EMPO Times Winter 2000-01


Here Comes the Ski-O Season


Last Winter was a great season for the Empire Orienteering Club. We hosted the US Champs; won the Perm Trophy as top US Club in Ski-O; led several categories in the points for the NY Ski-O season; and set the courses and won many medals at the Empire State Games. This snow-season we have lots more to look forward to, with many predictions of a snowy Winter, along with a full slate of Ski-Orienteering events scheduled across New York State. Because the US Champs are only held every other year (though things are currently one year off on the cycle), we get to hold onto the Perm Trophy without having to defend it, even if Eric H. does think it's "butt-ugly." But while we await beginning our defense, there are some great races planned, involving new venues, new maps, and the same old fun-in-the-snow!

We again hope to start the season off at Lapland Lake. This is the third year we have scheduled the season opener there, and for the last two years it had to be cancelled. First it was El Nino; then we had La Nina. But now it's got to be Les Neiges. Historically Lapland has been skiable by then half the time, so this go 'round we should hit it. Don't worry if it's your first time out on skis for the year. No one else will have done any skiing either; you'll be right in the swing of it all. In January there are events at new locations and therefore with new maps in Lake Placid (hosted by Adirondack Orienteering) and near Cortland (hosted by Central NY). Both are in snow-belt country and only a day trip from EMPO-land. There's an even closer one in Utica, and a couple a bit further in Rochester. Gas up the SUV (what else did you buy it for?) and go.

February brings it back home, with the long awaited inaugural use of the new Saratoga Biathlon Center map, which was enhanced for the US Champs but left unused when there was no snow. This should be one of the highlights of the Winter season, and if you can only get to one event, make it this one. There's wonderfully varied terrain and an intricate trail network; the trails are well groomed and fast; and the atmosphere is always congenial. We'll have a large turnout, spirited competition, and a great time.

At the end of the month come the Empire State Games. We're back at Mt. Van Hoevenberg again, but somehow Eric always comes up with an interesting wrinkle or two to keep us on our toes (and to confuse the heck out of me!). Get "Qualified" and join the party in Lake Placid that weekend, celebrating the efforts of all the Juniors, Seniors, and in-betweens, who have shown how to accomplish something and enjoy themselves in the toughest conditions our part of the world offers. Hope we see you there!

-Phil Hawkes-Teeter

EMPO at the NA and US Championships

After what felt like eons, but was really only a few years, the pre-eminent events in North American orienteering returned to the Northeast. The North American Championships are only held every other year, and they alternate between Canada and the US. The last time they were held in Canada, and they were in the West; and the last time in the US they were in Missouri. So, it had been awhile. And the US Champs were last in Ohio, Virginia, Washington (state), and California, respectively. Finally, it was back Northeast again. In fact the Canadian Championships were in the Northeast this year too, but they were in August and in New Brunswick, which is actually much further Northeast than EMPO-land, but not exactly next door. Regardless, the big meets were back where they belong(!), and a goodly contingent of EMPO folks took advantage of the opportunity and got to compete in one or the other or both.

The racing days spanned the period October 28 through November 5, and things started off within New York itself, down in a portion of Harriman State Park which had been re-mapped just for the occasion. Five(?) EMPO families made it down, and enjoyed clear Fall weather, along with both physically and mentally challenging courses. For most it was their first exposure to "electronic punching", where you don't carry a card or look for a hanging paper punch, but rather carry a small plastic point, like a very stubby pencil, strapped to your finger and stick it in what looks like a small electric pencil sharpener at each control point. Both the "sharpener" and your "pencil" record the exact time you were there, and off you go. This is pretty cool, but there are a few potential problems, a couple of them sadly experienced by two EMPO competitors.

After finishing well in first place in the M-14 class on Day 1, Marty Hawkes-Teeter succumbed to what is apparently the most common problem for competitors new to electronic punching. On Day 2, going from Control #6, he mistakenly set his eye on Control #8, running right past but never seeing #7. Without a punch card, he had no way to realize he had missed one Control, and so he was very surprised to learn later that he was disqualified for missing a control. If he had had a punch card, he would have had plenty of time once he got to the next control and seen his error, to have gone back to #7 and still won the entire event. But as it was, he was just out of luck.

