The course setter of Jukola: Mistake with the forking was a typing error in Excel

JukolalahtoII_intro210611Here is English translation of our article about forking error in Jukola relay for our international readers. (Tässä vielä artikkeli "Jukolan ratamestari Janne Weckman: Hajontavirhe oli inhimillinen näppäilyvirhe Excel-taulukossa" englanniksi käännettynä kansainvälisen kiinnostuksen johdosta)

JukolalahtoII210611Approximately one hundred men who ran the first leg had the same controls with the second leg runners of their teams. Photo: Hevoskuuri.fiHevoskuuri interviewed the course setter of Jukola Relay, Janne Weckman, and asked about his feelings two days after Jukola. Course setting in Salpa-Jukola was mainly very good, but an unfortunate mistake with the forkings cast a shadow over the otherwise very successful event. Hevoskuuri also asked about the mistake.

After the competition, several competitors noticed a mistake in the Jukola forking chart. The mistake concerns approximately 100 teams who had the same forking variant in the first and second leg. Even though some teams suffered some loss of time due to the mistake, it did not affect the results of the top teams. The best team with the "wrong forking" was IFK Moras (14th place in the relay). The mistake itself is clear and unfortunate because the main idea in relay-orienteering is that all teams have the same forkings. In Jukola 2011, this wasn't the case. About 100 teams had the same forking variant in the first and second leg, while the other variants weren't used at all.

The father of World of O, Norwegian Jan Kocbach, analyzed the consequences of the mistake. The analysis of the gains and losses of forking mistakes can be read here.

According to the course setter Janne Weckman, the mistake was due to a typing error in an Excel-chart.

-The mistake was because of a typing error in Excel. Even though the forking chart was examined many times, this small typo slipped through, Weckman regretted.

-The forking charts are made with the help of Excel and we knew that it includes some risks. We were very attentive, but the mistake was so small and human that we just didn't notice it, Weckman continued.

Too bad, that it left a bad taste in the otherwise very positive arrangements. How do you feel two days after the big event?

- I'm happy but tired. The job is done, and now we can start to relax. Otherwise, there has not been much negative feedback about courses, which means orienteers have mainly been satisfied with the courses and the terrain.

If we forget the unfortunate mistake with forking, the courses and forkings were excellent in the both relays, and there was a lot of action and drama during the relay.

-Yes, in fact both of us course setters can be very happy that we were able to keep the relay very exiting until the end, even though it seemed that Halden and Kalevan Rasti had so superior teams that they will run away from the others right from the start. We even got two new records in this year's relay. Firstly, there were more teams with a result than ever before, 1,297 teams in total. That means that the courses were also suitable for the "run for fun"-teams. Secondly, One last leg runner used slightly over 8.5 hours to finish his leg – the longest time ever in Jukola's history.

What has happened after the relay and what will happen in the future?

-All the controls had been removed from the forest 2.5 hours after the competition. This was done by the control checkers. Now we have to analyze the relay to help the future arrangers. That means we need to consider what we managed well in this year's relay and what could be improved in the future.

Thank you for the interview. You have earned some rest now!

-Interviewer Tero Viljanen. Translated by Juho-Veikko Hytönen

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