Wow, I did not have that experience at all. There were definitely tourists out and about during the sprint final but it didn't seem like they got in the way. It was also was the least crowded of all the days we were there, by far, which makes me think the had picked the best day for it. Old Town was about 7x more crowded the next day (I think several cruise ships came to town and unleashed their passengers on the area) and in places it was difficult just to walk. Would have been impossible to hold the sprint that day. Even so, if there were indeed bleeding wounds then it sounds like they could have used more course marshals or something at tight corners and narrow alleyways, shooing tourists aside.
As for the long final, I loved the pond area and thought it was awesome. The pond mapping seemed right on and you could see the controls from quite far, plus the OOB streamers made for a nice solid reference point. I didn't do any wading... then again, I did slow down and pick my microroutes carefully, which I suppose helped. I guess those who were fighting for medals may have approached it differently.
Here's the map with the cool pond area: