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M70L M70S M75L
Colour Coded Courses: Yellow
Orienteering is full of
challenges – and that goes for the planning too.
A pair of 1.5km2 maps over 1km apart and with only
distant parking may not sound ideal but the contrast between Box Hill
and Headley Heath and significant route choices provided plenty of food
We decided to start as many courses as possible on Headley Heath
so you could enjoy the different terrain.
The run over to Box Hill gave time to anticipate its contours.
This is the first time they have been mapped at 5m intervals and
so at least you knew you were doing the climb!
True to the National Event billing we sought to provide as great
a challenge as the areas permitted and most courses were won in the
upper echelons of the recommended winning time.
You did not experience the area at its best and on a dry or
frosty morning times would have been significantly quicker.
Just a few weeks previously tobogganing and skating were the
order of the day on Box Hill and during the recent floods a Mole in
spate submerged your route back to the Event Centre.
We learnt a lot from this event.
OCAD 8 was a revelation compared to the previous planning
technology used for the 1999 National Event on White Downs, Sheepleas
and Netley Heath where course were painstakingly drawn onto transparent
film; electronic punching had its ups and downs (heavy stakes and
multiple site visits but fast results and splits); and we now know all
there is to know about how to measure polybags.
Less surprising, but still disappointing, was the fact that so
many chose not to follow the full length of the taped route while others
chose to run along the roads despite all our warnings.
Our thanks go to Simon Ling – the Organiser’s Organiser –
and to our ever-constructive Controller, Hedley Calderbank, whose
patience must have been tested to the limit by delays in mapping, and
whose faith in the event “being all right on the morning” was
repaid. Jon Coles, Vince
Grealy, Hugh Walker, Roy Whitehead and John Davies all put themselves
out to get the boxes in the forest before the crack of dawn and thanks
to all those who put in the hours at the late night map bagging or
collecting controls after a tiring day.
A final thanks to Mike Elliot whose just-in-time voluntary
mapping service gave a few sleepless nights but delivered the goods.
We would welcome feedback –
good and bad – on the courses and particularly on some of the longer
route choices involved. Please
e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Burton & Sandra Vogel
This is a preliminary report. A second report will follow.
have been living with this event for so long that it is quite hard to
believe that it is now all over. I
hope that you all enjoyed it despite the weather, which was quite like
old times for
We shall get our old reputation back.
It was a complicated event logistically with two starts and a
finish all remote from the event centre and from each other.
I was pleased with the way the transport all worked out perhaps
because more of you than I anticipated elected to walk to the west start
or back from the finish – thank you.
We were very lucky to have the excellent facilities at Friends
Provident, which meant that the parking problem was easily resolved and
the computers had somewhere warm and dry to operate.
The atmosphere in the control room was surprisingly relaxed –
most of the time anyway. Friends
Provident have been very good to us on several occasions, and I learnt
during this event that the first ever National Event, which
organised on White
Downs, was actually sponsored by them.
There were one or two organisational problems during the day, the
main one probably being a rather uncertain period early on at the West
Start. We believe almost
everybody now has a correct race time, but if you know of any anomalies
in the published results please let us know.
I will deal with this more fully in the final report. The
clothing exchange system was also less than satisfactory and we will be
putting our heads together to work out a better one for the future.
The event is expected to have made a profit for the club but we
anticipate using the map again at smaller events which will not do so.
The extra expense of the transport and heavy land access fees
made it a difficult event to budget for, and the breakeven point in
terms of numbers of competitors was in fact only about 15% less than we
got. Hence the relatively
high entry fees. I hope to
publish accounts in the final report.
I received one formal protest during the event about the siting of
the finish. This was
referred to the jury who rejected the complaint.
Again I will deal with this more fully in the final report.
There were several injuries during the event of which four were
advised to attend a hospital. I
hope you are all well on the way to recovery now.
A message from Frank Kew, who was made temporarily unconscious by
a fall, follows.
Thanks are due to Friends Provident and to the National Trust for
the facilities and use of the area.
Thank you also to Hedley Calderbank our controller, and to the
large band of helpers particularly my team leaders and the members of GO
and SLOW who joined us. They
all did extremely well and deserve most of the credit for making the
event happen. The responsibility for the various problems is of course
entirely mine. I would
particularly like to mention Tony and Sandra (the planners);
Mike Elliot (the mapper and computer supremo), and Nick Green who
laboured for long hours over the entries, at what is anyway a busy time
of year for him, with a remarkably laid back and helpful attitude.
Their hard work gave us all a great event to enjoy. Finally thank
you to all of you for coming.
A message from Frank Kew, M50, Airienteers, Leeds/Bradford:
'Thanks to 'Martin' and the lady who lent me her blue cagoule
after I was knocked out in a fall near the finish of my course.
They forgot about their own runs and were very helpful.
You will be pleased to know I am OK now'.
One attraction of Box Hill
& Headley Heath is its wide variety of terrain.
Box Hill itself may not be particularly technical, but its deep
valleys did enable Tony and
Sandra to set a very long leg on many courses.
Each one seemed to lead to a variety of solutions on the day.
Many of you would have spotted that we incorrectly used the
‘boulder’ symbol for platforms on the control descriptions.
Since there was no boulder in any circle, no boulder used as a
control site and, as far as I can see, no boulder on the map, I hope
that it did not lead to any confusion.
More seriously, competitors who followed the taped route to its
end (as the rules require) were at a disadvantage to those who cut the
corner. I had expected the
course overprints to mark the area to the east of the fence as out of
bounds since we did not have permission to use it.
In retrospect, a control at the end of the taped route would
have enforced its
Thank you to Simon, Sandra and Tony for always keeping their
promises on delivering courses and information.
It made my job a pleasure.