HRCR Jogle Rally 2021

Jogle 2021:   Introduction | Entry List | Bulletins | Setters' Guidelines | Award Winners Gallery | Report1 | Report2 | Report3
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Bulletin 5 (January 2, 2022)

Jogle Rally Summary

Happy New Year. Another long event has come to an end and I guess competitors and setters were glad for a post-event break, particularly as it was a festive one. I hope that you were fortunate and able to spend quality time with friends and family.

A tremendous amount of work goes into these events and I am grateful that other volunteer competitors have supported my obsessive desire to provide rally/mapping entertainment and raise money for charity.

The method for donating to charities changed on this event. Instead of paying me to pay a designated charity, this time you paid your entry fee direct to your chosen charity either as cash or donated goods to an equivalent amount. This worked well. The charities (over 50 different ones) got your donation (plus gift-aid if appropriate) straightaway, and I didn't have to act as a "middle-man" shuffling money. The latter saved me a huge chunk of admin. Future events will operate in the same way. The Jogle Rally raised over £2,500 - THANK YOU.

The setters: Monica Dowson, Phil Robbins, Roger Ashmead, Bob Blackstock, Andrew Green, Lyn Gale, Nikki Baker, Iain Tullie, Glynn Hayward and Alex Hoult, did a brilliant job, crafting 42 legs between them, leaving me to only do 58!! It's mostly a thankless job designing and troubleshooting a route card. And it's very frustrating when you find a sneaky white to use or a shorter route after the setter has laboured for hours to be error free. It goes with the territory and on the Jogle Rally, based upon the feedback received, by far the majority enjoyed another marathon plotting experience.

Early on in the event the Google Routing fee raised it ugly and expensive head, but more of that later.


There were 59 entries, 52 finishers, and 19 competitors attempted all 100 routecards. There were 3,570 answers submitted (TG for automatic marking!).
Three competitors excelled with "FTDs" (best on legs): Glynn Hayward 16, Alex Hoult 15 and Keith Irvin 13; the latter being particularly commendable since he only attempted 50 legs.
Every leg was cleaned except 47 - a real-time stage rally. Leg 5 (Aoraki - New Zealand) was cleaned the most times (43). Leg 55 (Rally Round 2) had the least average penalty (0.8); Leg 71 (real-time road rally) the worst (468.1).
The "best" legs, in terms of ranked value (9.3), were 30, 39, 41, 50 and 77 - all from different setters. You liked leg 59 the least with a score of 6.7.

Results & Awards

You can see the results divided into four separate events by clicking Part1 Part2 Part3 Part4. For the purposes of World Rankings each part counts as an event.
Part 1: 1. Keith Irvin, 2. Ian Oakey, 3. Monica Dowson
Part 2: 1. Phil Robbins, 2: Ian Oakey, 3: Monica Dowson
Part 3: 1. Ian Oakey, 2: Phil Robbins, 3: Lyn Gale
Part 4: 1. Phil Robbins, 2: Monica Dowson, 3: Ian Oakey

The results for the complete event are here with the top 10 of:
1. Phil Robbins, 2. Ian Oakey, 3. Monica Dowson, 4. Keith Cunningham, 5. Lyn Gale, 6. Andrew Green, 7. Rosemary Mead, 8. Robert Owen,  9. Phil King, 10. Glynn Hayward.

These competitors all received a customised 2022 desk calendar; and the top 3 also received a customised Ordnance Survey map. My thanks to HRCR for making these awards possible.

World Rankings

With his strong start on the Jogle, Keith Irvin kept his No.1 ranking after Part 1. Ian Oakley's second place on Parts 1 and 2 led to a joint No.1 with Keith at the Jogle half way point. Thereafter, Keith's absence and Ian's strong finish, placed Ian at the top. The current World podium is 1. Ian Oakley, 2. Phil Robbins, 3. Monica Dowson. For the full list go to World Rankings.

Google Routing Usage Fees

Without notice Google withdrew the non-profits usage credits that had been agreed for TTR. Because of the high level of routing use in TTR the standard credits were soon used up each month leading to unexpected charges on my credit card.

