|Bay Area Night Game|
The inaugural BANG event was held in the Presidio in San Francisco. It was envisioned to truly be a night game, to take teams deep into dark, dark woods of the Presidio, with an emphasis on having fun, easy puzzles, and making it somewhat difficult to find puzzle envelopes stashed away in the park. And, the course length was 6.5 miles, no walk in the park! Teams worked up quite a sweat getting through the course. The beauty of BANG 1 was that there was a 100% finish rate, that teams absolutely had to use flashlights and headlamps to see what they were doing, and that everyone had a fantastically fun time racing!
A hardy group of 30 showed up to try out this brand new event, most having heard of BANG via puzzler email lists, but 2 teams arrived after seeing posts on Craig's List. The puzzles included a tricky rebus, reading Perl code, and a basic crossword. At checkpoint #8, teams arrived at the Presidio bowling alley, where they had to either score 40 points or make a strike before they got the next puzzle and set out toward checkpoint #9. Thus, the tradition of the physical challenge was set, and since BANG 1 there have been frisbee golf, darts, pinball, and even crab-walking "golf" offered up.
There were 10 puzzles in all for BANG 1, with the penultimate location being the Presidio Pet Cemetary. Yes, it was a spooky place to visit at 10:00 p.m. in virtual pitch black dark!
The winner of BANG 1 was Team Blood and Bones, a perennial favorite amongst treasure hunt teams who has gone on to win many other events. But interestingly, the dynamic duo of Justin and Victoria Graham were the first to arrive in the finish area, where they promptly went and hid until Team B&B arrived a few minutes later, delegating themselves to 2nd place. Why? Because it was announced before the race that the 1st place team would have the responsibility of putting on the next BANG race! Here, too, at BANG 1, the tradition was set to ensure that BANG would be a perpetual event. Since then, Team B&B has in fact staged two BANG races.
BANG 1 was repeated about 2 years later in what was called BANG 1 AE, Anniversary Edition. The exact same course with the exact same puzzles was used, except that bowling, unfortunately, could not be arranged for.