Who is Who
David May, IOF Senior Event Advisor
On June 10th 2006, already as WMOC 2008 Senior Event Advisor (SEA), you participated in an event on a Pataias map, maybe similar to that where the two Long Distance Qualifying will take place. What did you think about the terrain at that time?
The race confirmed that the terrain was world class and that we really did need to use a 2.5m contour interval. I really enjoyed it.
And what about the event organisation, promoted by one of the clubs directly involved in the WMOC organisation?
Excellent - we had showers, food, drink, a proper prize giving and a good atmosphere. I knew that we were in good hands!
Before you were appointed as IOF SEA, did you know the Leiria pine forests (where the competition areas are located)?
I'd been in Portugal three times before, but not to Leiria. The visits were to Sintra, Mafra and Lisbon - all on orienteering duty of one sort or another!
How many times have you visited the terrain after your appointment? Can you tell us some relevant or curious story happened during these visits or in meetings with the organisers?
I've made four official visits so far (this will be five when the event starts), plus two unofficial ones when I attended the 07 and 08 POM events. It will be something like 6 weeks in all! This event is by far the largest on the IOF calendar and will certainly be the biggest undertaking ever made by the Portuguese Federation. There are many jobs to do ...
Curiosities? I remember being driven into one area in the Federation van only to find it sinking into soft sand. We retired to a restaurant whilst a tractor was summoned to pull the van out. I also had some very long days - one meeting started at 8 pm and ended at 3.30 am with one person arriving at the meeting at 1.30 am!
Besides the terrain approval, the IOF gives the SEA a lot of approval tasks: maps, courses, controls, time-keeping and results producing system, accommodation, transports, public ceremonies, media conditions, etc. Was your involvement important to the correction of the organiser plans to some of these items?
As you've listed, there's a lot to do! Carlos Monteiro and the main organisers had been to previous WMOCs in Austria and Finland and had the vital opportunity to talk to and learn from the organisers in 06 and 07. The main difference between then and 08 was the addition of two Sprint races into the programme and I had a big involvement in advising how to do this. In fact, we had to write the rules about WMOC Sprint before we could start as none existed before.
Have the Portuguese organised a WMOC to the right standards?
I'm confident that the event will be excellent!
In your opinion, what's the weakest (the most fragile) area of this event?
Probably my lack of Portuguese! I'm not a natural linguist and I find Portuguese a difficult language to try to learn. This has meant that we have had some "lost in translation" moments along the way.
What's the area that best meets IOF standards and the athletes' expectations?
It's difficult to answer this at this stage - probably the terrain and the weather will make the event memorable.
The "Handbook for WMOC officials" says clearly: "The IOF SEAs are not police nor are they spies! Their relations with the Organiser should be based on confidence and the consciousness of a shared objective." Did you ever feel being looked as a police or a spy?
No, I never felt like an IOF spy - maybe my lack of Portuguese helped here!
You are a member of the IOF Foot Orienteering Commission (FOC). One of the Commission's tasks is "to encourage and possibly recommend new event formats". Does that mean the Commission had a direct involvement in the introduction of WMOC Sprint? What do you think of this innovation?
The FOC carried out a detailed survey of competitors at the 2005 WMOC in Canada and one result of this was that the programme of two Qualifiers plus a Final was thought to be too short by many. FOC proposed to extend the programme by adding a Sprint Championship and IOF Council agreed to this. I was very much involved in this and I fully supported this innovation.
Since you work for IOF, did you recall some other innovation as important (or more) than this one?
I have been involved in all FOC's work since 1997 but the one I have probably worked most at is the establishment of World Rankings and World Ranking Events.
When did it start your mandate? And what other essential functions has the FOC?
As you can see from above, I'm now in my eleventh year as a member of FOC. To be brief, the function of FOC is to develop world elite orienteering (Junior, Elite and Senior) and, in particular, to be responsible for WOC and the World Cup programme.
Do you want to recall some particularly hard-working or delicate dossier in which your involvement had been determinant during your work in the IOF?
I've already mentioned the WMOC Sprint and the World Rankings scheme but I should also add that development of WMOC is my responsibility too; for example, I wrote the WMOC handbook you referred to earlier.