With heavy charges in September, October and November, the final bill for December will be a lot less since many of the latter legs were designed to use TomTom routing (after some hasty research and programming). The final Google cost for Jogle will be around £800.

To offset the cost, Jogle competitors were asked to contribute a minimum £16 per head to a "Google fund". 39 of the 59 competitors generously did that and thereby raised about £840.

This highlighted a dilemma in that previously all monies collected for entry fees were passed onto nominated charities. I didn't want the personal responsibility of taking non-charitable money from competitors, so an independent non-profits bank account was opened with Lloyds to receive your contributions and pay the Google charges. Creating this account was an nightmare which, after complaining, Lloyds admitted was due to their maladministration. Two TTR competitors have kindly volunteered to oversee the usage of the account: Monica Dowson and Lyn Gale.

The account is now fully functional and has been used to receive your Google and HRCR's award donations, pay Google fees, and pay for the purchase of awards. For the sake of transparency TTR competitors can view a summary of the Bank Account.

The Google fees and Google donations, and awards in/outs will more or less balance. But the account has had a windfall since Lloyds saw fit to pay £200 compensation for the inconvenience I suffered in getting the account opened. This means that on future events there will be a starting buffer of money to offset hosting and routing fees.

Future Charging

Entry fees in the future will be comprised of two elements. 1) A self-certified direct payment to the charity of your choice - the minimum amount will depend upon the size (basically, the number of legs) of the event, but expect this to around £20/£25; 2) A payment to the TTR bank account to cover hosting and routing fees. Again the amount will depend upon the size of the event, taking into account a forecast of the number of competitors, the timing of the routing requests, and thereby the likely routing fees. With plotting activity spread across two calendar months (Google's usage limits/credits/charges are calendar monthly) and using TomTom's routing (daily limits) as an alternative, the fees can be reduced. For a long event like the Jogle Rally the per competitor fee might be around £12; for a typical annual championship perhaps £5 or less.


The OFCAWS charging model has been changed to be inline with TTR events. The annual subscription is £20 |(minimum) to your nominated charity, plus £5 towards hosting and routing fees.

The Next Event

Scheduling says (based upon 2021) the next events should be the four that comprise the 2022 Championship and run from March to May. Like me, the Jogle setters are probably looking forward to a break before they start clicking on maps again. So don't expect anything to be announced until the end of January at the earliest. Of course, Coronavirus developments may well dictate the timing of events, particularly if lockdowns are thrust upon us. Meanwhile, enjoy your break and I hope to welcome you back to more TTR entertainment later in the year.

Together over the last 16 years we've now raised almost £34,000 for good causes. THANK YOU for your continued support.

January 2, 2022

Bulletin 4 (November 14, 2021)

Google Charging - The Way Forward

As previouly reported, there is no way to avoid the Google routing charging that is being levied for TTR. Since TTR (according to Google's rules) cannot be considered to be a bona fide non-profit organisation, it no longer qualifies for extended credits. The popularity of our competitions and the resultant usage goes beyond the standard credits that are given to a mere registered user, so all excesses have to be paid for.

So that I am not personally out-of-pocket, this means that for future competitions, your entry fee will comprise two components: 1) An amount to your nominated charity and 2) a token amount to TTR to contribute to covering the Google (or alternative) routing charges. The Jogle Rally 2021 Bulletin 3 discusses the likely Google costs of 2). A Jogle-type of event would require a contribution of around £10 (now revised to £16) per entrant; the annual Championship around £4 (now revised to £5) per entrant.

NOTE: I am continuing to explore ways of reducing these costs and the recent emergence of using TomTom routing as an alternative might be rewarding. Trials have shown that this alternative works well (with a few restrictions) and some of the later Jogle route cards (marked **) are using TomTom. Extensive/alternative use will depend on reliability and TomTom's own charging method.
I have also tried the Microsoft/Bing routing algorithms and rejected. TTR plotting/marking relies upon a competitor's route matching the master route by comparison of geocoded points. This works with Google/TomTom because the geocoded points are predominantly static. (Occasionally I have to adjust a route for re-geocoding or roadworks, but thankfully this is fairly rare). However, the Microsoft geocoded points appear to be dynamically generated. So it's common that a route solution rarely matches a master route - which makes consistent marking very difficult or impossible.

