okansas.blogspot.com Occassional thoughts about orienteering
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Thoughts on the sprint relay at the Ski WOC
I thought this comment from a few days ago was worth highlighting.
Hi! I was one of the athletes skiing the sprint relay and I just want to say that the sprint relay is the most funny of all the distances, also for the athletes! It's a first man to finish race, which means a lot of close man-man fights and there is always happening something. It's also a relay so you're skiing for your nation and another person and you are also allowed to do "3 races" which you're getting the fun 3 times!
I agree that this has a lot of potential and I liked your comparison with a NASCAR race. But I think the last leg should be straight. That will make it even more funny with the man-man race in the end and you'll get the same excitement before the last leg, who is actually leading. And I'm pretty sure the athletes not just would follow each other on the straight leg. Last year we had a unforked last leg at the sprint relays and the athletes still did independent routechoices. Anything can happen in the end of a race, a fall, a missed punch etc. So you will always try to do what you think is the best routechoice and hopefully win the race before the finish.
I think that interviews between the legs only will give the athletes a bigger challenge and that it would be great for the spectators and maybe some TV viewers. There should also be a spectator control for where it's possible to see the athletes from the arena. The gps tracking should be shown during the entire race, but the changing area should be placed "behind" the big screen. But I also think it is important that the commentators know which forking the different teams are having and also how much time differences it is between the forkings.
At least I think this shows that orienteering sports are having a big potential as an interesting spectator and also TV sport if we only develop it a bit more