Of X & Y

In Articles, Technical by Glyn DemmerLeave a Comment

We recently ran a Regularity Raid under the banner of the “Four Seasons Adventure Series” with the pilot event being referred to as the “Spring Raid”, the day started well but torrential rains fell early in the morning adding to the fun on the off-road section- after the prize giving numerous competitors queried the use of the term and Y” coordinates in the navigation sheets.

The X and Y co-ordinates used in mapping and navigation are known as “Cartesian” having drawn their name from the French mathematician and philosopher Rene Descartes.

They are used to indicate one’s location or position on a map. The X axis runs horizontally and the Y axis vertically, together they form a co-ordinate.

One can always remember that X runs to the left (and right) and Y to the sky (and down), thus latitude would be the Y axis and longitude the X axis.

Descartes has often been thought of as the founder of modern philosophy as well as analytical geometry, his mathematical genius in referring to a point, as a set of numbers is known as the Cartesian coordinate system.

In South Africa the X and Y coordinates are known as Gauss Conform Coordinates or LO coordinates, on a Garmin unit they will be referred to as the SA Grid.

On the day the teams were split up and navigators were briefed whilst the drivers stood by their vehicles for scrutineering. A regularity Raid is a great event as it combines on and off-road skills and is heavily navigation based, contestants have to find a series of waypoints, answer questions and complete a tricky off-road section all within a pre-determined time frame, arrive too early at a point and you could be penalised for speeding, exceed the cut off time and you could be disqualified.

To avoid competitors following one another and simply tagging along, routes were alternated and only came together at main waypoints such as the 4×4 trail ,where they were once again split on two trails-this was the fun side of things as there were some nice rivers to cross as well as some tricky obstacles caused by the Highveld morning storm. The route started at the Navworld facility in Stridom Park where staff were on hand to assist with GPS related queries and set ups, competitors then moved along via Northgate and the Lion Park to Pelindaba where there were questions relating to various graves at the Preller cemetery, then on to the Sappersrus Shrine (the monument to Sappers who had served and fallen in the various conflicts) and the ADA facility for the 4×4 tasks.

On arrival at the final checkpoints competitors handed in their GPS units and score sheets for evaluation and marking prior to the prize giving Thanks to the sponsors, Nissan SA, Cross Country Insurance, Tiger Wheel and Tyre, Navworld and Dixon Batteries all competitors received a complimentary SecureTech hold all filled with a variety of useful items. Prizes were awarded for the top three competitors with two trophies being handed out for 2nd and 1st place. The winner on the day was Hannes van Rensburg from Lichtenburg driving a Nissan Navara.

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