Since I don't want to be personally responsible for 2) and in the interests of transparency, I have opened a "club" bank account with Lloyds in the name of Internet Table-Top Rallying. All TTR income and expenditure will go through this account. Furthermore, two additional TTRers will be signatories to the account. Kindly Lyn Gale and Monica Dowson have agreed to act as my co-controllers.

With an extremely active October the Google bill for Jogle topped out at £293.96 so my the cummulative cost to date is now £478.04. I expect this to double by the end of the Jogle Rally. Apportioning this across Jogle competitors now equates to £16 per head.

Since TTR starting raising money for charity from its entry fees over £33,000 has been donated to good causes. ALL entry fees have been passed on to charity. My time and the costs of hosting TTR on the Internet have been freely donated. The only beneficiary has been my/your nominated charity. The new, unwanted beneficiary of Google, has now spoilt that philanthropic arrangement.

To cover the sudden, unreasonable and unaccounted for Google charges I am asking if Jogle entrants could pay the per capita fee of £16. This has to be optional, since you entered the Jogle Rally believing your charitable donation was your only outlay. If, the income from this plea exceeds the Google payments for the Jogle Rally, then the excess will be carried over to the next event towards routing charges. Correspondingly, any shortfall will temporarily hurt my pocket until the shortfall is recouped at the next event.

Separately all Jogle entrants and TTR registrants will receive a portal mesage/email in the next few days with the required bank transfer details.

I hope you'll be able to help. Many thanks for your continued support.

November 14, 2021 @ 23:00

Bulletin 3 (October 6, 2021)

Google Charging Update

My negotiations with Google are over. My claim, multiple appeals and escalation have been rejected. Since I am not, and cannot considered to be, a bona fide charitable organisation, I cannot benefit from the extra non-profits credits that would be available. I have considered shaming Google by publicising its lack of support to individual fund raisers, but they are big enough to shrug off a "flea bite" and I don't want to waste time pursuing a lost cause.

So let's look at the costing maths.

Every registered Google developer gets a credit of $200 a month (cf. the $2,000 previously granted me before their policy changed!). this equates to ~£145. The biggest Google usage/cost is for its Directions Service. Every time you place or move a point on your map this service is used and this clocks up a "hit". For September TTR has generated 90,000 hits. This has been for 1000 route card solutions; 90 route iterations before submission feels about right.

Hits are charged at £3.6345 per 1000. So the charge for September is ~£329. and my bill for this month is £329 - £145. £184.08 to be exact, which Google have already taken from my credit card.

In a low-activity month (i.e. no events and a few users practising) the standard credits are sufficient to offset costs. For example August had ~12,000 hits for a cost of ~£45 - a net cost of £0. Unused credits can't be carried over.

For an event like the Jogle, assuming the activity remains about the same I project that the total Google cost to me until the end of the event in December will be ~£600 (£180+£180+£180+£60). With 60 competitors this would have equated to £10 per competitor.

Had I been aware of Google's (unstated reduced credit) charging before Jogle started, would you have paid £25 to charity and £10 to me to cover costs? Or should I have reduced your total outlay to only £25 thereby depriving charities of £600?

Let's look at the cost model for a typical annual TTR Championship. Each of the four rounds would take place during a calendar month. 90 entries solving 8 route cards would generate around 65,000 total hits. This would equate to a Google cost of £90 per month; for the Championship £360 or a modest £4 per competitor to cover the mapping fees. Interestingly, if each round could be configured to span over two months, the usage per month would be halved and the net Google cost would be zero!

