| If only the wind had not turned
to come the North East, and if only it had not rained buckets before dawn
the conditions might not have been quite as demanding as they were. I do
hope that the wind-chill effects have now worn off! When planning the
courses, I had anticipated this to some extent and gave route choice which
avoided the worst marshy bits, but some of the rides used on the short
courses were much wetter than I would have wished, and gave a “slide to
the control” option.
The winning times were pretty much
as I had expected, and it was re-assuring that most competitors found all
of the controls to be in the right place. A few also discovered some
controls left out from the previous night event. None were in, or close
to, the control circle for the courses, and in any event had a completely
different control code range (200’s not100’s). Fortunately all controls
operated without failure and there was no vandalism – except for 236 at
the highest point on the Brown which was demolished (I suspect
accidentally by an over-enthusiastic competitor- but he or she should by
rights have been too tired after the climb up the hill!) and thanks to Ian
Ditchfield for retrieving the box from the depths of a very cold wet pit –
which had been dry the day before!
My thanks go to Mark Rowe and Bill
Alexander for giving me a hand in setting out the control boxes for the
short courses – as I managed to get my car stuck in the mud this turned
out to be beyond value – as was the help from Ian Ditchfield and
controller Andrew Evans who added two person-power to retrieve the
situation. Most embarrassing!! Control collection thanks are due to Ian,
Mark, Nigel (despite recovering from a particularly gruesome injury), and
Nick – they enabled all to leave before dark (for which I am particularly
I hope you enjoyed the event –
please do come again.
|Sunday was a very cold day and a
strong wind across Ashdown Forest gave a substantial wind chill.
Fortunately we had the troop shelter to give tolerable conditions to the
computer and registration teams. It was nice to have a substantial parking
area although heavy overnight rain had made the grass soft. Not
surprisingly few competitors fancied the nearly frozen orange squash after
their run. Having a site that was easy to sign post, a start and finish
near the car park and fixed toilets made for a relatively easy job for the
organiser. A bifocal spectacle lens was found at control 10 on the blue
course, if the owner will contact me via the website then I will return
I would like to thank
all those Moles who helped at the event and the efficient way everybody
carried out their jobs. Thanks to Mike Elliot for obtaining permissions
from the various landowners and for running the electronics. And thanks to
Chris and his helpers for getting the controls up in plenty of time so we
could start early. And finally thanks to Andrew for controlling the event.
Michael White, Mole Valley
|Pippingford has a lot of variety of
terrain and gives several opportunities for challenging courses. In
December, it was important to avoid the major river crossings as the water
level is variable; Chris’s courses did this. The sunshine welcoming the
early starters gave little indication of the heavy rain in the preceding
24 hours. I think this justified fully the approach Chris took.
All the technically difficult courses included an
element of “real Ashdown”, the area to the east of the main river system
and some competitors found this tough going. It was meant to be! Chris’s
course lengths allowed for this and the winning times were as expected.
The shorter courses were largely
on rides, more difficult to navigate along than a path system, but it was
pleasing to see that all competitors on white, yellow and orange completed
their course successfully. Although there were a few punching errors on
the more technical courses, each was at a completely different control
suggesting isolated misjudgements.
Well done to Michael for his
coordination of the many Moles that helped on the day to make this a very
smooth running event.
Andrew Evans, DFOK