Perhaps less costly in terms of winning, but just as disheartening personally, was Grant Staats' experience. On the following weekend, in the US Champs, he ran what he felt was an excellent race for him (which would be pretty darn good by my measures), but on Day 2 as he was running he suddenly discovered he had lost his puncher (the stubby pencil thing strapped to your finger). Theoretically there are still supposed to be paper punches at the Controls, and you can punch your map the rest of the way to finish. But in practice, since the "pencils" cost about $25, you stop and look for them, and since they are quite small you never find them, and then ultimately you give up and trot on in.

In a funny related way, Sue Hawkes-Teeter also lost something. At the North Americans going to Control #5 she discovered her glasses were no longer in her pocket. [Don't ask me why she carries glasses which she needs in order to see the map in her pocket!] She managed to navigate/follow her way back in to the event center, and asked if anyone had found a pair of glasses out on the course. Amazingly enough, someone had indeed found a pair of glasses. But not where she lost them. Nonetheless, they were her glasses. The only conclusion to be drawn is that someone else first found them, then dropped them further along the course, only to have them found again by the person who turned them in (Gale Teschendorf of the "GO Orienteering" mail order company). Those glasses had quite a day!

-Phil Hawkes-Teeter

Joe Jamison at the Day 1 Finish punch on Sebago Beach
Sue Hawkes-Teeter in the Day 2 Finish chute
Phil H-T goes over the route

Photo credits: Joe by Betsy Hawes; Sue by Rob Reed; Phil by Rob Reed; Pat, Marty, and Bill by Phil H-T

EMPO's highest finisher in each Class for the two days of each events.

Class   North American Champs Finish   United States Champs Finish
M -12   Rob Tryson 5th   Rob Tryson 6th
M -14       Marty Hawkes-Teeter 3rd
M 21-       Laszlo Kolyvek 39th
M 40-   Bill Jameson 22nd    
F 45-   Janet Tryson 8th   Janet Tryson 7th
M 45-   Glen Tryson 10th   Glen Tryson 10th
M 50-   Phil Hawkes-Teeter 5th   Phil Hawkes-Teeter 9th
Pat Dunlavey, Marty H-T and Bill J all head home through the leaves and picnic tables from the GO control

New EMPO Dues Structure

Effective at the end of 2001, all memberships will expire on December 31. This will greatly simplify matters, so that both the members and the officers will readily know when they are supposed to renew and pay their dues.

In order to be sure to not penalize anyone who has paid, there will be a transition plan for existing members:

  • All current memberships will be good for at least the original year-long period.
  • Current memberships that expire up to 30 JUN 01 can be extended to 31 DEC 01 by paying 1/2 the yearly renewal rate.
  • Current memberships that expire after 30 JUN 01 will be extended to 31 DEC 01, at no extra charge.

For all new members joining on or after 1 JAN 01:

  • If they join up to 30 JUN, they pay the full yearly rate, and their membership will expire on the next 31 DEC.
  • If they join after 30 JUN, then they pay 1 1/2 times (150%) the yearly rate, but this will extend their membership until 31 DEC of the FOLLOWING year. This is to encourage new orienteers who start in SEP & OCT to join for the remainder of the current year PLUS all of the following year.
  • Anyone joining in November (i.e., at the Club Champs) will pay the yearly rate but their membership will end in DEC of FOLLOWING year (that is, they get the Club Champs as a bonus).

RATES: There will be a $1 or $2 increase in the EMPO dues for all members, beginning 1 JAN 01, as reflected on the changed Membership/Renewal form to the left to this page. The annual dues for Student/Individual/Couple/Family memberships will be $6/$10/$12/$14. As outlined above, for NEW members who join between 1 JUL, 01 and 31 OCT 01, the dues for 2001 and 2002 will be $9/$15/$18/$21.

-Janet Tryson, Treasurer

EMPO Holds an Election Too!

