SOUTH EAST REGION COMPASSSPORT CUP/TROPHY QUALIFYING ROUND
split times (please see IT Note)
This was probably the hardest planning job I have had to tackle, for a number of reasons.
1) There is no option other than to use the street parking near the North of the map; at this time of year all fields are unusable for parking and the cost of bussing would have been prohibitive.
2) The new part of the map (Colley Hill) which I was keen to use is remote from the main technical area on Banstead Common, and the area between does not offer much other than long runs across grass or paths (although the thickets can be confusing).
3) There was no previous map of Colley Hill, and the map generally was not finished until a very short time before the event, so most of the planning had to be done using the old map of Banstead Common and the Ordnance Survey map of Colley Hill.
4) The new competition rules required two or three more courses than one is used to for District events.
5) I had not previously used OCAD!
I wanted as many of you as possible to experience Colley Hill, as well as have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the depressions, pits, knolls, earthbanks and re-entrants further North; which meant a long walk to the start and a remote start for the blue course, which was not ideal. There was also a cunning plan to have long running legs first followed by short tricky legs later on, in order to test navigational skills after the physical demands had taken their toll. I was pleased to hear several comments about the “teasing” and “tricky” nature of the courses, as that was what I was attempting to achieve! I have not at the time of writing studied the results in detail, but my impression is that there were some impressively quick times. I expect there were some slow ones too.
You may not have liked the weather much but it did keep some of the horse riders and dog walkers indoors, and although you may have thought the scarp slope was slippery I must say it was a lot worse the previous day!
My thanks go particularly to:
Mike Elliot for the vast number of hours put in on surveying and drawing the map and for helping me out with OCAD;
John Faller for his helpful and co-operative controlling, many of the technical control sites certainly required a second opinion;
Ian Ditchfield for his OCAD tuition;
Neil Lewer for organising everything to run so smoothly on the day;
My teams of control hangers and collectors;
The landlord of the Sportsman for allowing us to park there while control hanging (they do excellent meals by the way!)
Purdey, my dog, for keeping me company on planning visits.
And finally, you the competitors for coming! And as a final thought, there are many features on Colley Hill which I didn’t know about in time which I am sure a future planner will be able to exploit – so come back when you can!
Simon J Ling, Mole Valley
|A week's nervousness at what
the snow clouds would drop on us had resulted in some contingency being
included for the Brown and Blue courses, should it have been deemed unsafe
to send you down the Colley Hill slope. When I emerged through my front
door at 6:00am to find the snow falling quite heavily, I have to admit I
feared the worst. Thankfully the snow stopped, the sun came out and not
only could the event go ahead, but we were able to use Simon's Brown and
Blue courses to their maximum potential - I trust you all enjoyed the view
as you began your descent! Hopefully the occasional snow flurry also
added to the experience!
We had just over 100 EOD competitors - far more than anticipated (especially in view of the weather) - for what was essentially an event promoting pre-entry via Club Captains. My only disappointment was hearing about some of the comments directed at the Registration Team regarding EOD map availability - even as late as 12:00pm! Whilst I'm sorry for any EOD competitors who couldn't run the course of their choice due to maps running out, this was not the Registration Team's fault and I would ask people to bear in mind that certain comments may dissuade volunteers from helping out at future events.
Thanks are due to many people. In no particular order:
To Simon who, as well as Planning some excellent courses, also initiated some of the earlier Organising duties!
To John Faller, for Controlling.
To Mike, for his many hours spent re-surveying and updating the map (including the addition of Margery Wood and Colley Hill) and also for looking after the computer side of things on the day.
To Tony Rozier (Banstead Commons Conservators) and Andrew Wright (National Trust) for allowing us use of the respective areas.
To Nick Green, for handling the pre-entries (including a very short-notice amendment to the Start Lists!) and also for compiling the results spreadsheet.
To Dave Barrow and members of Tadworth Cricket Club for the use of their nice warm pavilion and the provision of some welcome refreshments. Bacon butties have never smelt, or tasted, so good!
To all of you for coming and making the event a success, in spite of the weather!
Last, but by no means least, to the intrepid band of Mole Helpers for all their hard work on the day - particularly the early birds who helped get the controls out in good time, and those on Parking and Start duties who braved the elements for a couple of hours before and after their runs.
In closing, congratulations to SO, SLOW, SOS and GO in qualifying for the Final - we wish them well in representing the South-East.
The area looks deceptively simple, acres of grassland with a few strips of trees. On the face of it, not very challenging. How wrong! The wide open grassland required quite accurate headings at speed whilst the forested areas demanded a slowing down and careful navigation.
Simon’s courses were certainly not easy and required competitors to be alert right from the start. The longer courses visiting Colley hill were introduced to include significant climb, a feature missing from the main area of the map. It was interesting watching competitors from the brow of the hill from where their route choice could be clearly seen. What was apparent was the wide variety of choices made, some attacking the steep slope head on, others taking a more gradual but longer route. Thankfully, it was possible to use the hill for the event. A survey on Saturday revealed an intermittent covering of snow with the slope very greasy however this had dried out significantly overnight.
It was nice to see in the results that all the competitors on the light coloured courses completed their runs, the winners in quite impressive times. These courses were for their respective competitors, quite as challenging as the technical courses were for the older Orienteers. Indeed, well done to all.
The blizzard which I encountered early on Sunday morning clearly dissuaded many competitors. The results indicating that about 10% did not show up at the start. This was a pity since the actual running conditions were in the main good with only the later runners encountering snow. The corresponding reduction in cars however must have been a relief for the Organiser (Neil) since car parking was undoubtedly his biggest problem.
As expected, the team of helpers did their respective duties efficiently. Many thanks to Neil and his team, to Simon for the courses and of course to Mole Valley for staging the event.
John Faller (SO)
The Start and Finish boxes (plus check and clear) were programmed some 2 hours after the forest units (on the same PC). Unnoticed by me there was a distortion of the timer in OE2003 and a time lag of approximately 1 minute was built into the times on the later boxes.
This was only noticed the following morning (at 08:00) when the Start, Finish etc woke up at 08:01 (or thereabouts). This lag results in the time to control 1 being 1 minute longer than it should be and the time from the last control to the finish being 1 minute shorter.
OE2003 timing takes the elapsed time as being that from the start box to the finish box. Both the Start and Finish boxes were coordinated and hence elapsed times are unaffected.
Mike Elliot (MV)
Mole Valley Orienteering Club
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