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Results British Night Championships

Routegadget  Splitsbrowser  Winsplits

Some photos (with thanks to Rob Lines)


Pippingford day event results


Event page at British Orienteering web site 

UK Orienteering League web site

What course should you enter for UKOL points?


Start List British Night Championships


Entries at Fabian for BNC


Flyer for British Night Championships v3 issue date 5 Jan 2014

Final details for British Night Championships issue date 17 Feb 2014


Planner's Report
I always enjoy planning at Pippingford. Plenty of variety, not too many paths, very few areas OOB or needing to be avoided because of unpleasant terrain. Actually, this gave me an initial problem;, usually I find planning is a question of finding the few nice bits of a forest and linking them together, but Pippingford is almost all nice, too much choice...

If the Organiser hadn't picked the troop shelters, I'd probably still be prevaricating, but once the assembly areas were known and I'd had a few ideas for long legs, things fell into place. For the night event, I tried to place the starts and finishes as close as possible to Assembly. I also wanted people waiting to start not to have too much idea where the first controls were. The patch of low visibility forest helped with this, you could see people disappearing into it, but not where they were going.

It paid not to be too hyped up and rush off without a plan. Quite a few people seemed to have headed off in roughly the right direction and then had trouble sorting out the features to locate their first control. In fact, if you kept a clear head, it was fairly easy to relocate off either the earthwall between "light green" and "white", or the fence between wood and moor.

I was determined to keep people navigating right into the control, but I didn't want to hide controls down the bottom of pits and the like. I think it's important that a control should not be made significantly easier to find by someone else punching it as you arrive. So I put out quite a lot of controls, in the hope that just finding the right area and then going to the first kite that someone was shining a torch on wouldn't work all the time.

For the day, I sited the start on the steep part of the convex slope, again with the idea that you wouldn't see where previous people had gone. No low visibility forest this time, quite the reverse, but with the first controls scattered over 180 degrees, some people still managed to get distracted and run in the wrong direction.

There's a limit to the interest of the open slope near assembly so I took the opportunity to lose some of the climb from the courses, and finish you 80m further down. You still had to do the climb back to download of course, but at least you could have a rest first.

It's rare in the south-east to be able to plan a good long leg which isn't a boring path run. I tried to give as many of you as possible such legs. I think I succeeded for the day event, but I was disappointed at how many people took the track option at night. I think a straighter route would have been quicker, going up the track to the buildings required extra climb as well as distance.

Then the weather caused one or two problems. A particularly heavy and prolonged downpour a couple of weeks ago washed out a stream-side path which was going to be on the Yellow and the shorter variations of Green, so I made had to make a late change which added unwelcome length and climb to these courses.

Then just after the map file had gone off to the printer, gales knocked down trees all over the place. Fortunately it was only individual trees, no solid patches of windblow. But the White course was blocked in two places, so we had to add taped routes around one tree and through another (there being no practical way round).

Finally, not to be outdone by nature, contract foresters felled a lot of birch trees, leaving the logs jumbled up all over the Ochre (night novice) course in particular. Another taped route.

My thanks to everyone else involved with the event, I won't put a great long list of names here but you know who you are, and of course to the competitors for turning up and mostly claiming to have enjoyed yourselves.

I shall miss my regular trips to Pippingford, frightening the deer, and being startled myself by snipe shooting out from under my feet. Especially since I now have no excuse for not tackling the backlog of tasks at home.

Ian Ditchfield, MVOC


Organiser’s Report
Ashdown Forest has been a favourite place of mine since before I even knew it existed. When I was about 8 we used to read the Winnie the Pooh books for family entertainment – TV was in its infancy – each of us read one of the characters (I read Pooh of course, my little sister was Piglet and my dad was a particularly fine Eeyore). Little did I know that the scenery portrayed in E H Shepard’s marvellous pen and ink sketches, portrayed a real life place and that in years to come I would be organising a British Championship on the area.

Pippingford Park seems to have my name on it – Day 3 JK2008 and now BNC2014 – what next I wonder? It’s a great place to work with as, although half is leased to the Army and half actually owned by them, they take it all in their stride when we turn up ferreting around in their patch. All Sandhurst cadets undertake their first week of field craft here so you will have trodden in the footsteps of royalty.

It has a lengthy history of iron working – the highest spot to the NW of the map was the site of an Iron Age hill fort and was subsequently occupied by the Romans, as they valued the iron too. In 1500 the lower part was home to only the second blast furnace in England. 1505 saw a water-powered steel furnace built on a site near to our BNC Assembly. All those lakes were created to drive the water wheels to operate bellows, tilt hammers and the like. The platforms are sites where charcoal was produced – it’s an industrial archaeologist’s paradise.

But what of organising two events in two days? Well I won’t be volunteering to do that again in a hurry – 2 sets of flyers/risk assessments/final details/start lists/helpers notes/etc – there is a reason why multi-day events have a different organiser for each day, now I know why! However all the effort seemed to pay off. Everybody I spoke to was very complimentary about the two events and particularly pleased to see the area from two different Assemblies/Starts/Finishes.

MV is a small club these days so you have to call in favours from your old friends. For BNC, Nick Green (ex MV) and his team from GO ran the Start; Mark Glaisher (ex MV) and his team of Saxons stood by in case we needed to form a Search Party and then helped to pack everything away after you had gone home; and Martin Ward (ex MV) presented the prizes to the champions. We can even lay claim to the winner of M21L, as Graham Gristwood learnt his craft as a member of MV and we bask in the glory of his subsequent successes (his father Philip was your Safety Officer). For the Sunday I was able to call on current Moles to go the extra mile and do double shifts when helper numbers fell short. They were still collecting in the last controls at 4pm. As an organiser it is a real boon to know that you can rely on fellow club members to turn to and make it all happen on the day. Thank you one and all.

I owe a special thank you to:

Ian Ditchfield for his tireless work in planning, re-planning and then adjusting the courses again – rain, floods, fallen trees and late felling all kept him on his toes.

Mike Elliot for re-mapping the area, providing me with all sorts of advice, dealing with email queries in my absence for the first two weeks in February, sourcing extra equipment and handling all the computer related work on both days.

Katy Stubbs and her assistant Ian Hudson (both BKO) for controlling BNC.

Andrew Evans (DFOK) for controlling the Sunday League Event.

Richard Morris (whose family own the area leased to the Army) for offering the use of the land and organising the permissions to use Pippingford.

The Ashdown Conservators for permission to add South Ashdown into the mix on the Sunday.

And the weather for finally giving us two dry days in a row!

I can now look back on the two events with a sense of achievement and pride – hopefully you can too.

Until the next time.

Mike Bolton (aka Boltmole), MVOC




Mole Valley Orienteering Club

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