Category Archives: Event Reports

Dunsfold MTBO Results

The first race in SLOW and L&SEAR’s 2017 mountain bike orienteering series took place on Sunday 26 February at Dunsfold. The race attracted 31 pairs and solo competitors.

The winner was Ian Cartwright (M50) with a score of 340. Other winners were:

  • Female Solo: Jane Robinson = 220
  • Male Pair: Alick & James Fraser = 266
  • Mixed Pair: Roland Sieber & Julie Rand = 226

The score event results and splits are available here.

The next MTBO event is on Sunday 21 May. Watch this site for details!

Results from the Ham Night-O, January 2017

The third race of SLOW’s 2016-17 Night-O series was held on Ham Lands on Tuesday 22 November 2017. Scott Collier won the event overall with Sue Carter again the first lady home.

Series results after three events are now available here.

Organiser’s comments

I have been interested in Ham Common Wood ever since the last night O in Ham 3 years ago, that gave us a fleeting glimpse of western edge. However my initial recce in early January found that the (14 year old) map required a fair number of updates to be usable, particularly with regard to new paths that had appeared and old ones that were no longer in existence. Frustratingly a number of interesting looking areas of woodland were not practical to use due to bramble cover.

I was pleased with how smoothly things went on the night, with the obviously exception of control 164. I put it out in daylight and I did not consider it at risk of being interfered with. Alas, a member of the public did find it and decided to bury it under a pile of leaves! Well done to Alice (aged 7) for finding it again. A number of competitors wasted time searching for the control before it was recovered, so the only fair course of action was to void the control and take the adjoining legs out of the overall times.

Many thanks to Vicky, Don, Richard, Matt and Andy for helping on the night and especially Pete for volunteering to collect controls from the riverside area.
Steve Clelland

36th Box Hill Race Report and Results

Full Individual Results

Full Team Results

ORGANISER’S REPORT – Andy Robinson

Well that was a cold one. My car was registering minus 6 when I arrived at 8.15 to put the first flags out. Combined with the sunshine that did give us some beautiful views. My favourite was coming into the open after the last road crossing. It was a north facing slope which the sun can’t have visited all winter and the frost must have been an inch thick. It made for some very fast and firm going. Too firm for one lady who had to retire after a fall and a visit to A&E confirmed she had broken her collar bone. We wish her a speedy recovery.
At the front end it was a welcome return to the race after a few years absence for James McMullan of Thames Hare and Hounds. James was the record holder on the old (pre-2015) course, and so a new record looked to be on the cards. However a fall when jumping a fallen tree 2 miles from the end forced James to slow down and miss the record by 16 seconds. He said “I just jogged in after that”, which can be translated for the rest of us as “I just retained my 3 minute lead”.
No such problem for the first lady. Nichola Jackson of Ranelagh Harriers stormed round to beat both 2nd place and the previous record by over 5 minutes. It’s difficult to compare the new course with the old one, but I think her time would have put her close behind the great names of Sarah Rowell, Angela Carson and Yvette Hague who were the fastest then, but all from the last century.
There were many impressive age group performances. Richard Phillips is a first year veteran and took second place for the second consecutive year. William Stanley was the youngest in the race and took an excellent 4th place. But perhaps the most impressive performance came from Lynda Hembury in winning F60. She was a mere 3 seconds behind the leading F40 and many minutes ahead of the F50 winner.
Serpentine again took the team prize but were not packing as closely at the front as in previous years. Can someone take it from them? Reigate Priory certainly put up a strong showing and, as host club, it was good to see some of our younger members putting in fine performances.
Although we mourned for the delights of the Sports Club bar that we enjoyed for 24 years, we were excellently looked after by Phil the caretaker and Lin in the office at our new base. Thanks also to all the wonderful officials and marshals from SLOW; Peter on the computer, Chris on registration, finish and nearly everything, Mike on road signs, course flagging and road crossing, Fran and Dave for course sweeping, Linda and Katie on finish and registration, Don as first aider, Nigel, Steve and Ed on road crossings, Jane at number issue and all those on parking and number issue before they ran.
And personally one of the high points of the day was being able to talk to the 1984 winner, Chris Hirst, who was here to watch his son race to a fine 10th place.

 

Results from the Richmond Park Night-O

The first race of SLOW’s 2016-17 Night-O series was held in Richmond Park on Tuesday 1 November. Paul Couldridge won by over three minutes, with Iris Lueke the first lady home.

Planner’s comments

Thanks to everyone for coming tonight. We had a great turnout. And so thank you to people who agreed to recycle their maps at the end of their runs so that everyone could get a run.

