HOLMBUSH AND BUCHAN COUNTRY PARK
overall club results and points scored as follows
Full results including scorers here (PDF document)
Pre-event information: flyer
Thanks to the few of you who came and made the effort worthwhile - it was a shame that the rain deterred the rest. Holmbush is an interesting, attractive and varied forest and I hope you all enjoyed finding new bits of it. We have never used that particular start location before, nor the areas to the West of the road.
I like score events, and they pose different challenges to the planner as well as the competitor. My belief is that the planner has succeeded if every control is visited by at least one competitor, but nobody manages to visit them all. This was the case at Holmbush, but I must admit that the size and shape of the area was a great help. The main problem was the restricted corridor South of the main out of bounds area (restricted due to paintball games and Halloween events at the Farm). I would have liked to have set up two obvious routes through it (in and out) but that was not feasible.
Most people seemed to have opted for the larger more open but remote area to the East rather than closer but greener West of the road. Certainly some of the thickets there could impede progress significantly if less than close attention was paid to route choice.
I hope you enjoyed the start location. The effect was much as I expected - that is often several minutes studying options before setting of down one of the five or six possible routes. I had not realised how difficult it might be to pick up the start triangle on the map and future planners might like to consider a pre-start map giving just that information. One could also decide to give competitors the competition map itself at -2 minutes. Would that be fair?
The optimum route was, I think, quite difficult to spot. My version was to start with 204, 232, 201, 202 and 203, then looping clockwise round the Eastern section, crossing the road after 231 and back via 207 before picking up the final four controls West of the finish. It measured at 10.6km - not feasible except to world class orienteers. I was glad Graham Gristwood did not show up because with 36 controls the normal SI dibber is not up to the task. Our winner, Who visited all controls East of the road bar one, got quite close to the limit! Congratulations, Alan!
Possibly the penalty regime is too harsh. It is clearly impossible to pick up an extra control in less than one minute - even Alan averaged over two minutes for each one; so perhaps 5 points per minute would be adequate or perhaps 1 point per ten seconds.
I would like to thank Vince the controller for his constructive and helpful comments, Mike B for organising, Mike E for map updating printing and computer wizardry, Tony for sorting out the land permissions, the various landowners and users involved, including the paintballers for courtesy and helpfulness, those who helped by setting out and collecting in controls (you know who you are) and once again everybody who came.
Simon Ling, MV
I wonder how many of you chose your route based on the points values, certainly the faster runners would automatically head for the twenty pointers in Buchan Park but for most of you it would mean a quick bit of mental arithmetic to work out if it was worth crossing the road to the Scout Camp.
Would your route have been different if all of the controls had the same points?Well done Simon for planning an excellent event and to Mike for a very slick bit of organising.
Vince Joyce, SO
My particular thanks to Harry Calvert – the manager of the Holmbush Estate – for making such a wonderful assembly area/car park, available to us. My visits to the site in the dry earlier in the month gave me great hopes for a good event – unfortunately the weather had other ideas.
The state of the Car Park on the day came as a bit of a shock – it was perfect on Friday when the loos were delivered. Happily you all managed to exit without getting stuck or slipping into the ditch!
It was a delight to be out and about on the estate in the last few weeks – amazing fungi, marvellous autumn colours and stunning views.
I trust you managed to find time to admire the sights whilst you were out in the forest.
The turnout was a bit disappointing and I thought it must be down to the weather, but listening to some of you at the finish it appears that Score events are not that popular either? I rather enjoy the opportunity to make up my own course and finish inside a set time (my normal average comes in at 90 minutes these days and begins to seem rather overly long!)
Thanks to Vince for his supportive controlling and to Simon for the planning. And thanks of course to the many Mole helpers, some unable to run because of injury/pressure on their time, but who turned out to make it all happen.
Finally, thanks to you for coming and making all the effort of organising worthwhile. I hope that you were able to take away some good memories of the day.
Mike Bolton (aka Boltmole)
Mole Valley Orienteering Club
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