
Except in the case of emergency, team members must stay together, that means in unaided verbal contact, especially when visiting control points. All members must be present at each control (with their bikes), to ensure this we'll cable-tie the cards to each bike. If a team member has to drop out for any reason during the event you must bring them back to base; and from that time you are a new team starting with a score of zero.
Electronic navigation aids are prohibited, such as GPS's and altimeters. This is a map reading adventure! However cycle computers are fine.
The detailed timetable is as follows. It's the same as last year.
While most of the area is public, there is a lot of private land which must not be used without permission. Outside the event itself, stay off private land unless you have obtained permission. Ask if you're not sure. Breaking this courtesy will jeopardise future events.
Page written by Michael Wood / Ph 04 566 2645. Feel free to ask about anything.
See you on Sunday 30th.