As we have watched the country have such fun holding its Presidential election, it occurred to us that EMPO hasn't gotten around to having one in awhile. In fact, the last time there was a change of Officers, it was really a case of figuring out who was left in the line of succession and filling in the remainder with "volunteers." That was ages ago. It must be time to vote the rascals out by now!

While we tend to joke about it, the question of who is running the Club does have some implications for you, the orienteers of the Capital District. The Club has several official functions:

  1. It is a member of, and thus your connection to, the US Orienteering Federation. This may not seem like much if you aren't involved with USOF yourself, but that's how we get our insurance coverage. Without that, we would be locked out of holding events in most of the Parks and public places we use for Meets.
  2. EMPO holds a significant number of assets. The flags, punch cards, etc., all cost money, but principally the Club develops and holds copyright on all the maps it uses. These maps have been contracted from professional mappers, and/or crafted by EMPO members past and present. They need to be held and used wisely.
  3. Because of #1 and #2, we are able to put on a number of orienteering events each year for all of you, along with the many other more occasional attendees. Recruiting of Meet Directors and Helpers, and development of each year's schedule is handled by Club Officers, though others besides Officers can (and fortunately Do!) put on events. For several years now we have operated 3 Spring, 3 Fall, and 2 Winter Meets. We would hope to hold to this as a minimum, and perhaps increase it.
  4. There are a number of other things which the Club does, for better or worse: the newsletter, publicity to the local press, relations with the Empire State Games and NYSSRA for Ski-O, and occasional (and far too few!) presentations to interested groups about orienteering. These functions don't require an Officer, but require someone, and are thus often covered by Officers.

We hope you can see this is not a trivial undertaking, and that its continuation does matter to you if you care at all about orienteering. It's also not meant to scare anyone away from the prospect of serving the Club as an Officer for awhile. As noted above, the current crew has been at it for several years now, and some new blood would certainly help. So, with all that in mind, we are starting the election process with a call for nominations.

Since any one member of the Club may be off in the woods at the times when another member is hanging around the registration area, the degree of contact each member has had with each other is highly variable. It has been suggested that besides listing the current Officers, we list the most regular meet attendees over the last two years, who have EMPO as their primary "O" club, to present some objective info on who is involved. It is possible the count is a bit off here and there, but this should be close. Some thumbnail photos have been included where possible in order to help with recognition (and to embarrass everyone, since many will feel they are not looking their best!).

So, from the accompanying list, please nominate individuals for each of the four Officer positions: President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. You may nominate any adult Club member, including yourself or your spouse (but only one spouse can serve at one time as an Officer). And if you want to nominate yourself for something, but don't feel you want to be an Officer yet, you could nominate yourself to be a Meet Director, or Worker, or the Publicity Director, or the Quartermaster (have a lot of garage space?), or any other function you can think of. Send them to either the EMPO PO Box (EMPO, PO Box 51, Clifton Park, NY 12065) or E-mail address. After the nominations are compiled, final ballots will be sent out to all member households. We look forward to your involvement.

-Phil Hawkes-Teeter

For current Officers and workers, their current position and/or number of Meets worked are shown. For all others, the number of Meets attended are shown.

Bill Jamison
Directed 2

Janet Tryson
Assisted 3

Phil Hawkes-Teeter
Directed 4

Eric Hamilton
Ski-O Coordinator
Directed 3

John Beatty
Attended 2

Sue Hawkes-Teeter
Directed 2
Assisted 4

Glen Tryson
Directed 2
Assisted 1

Robert Reed
Co-Directed 2

Rita Reed
Co-Directed 2

Steve Sweet II
Directed 1
Dick Curtis
Attended 4
Gary Emery
Attended 3

Johanna Farra
Attended 3

Ron Farra
Attended 3
Pam Flynn
Attended 3
Liz Gee
Attended 4

Elinor George
Attended 3

Richard Kline
Attended 4

Laszlo Kolyvek
Attended 6

Robert Lange
Attended 10

Kevin Matocha
Attended 6

Bruce O'Neill
Attended 11

Daria O'Neill
Attended 11

Steven Perog
Attended 4
Jim Rose
Attended 8

Reid Smalley
Attended 4

Grant Staats
Attended 5