Posted by Grant on 12. May 2009 21:31
There have been some minor changes in the works for our Untamed New England adventure race this Summer . . . and we're starting to roll those out now.
The biggest change revolves around the equipment we stage for racers. Last year we required hard plastic bins, limited to 24 gallons in capacity, but this year we're being more flexible and permitting duffel bags or other soft case containers. The catch is that we, as an organization, can not take responsibility for any damages to any racer equipment. Plastic bins are easy to stack and the contents are relatively protected, but in a duffel bag the contents can be piled under 10 other duffels (or bins) and we can't make any guarantees or special handling for one person's precious items . . . so the burden is on the racer to either avoid packing breakables or use a hard container (or put a hard container inside a duffel bag).
Instead of the 24-gallon limit from last year, we are making a weight limit of 30 pounds for each racer's duffel or bin. That's the same weight as about 4 gallon jugs of water, so we feel it's sufficient for some food, clothing, and other race related gear. The race website has been updated with the new details on the gear bins/duffels.
We did this for a variety of reasons, but the main ones are:
- 24 gallons is not as cut-and-dried as it you'd think. If you measure the length x width x height of a bin and convert it to gallons, the results are surprising when you look at commercial plastic bins that advertise a "24 gallon" capacity. For example, take this item that measures 26.5 by 19.3 by 17.4 inches, or has 8900 cubic inches in volume, converting that to gallons is 38 gallons. But it's billed as a 24-gallon container! Play around with the online conversion tools and try to make sense of it yourself. There may be a good explanation, but it escapes us. With so much on the line with our race being an AR World Championship qualifier, we couldn't find a reasonable guideline based just on container capacity when the standards are so unpredictable! I know last year, some teams really pushed the envelope on the 24-gallon bin thing and by going with weight we have a more consistent and quantifiable measure.
- A hard plastic bin is tough for people to fit paddles into, and particularly hard for those flying to the race to bring along. This way, racers can bring a nice paddle case and can squeeze it into a monster duffel bag along with some clothes, some food, and another pair of shoes; there should be no problem getting that stuff together in less than 30 pounds. There will be no room left over, granted, but it's feasible to do this with our 30 pound limit.
The 2nd Captain Communication for the race will go out tonight, so I won't repeat the whole thing here. It contains more info on the race maps and course insight that teams will be eager to read as well as administrative details.
We have 23 teams in our "Premiere" division (4-coed) and 18 teams in what we're calling the "Open" division (2 and 3 person teams); we'll be adding a couple more teams to that list as we finalize their payment details, but we'll officially close registration tonight or tomorrow (it just depends when I have time to update the website and post instructions for the race waiting list).
I'm heading off to Greece soon for some planning regarding Untamed Mycenaea
(joking, we're just taking a plain old Greek vacation). I may or may not have internet from there so it may be a week or two before you hear from me again. This trip is actually pay back to my wife for my race in Patagonia last year . . . the things I do to achieve balance in life . . .