Before this WMOC, in which other important events have you been the Event Advisor?
I've also been an IOF Event Adviser for the JK in Great Britain in 2006, I helped control the 1999 WOC in Great Britain and I was Technical Director for the 2005 World Cup in Great Britain.
You have been recently elected as Director to the British Orienteering and, appealing to a decade of experience in the IOF, you presented yourself as a "moderniser and a simplifier". What did you mean by that?
I like to think I'm a moderniser as I try to promote new ideas. For example, I introduced and planned the first Micr-O event in the UK. Also I'm very much in favour of the Sprint discipline, planning this year's JK Sprint race which attracted over 1500 entrants.
Why did you run for the British Orienteering board? Do you have some especially ambitious project for the orienteering in the UK?
I like to think that I can bring a wide experience to the Board, especially of international aspects of orienteering.
Among the events in which you participated until now, do you want to recall anything in special: Tasmania 1992 or Edmonton 2005 (where Vincent Joyce was Silver Medal)?
I have competed in every WMOC except one, that in Norway in 2003 when I had to stay in the UK on Jury service. Injury forced retirement on Day 1 in Australia (2002) and illness meant that I missed the qualifiers in Finland (2006). My target is always to get into the A Final (and to beat the other Brits too!) but I'm not always successful in this. My best was Austria in 2006 when I came 23rd in the A Final - and beat all the (good) Brits too! I won't relate my worst ...
I saw the results in a relay in 2004 where you had in your team: Liz Campbell, Alice Bedwell and Steve Jones. What a team! Do you remember that race?
Yes, I was running for Wales in the Home Internationals against England, Scotland and Ireland. I don't think we won though.
There have been several disqualifications for "mispunch" (mp) with the Sportident. The rules are very clear about the athlete's responsibility. Do you want to remind us of the existing rules about this matter?
Records show that the vast majority of these disqualifications have occurred when the control concerned has been "online", i.e. linked by radio or cable to the results system. We are now pretty confident that problems only happened when the online controls were set up incorrectly or someone's home made solution didn't meet the SI standards. We are using the same online controls at WMOC which were used at the GBR World Cup in 2005 and which do meet the SI standards.
The rule is "A competitor with a control punch missing or unidentifiable shall not be placed unless it can be established with certainty that the punch missing or unidentifiable is not the competitor's fault. In this exceptional circumstance, other evidence may be used to prove that the competitor visited the control, such as evidence from control officials or cameras or read-out from the control unit. In all other circumstances, such evidence is not acceptable and the competitor must be disqualified. In the case of SportIdent, this rule means that:
- If one unit is not working, a competitor must use the backup provided and will be disqualified if no punch is recorded
- If a competitor punches too fast and fails to receive the feedback signals, the card will not contain the punch and the competitor must be disqualified (even though the control unit may have recorded the competitor's card number)"
Except in an accident, helping during the race is expressively condemned by the IOF Competition Rules. Does that mean that an athlete, temporarily lost, cannot ask another participant help relocating him in the map?
Yes! If you're temporarily lost you must work out where you are yourself. Asking someone else for help is cheating. It can also disturb the concentration of the other runner and affect their run.
Another issue that sometimes presents some unpleasant commentaries is the "following" during the race. What's the IOF opinion on this matter?
The IOF's position is quite clear. Rule 26.2 says "In an individual interval start race, competitors shall navigate and run through the terrain independently." In other words, you must not deliberately follow another competitor.
Do you want to leave some recommendation to the athletes?
I hope you all meet your goals!
(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2008 Apr 4th.)