The upshot is: if you are willing to keep donating to charity for your entry fees plus a bit extra to me to cover mapping fees, the TTR future is secure. I'll have to estimate the number of likely entries before announcing any event so that I can set an appropriate "bit extra" fee. In fact I'll probably add a little more to the fee to cover an underestimate of entries or usage with any excess going into a Google kitty for subsequent events.

Of course a generous sponsor could offset fees. HRCR have assisted the Jogle but I have already pledged their donation to event awards.

PS I'm getting married on December 5, shortly before the last Jogle route card has been published. Much to the bride's displeasure I have blamed Google for having to pare the wedding breakfast budget, which will now be a buffet of bread and water rather than a four-course indulgent meal. ;-)


OFCAWS Google Routing activity (small compared to TTR) gets bundled into the same charging account. Whilst any activity will add to the charging burden, in its own right for OFCAWS - at the moment - there is no justification in levying additional charges for its users.

Ordnance Survey Charging

While on the subject of charging, Ordnance Survey charge me too. However their usage model is kinder. Access to 1:25000/1:50000 maps is charged at £0.0005 per map view (== ~15 Km squares). The higher resolution topography views are £0.03 per map view. Most route cards are designed to avoid the necessity of the more expensive topography views. During the high-activity TTR month of September there were 70,645 map views at a cost of £716, BUT with a monthly credit of £1000 the net cost is zero. So I don't think any OS charging will be necessary at the moment.

I've really no idea if any of this cost analysis bothers you like it bothers me. I would welcome any feedback you would like to give particularly if it introduces me to a £600 benefactor.

October 6, 2021 @ 20:00

Bulletin 2 (August 31, 2021)

Update from Llandudno

Well, before the Three Castles Rally kicks off tomorrow I was hoping to spend the evening checking that everything was in place for the start of the Jogle in the morning. But I can't do much with the hopeless Internet speed at this "prestigious" Imperial Hotel.

Last week I was in an Airbnb in a remote part of Dorset and the Internet speed was 32MB. Here in urban Llandudno I just measured the speed at 0.14MB - yes, the decimal point is in the right place! So, if you do come across a few early glitches, don't fret, the problems will get sorted and you won't be disadvantaged.

A 100 days of plotting (well, maybe 20 minutes per day plotting) await you. It's a marathon not a sprint, so deliberate on each route card until you are confident before you submit your route for marking.

Thank you for the generous support of your nominated charities. Quite a few of you have contributed significantly more than the asking price of £25.

Enjoy the next 3+ months, more news follows as necessary.


August 31, 2021 @ 23:00 

Bulletin 1 (August 21, 2021)

Setter Substitute Route Cards

I'm very grateful to the volunteer setters who have stopped my brain going into overload by having to create 100 route cards. The role of honour and the leg numbers they have designed is as follows:

Monica Dowson (TTR17011): 6, 26, 38, 56, 74
Phil Robbins (TTR17043): 8, 29, 48, 63, 83
Roger Ashmead (TTR17205): 10, 19, 50, 59
Bob Blackstock (TTR17201): 13, 33, 61, 81
Andrew Green: (TTR17102): 15, 21, 35, 53
Lyn Gale (TTR19061): 20, 40, 60, 80, 100
Nikki Baker (TTR19074): 25, 30, 42, 78, 92
Iain Tullie (TTR17048): 28, 65, 66
Glynn Hayward (TTR17076): 76,77
Alex Hoult (TTR17182): 14, 16, 17, 18, 39

Since all legs count towards a final score and setters obviously can't attempt their own legs, special arrangements have been made so that they are not disadvantaged. There will be five new Practice rallies (PRACJ1-PRACJ5) and these will generally be available from December 19th - after the Jogle closes. During the Jogle these rallies will act as substitutes for the setter legs. For example, when Monica Dowson attempts Jogle Leg 6 (her first designed route card) she will be guided to PRACJ1 and her penalties will be recorded against PRACJ1 and JG2105 (Jogle Leg 6).

I will be making the substitute route cards, as best I can, to be about the same difficulty as a typical Jogle route card, so that the setters don't receive an advantage. 

August 21, 2021 @ 23:00