AR101 -- What makes adventure racing unique is the Control Points (CPs) you are trying to find during the race. Frequent questions we get are what is a CP, what does it look like, and what do I do when I find one?
The mystery is revealed here as we walk you through the process.
Our Control Points are standard Orienteering Flags. Orienteering is "basically any sport that involves racing against a clock and requires navigation using a map." Some definitions require that you use an Orienteering Map which is why we generally call what we do Navigating unless we have a true O-Map.
Control Points are white and orange "flags" which are actually three-dimensional triangular kites. That might sound confusing but here is a picture to ease your mind.
Notice it is hanging about waist high in this wooded area. The design is so that the CP will be visable to you if you have correctly navigated yourself to it.
When you get there now you have to prove that you found it. Notice in the same picture above there is a red "punch" mechanism hanging from it. There is your proof.
Each CP has a unique "punch" design that you use to perforate a provided punch-card. Then when you hand in the punch-card to us we can score it against a master.
Hold on though is there one more twist. Each CP has an identifying number on it like the one below.
This CP has the number 45 on it. On your punch-card, this number will be in parenthesis beside the actual CP number that is on your map. So for instance if this is CP 1 on your map the punch-card will have CP 1 (45) in a box where you can perforate.
That indentifying number verifies that you are at the right control. Sometimes several CPs may be in the same area or you may get lost and turned around and end up at one you weren't looking for.
To punch, just make sure you perforate the area enough so we can see it. If for some reason you punch outside of the intended box or in the wrong box that is okay. If you punch anywhere on the card we can give you credit for it. It might be a good idea to give the volunteer a heads up when you hand it in though.
In our races, CPs are generally worth one point a piece. There is no penalty for not visiting a CP. You just don't get that point.
In the end, the team with the most points is the winner. For teams with the same amount of points the best finishing time will break the tie.
So that's it. Adventure Racing comes down to finding orange and white flags in the woods. It doesn't get any easier than that.