Co-Chairman’s Chat – March 4th

Posted on Thu, 5th March 2020 by Julie Astin
Club News, Event Reports

Luckily, Storm Jorge managed to skirt our part of the world last weekend, so our SW Orienteering League event (formerly known as the Galoppen) at Blackwater was blessed with great weather. Mind you, a few days earlier the Controller (Kevin Pickering) had been out to the area to check if there were any fallen trees or more flooding, and found that the stream had risen considerably again and so we might have to remove a control and a crossing point. Fortunately, by Saturday afternoon the level had dropped again and everything was back as planned. Though we still provided a rope crossing as the stream was quite deep.

Sunday was a beautiful day, though a bit nippy in the wind, and the WSX team, with Tim as Organiser, worked well together, as usual, so that the day went off without a hitch. Particular thanks to Roger for driving the minibus at the event (and to Tim for collecting it) transferring 20-25 people or so from Lucy Hill Car Park. The Car Park team were superb, managing to squeeze many cars into the BBQ area with great efficiency. We almost lost the Enquiries tent towards the end as a sudden gust of wind lifted it off it’s pegs and rolled it off across the assembly field! But we managed to catch it and lower it to the ground. It was great to see the younger members of our club (James, Agnes and Arthur) manning the IT tent with such confidence and efficiency. Well done guys. You’re the future!!

The excellent courses were planned by Jon who was out until 8.15 on Saturday night putting the stakes and kites out!! – and back again at 7.30 the next morning to put out the boxes, along with Graham and Roger.

In the end, we had almost 200 entries which was about par these days. Best WSX result was Arthur, who won the Green (no inside knowledge from Jon, we were assured!) Also good results came from Peter – 4th on Brown; Gavin – 2nd on Blue, beating Jolyon into 3rd by 10 seconds! Esk came 3rd on Orange.

So, where was Lyra? Well, she was proudly representing England at the Interland competition at the Burnham Beeches and Egypt event. And guess what? – she won the W14 class by 6 minutes! Here’s a photo of her infull flight:

 

 

Here’s a report from Lyra herself:

I had many sleepless nights leading up to Interland. I had looked at the training map for Saturday (taking place at Chartwell in Kent) the night before and was eager to try it out. I completed the course in a good time and was pleased to not make any mistakes and was also pleased to have managed to run before the rain came in. Once we had finished with the training we headed to the Lee Valley youth hostel in Essex, where we would spend the remainder of the night. The England team had a lodge to themselves and I shared with 7 other people in my room (all W14 and W17 England girls).  We had dinner and then a team meeting at 8 o’clock where if we were representing England for the first time, we were given our England badges and we collected our England kit. We were also given our bibs for the next day. It was an early start the next day so 10:00 bed seemed to be appropriate.

The next day I woke early and with WCOC member and friend Daisy Rennie we were downstairs for 6:30 to eat breakfast. We left for the event at 7:30 and arrived at Burnham Beeches (in Bucks) at 8:30. I had just over an hour before my start and we went for a W14 warm up, also with Freya Tryner SYO and Hannah Mather LOG.  I walked to the start with a W16 member. I had a very clean run only making a one-minute mistake at number 8 – I over shot it and had to come back. Thankfully I hit a knoll after the control and was able to take an accurate back bearing. I really enjoyed the last part of the course the most and was pleased to run under 40 minutes. Overall, it was an amazing opportunity. Thank you very much to Wessex Orienteers and the Southwest Orienteering Association for funding my trip and especially England Orienteering for making it possible. I look forward to trying again next year.

And here’s a map of the Blue course at the Interland

On Monday evening, Chris Branford of WIM put on a Map Run event in Verwood. This is essentially a virtual orienteering course where there are no physical control boxes/kites. Instead, you use the Map Run App which knows your location and indicates when you’re at the right control site. Ian and I ran the score course together, starting in daylight but finishing after dark. Stupidly, we chose to do the urban controls before going into the forest/rough open area – and it was dark by the time we got to the tricky paths in the latter area. So that slowed us down somewhat. But it was great fun and we can see this being used more and more – maybe in the Night League? One thing that we discovered was that, if you ran within 10 metres of the Finish on the way to another control (as we did early on in the course), it ends your run! So we had to start again and make sure that we were well away from the Finish. The great thing about this system is that you can go and do any of the events that have been set up at any time. Try it out!