I went back up to Windsor last weekend for an agility clinic with Alan at Powerpups. Though it went on all day I signed up for only one class focusing on line and crosses. Video of my runs and Dartfish analysis can be seen here. There are 3 runs to view and they take a bit of time to load. Run 1 is the white circles on the course map, Run 2 is the black and Run 3 is #9-12 of the black but using a post turn instead of a reverse flow pivot to get the threadle from #9-11. Surprisingly the post turn worked much better for both me and at least one other person with a fast, big strided dog.
This clinic was something of an eye opener for me as it contradicted much of what I'd learned at the Marco Mouwen seminar last spring. Marco's method involved setting the dog's path so you alternate wide/tight/wide/tight etc. from one set point (contact obstacle, tunnel, etc.) to the next. Alan's method was to try to set the tightest line possible everywhere. At first I was skeptical of this primarily because Alan runs a small, flexible border collie that can turn on a dime and bend its spine like a pretzel. However there were 3 of us there with relatively fast, big strided dogs and all of them managed the tight turns with no problem. Well, Cody didn't make the weave entry from #4 to #5 (white) but that's because I've never trained such an extreme entry. I was amazed at how close he came though with setting a straight line from the tunnel to the weaves. One and maybe both of the other big dogs actually made the entry. Trying to set a wider line and better approach to the weaves caused Cody to take the #8 (black) off course jump.
So now I'm confused about what method is best. I may try setting up smaller parts of these exercises at Biscuit Eaters and videotaping them to see what way works best for both dogs.