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Bulletin 5 (January 2, 2022)
Jogle Rally Summary
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!).
Results & Awards
You can see the results divided
into four separate events by clicking
the purposes of World Rankings each part counts as an event.
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.
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.
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)
- The Way Forward
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.