I raced that day as well! Last heat in the SS class but I think most people were effectively SS or close to it that day. As you said, I didn't care much about braking that day. Even in the last heat it was easier to veer off into deep snow on the downhills than try to get any traction while braking. There was none to be had!
It looks like the packed snow slowly got churned into some kind of frozen mud-grass soup.
True story: Yesterday we had a mud fest of a CX race. It poured all morning and straight through our day of racing. Needless to say, by the time the 1/2s got onto the course, it was nasty.
Rivers of standing water that you had to pedal through were all over the course, along with thicker mud sections.
For the record, I switched back to my drop bars and BB7s. After the couple laps of riding in a pack and being forced to use more brakes than I desired, my lever started traveling closer and closer to my bar. By halfway through the race my rear brake lever was bottoming out on my bar and gave me 10% power.
Starting then and every couple laps there after, I would have to reach down and turn in my pad adjusters as I would run the barriers.
Needless to say, my pads were literally wearing out before my eyes.
On the last lap, I flatted a tubular and rode the the pit for a swap. I jumped on my 1985 schwinn cimarron with 1990s XTR Vs and finished the race.
The XTR brakes on the final lap worked awesome and provided all the power I needed to get around the course fast. Granted, in mud, you dont need to ton of power. Just enough to scrub the smallest amounts of speed to make the corners smoothly.
I guess this all reinforces my previous post. In yesterdays experience, discs slowed me down more than my Vs(no puns intended!)
Hydros are self adjusting.
But yes, I have experienced that on my BB7's in soupy muddy MTB races. Not peanut butter mud, but very very watery mud.
Okay, one full race season of disc brakes under my belt. Want to know what I think?
Overkill. Disc brakes increase bike weight by a pound and offer hardly any actual benefits to racing. They have extreme power, but that isnt used in cross. If you are slamming on your brakes every turn, you are doing it wrong.
This has been my take away from the 2012 race season as well.
The only other positives that I think are worth adding is that you can stay in the hoods the entire race which is really comfortable and good for handling and that my hands don't get nearly as tired after a full race.
Otherwise, agreed that disc in CX is overkill and generally not worth the added weight.
I'm back on canti brakes with new pads and cables and I am loving it. Maybe next year I'll build up another CX disc bike but make sure the frame is something much lighter than steel to make up for the added weight.
99% of the problems and questions posted here would be answered if people actually walked into a bicycle shop and asked