[2008-06-20] Carlos Monteiro, WMOC Event Director
[2008-06-20] Dieter Wolf, M55, SUI
[2008-06-19] Timo Teinila, WMOC speaker
[2008-06-19] Jorge Simões, WMOC Event Director assistant
[2008-06-18] Blair Trewin, M35, AUS
[2008-06-18] Mariett Matias, WMOC Media responsible
[2008-06-17] David May, WMOC Senior Event Advisor
[2008-06-16] Gottfried Tobler, M60, AUT
[2008-06-16] Tuulikki Salmenkylä, W45, FIN
[2008-06-16] Arvo Majoinen, M80, FIN
[2008-06-14] Fernando Costa, WMOC Marketing responsible
[2008-06-13] Sarah Dunn, W40, GBR
[2008-06-12] Santos Sousa, WMOC planner
[2008-06-11] Sigurd Daehli, M55, NOR
[2008-06-10] Alexandre Reis, WMOC mapper and planner
[2008-06-09] Nick Duca, M40, CAN
[2008-06-07] Tiago Aires, WMOC mapper and planner
[2008-06-06] Irina Stepanova, W55, RUS
[2008-06-05] Luís Sérgio, WMOC mapper
[2008-06-04] Ari Kattainen, M50, FIN
[2008-06-03] Rui Antunes, WMOC Mapping coordinator
[2008-06-02] Jon Musgrave, M45, GBR
[2008-05-31] Jacinto Eleutério, WMOC Course coordinator
[2008-05-30] Rune Carlsson, M70, SWE
[2008-05-29] Åke Jacobson, IOF President
[2008-05-29] Augusto Almeida, POF President
[2008-05-28] Jurate Uleviciene, W55, LIT
[2008-05-26] Vladimir Ioffe, M70, ISR
[2008-05-23] José Fernandes, M45, POR
[2008-05-21] Ezio Paris, M55, ITA
[2008-05-19] Gabriella Györffy, W40, HUN
[2008-05-16] Alberto Minguez, M40, ESP
[2008-05-14] Tomas Zdrahal, M55, CZE
[2008-05-12] Paulo Becker, M45, BRA
[2008-05-09] Ingrid Roll, W70, NOR
[2008-05-07] Jerzy Parzewski, M55, POL
[2008-05-05] Hugh Moore, M60, AUS
[2008-05-02] Martin Checkley, M55, GBR
[2008-04-30] Etienne Bousser, M60, FRA
[2008-04-28] Andreas Grote, M40, SUI
[2008-04-24] Liudmila Labutina, W65, RUS
[2008-04-22] Freddy Sillien, M60, BEL
[2008-04-17] Tomislav Kaniski, M35, CRO
[2008-04-14] Eero Tuuteri, M85, FIN
[2008-04-10] Lena Nordahl, W80, SWE
[2008-04-07] Albano João, M45, POR
[2008-04-03] Tom A. Karlsen, M55, NOR
[2008-03-31] Kayoko Sakai, W55, JPN
[2008-03-27] Finn Arildsen, M45, DEN
[2008-03-24] Anne Nurmi, W45, FIN
[2008-03-20] Peo Bengtsson, M75, SWE
[2008-03-17] Alida Abola, W50, LAT
[2008-03-13] Matti Railimo, M60, FIN
[2008-03-10] Cornelia Eckardt, W35, GER
[2008-03-06] Joaquim Sousa, M35, POR
[2008-03-03] Birgitta Olsson, W75, SWE
[2008-02-20] J. Salmenkylä, M75, FIN
[2008-02-18] Torid Kvaal, W65, NOR
[2008-02-15] Mykola Bozhko, M55, UKR
[2008-02-13] Pavlina Brautigam, W45, USA
[2008-02-11] Ferran Santoyo, M35, ESP
[2008-02-08] Sole Nieminen, W80, FIN
[2008-02-06] Stefano Galletti, M40, ITA
[2008-02-04] Gillian Ingham, W50, NZL
[2008-02-01] Jörgen Mårtensson, M45, SWE
[2008-01-30] Tom Hiltebrand, M50, SUI
[2008-01-28] Baiba Ozola, W40, LAT
[2008-01-25] Eddie Harwood, M55, GBR
[2008-01-23] Marje Viirmann, W45, EST
[2008-01-21] Alexander Afonyushkin, M40, RUS
[2008-01-18] Paulina Majova, W55, SVK
[2008-01-16] Björn Linnersjö, M65, SWE
[2008-01-15] Lillian Røss, W85, NOR
[2008-01-10] Tapio Peippo, M55, FIN
[2008-01-07] Elizabeth Brown, W90, GBR
[2008-01-04] Erkki Luntamo, M90, FIN