This was the first event that I have planned. I hope the courses provided you with the challenge you were looking for. If you have any feedback, I would be interested to hear what you have to say. Please upload your routes to RouteGadget. It’s helpful to see which routes everyone took. I think I should have placed the finish at a simpler location (as it doesn’t have a control description). Apologies to anyone who lost time trying to find the finish.

Thanks to Tom Cochrane, Don McKerrow, Paul Couldridge, Peter Huzan for their help before, during and after the event. And thanks to everyone who offered to help as well. All that help makes it so much easier to put these events on.
Sue Carter

MTB Results Gomshall

The fourth and final race in SLOW and L&SEAR’s mountain bike orienteering series took place on Sunday 23 October at Gomshall. The race attracted another record 53 entrants.

The winner was Dave Brothers (M40) with a score of 360. Other winners were:

  • Female Solo – Di Leakey (W60) = 200
  • Male Pair – Alick & James Fraser = 230
  • Female Pair – Sarah Brown & Winfried Meider = 180
  • Mixed Pair – Andy Chesworth & Nicola Winter = 130

Results and splitsare now available. Final series results are now available.

Congratulations to Julian Hemsted who won the overall series, and to Jane Robinson who was the first female.

Many thanks to Dan & Helen Murphy for organising the event.

There may be a night MTB event in December – watch this website!

Results from the 2016 OK Nuts Trophy

Results for the 2016 OK Nuts Trophy, which took place on 25 September, are now available.

OK Nuts Trophy 2016 Prize Winners

M21 Paul Couldridge
OK Nuts Trophy
South London
M35 Richard Collyer Guildford
M40 Ian Marsden Hertfordshire
M45 Kevin Fielding Hertfordshire
M50 Nigel Bunn Thames Valley
M55 Chris Hooker Southdowns
M60 Andrew Evans Dartford
M65 Phill Smithard Kingdom of Fife
M70 Geoff Wright Guildford
M75 Roger Maher Southdowns
M80 Patrick Maher Southdowns
M20 Nicholas Jarvis Southdowns
M18
M16
M14 Nathan Judd
Margaret Loveless Trophy
Mole Valley
M12 Maxime Pesenti Dartford
M10 Thomas Rollins Southern Navigators
W21 Kajsa Johansson
Heather Monro Trophy
Jönköpings OK
W35 Melanie Slade Southern Navigators
W40 Helen Marsden Hertfordshire
W45 Julia Jarvis Southdowns
W50 Dorte Torpe Hansen South London
W55 Jill Blount Southdowns
W60 Christine Kiddier Guildford
W65 Teresa Turner South London
W70 Bridget Hooper Southdowns
W75 Susan Parker Southdowns
W80
W20
W18
W16
W14
W14 Laura Barrett Southern Navigators
W12 Charlotte Slade Southern Navigators

Organiser’s comments

Congratulations to Paul Couldridge, now officially a legend after winning the prestigious OK Nuts Trophy. A very worthy mention also to Sarah Rollins, only 86 seconds behind Paul, who nearly became the first female winner of that trophy.

Congratulations to Kajsa Johansson (W20), the winner of the Heather Monro Trophy, taking part in her first orienteering race in the UK since arriving from Sweden a short while ago.

The Margaret Loveless Trophy for best junior performance was awarded to Nathan Judd of Mole Valley, for his 2nd place on the Light Green course. The decision was a tough one as there were other notable performances from Maxime Pesenti and Laura Barrett on Orange and Tommy Rollins on Yellow.

charlies-road-signsThe sun shone and everything seemed to go very well, thanks to a lot of hard work behind the scenes beforehand and on the day. Particular thanks to Charlie Turner, who not only planned the excellent courses but also contributed a huge amount to the organisation and even slept in the finish field overnight to validate the portaloos’ insurance! Many people commented on the brilliant count-down signs to the car-park – all Charlie’s creation (patent pending?). Thanks too to Peter Chapman (Southdowns), our thorough but relaxed Controller and to Mike Elliot and Mole Valley for the loan of the generator, when the aging SLOW one refused to co-operate.

Many SLOW members volunteered to ensure the smooth running of the event. We worked hard, had good fun and got to know each other a bit better: that’s what volunteering is all about. (What a shame that some members missed out). All volunteers, bar one who was injured, had a run.
In no particular order:

  • Vicky Robb – alarm at 4.30 to catch the bus to our house; registration and anything I asked her to do, including crawling underneath a portaloo to retrieve someone’s lost dibber (didn’t have that on the Risk Assessment)
  • Teresa Turner – for putting up with Glover’s Wood having taken over her life for the past few months
  • Andy Robinson – chief gofer and nagger
  • Charlotte Turner – Assistant Planner
  • Lydia Farzin-nia – Assistant Planner’s assistant
  • Gordon Parker – SI chief and results provider and driver of an extremely full car to return ALL the equipment to the SLOW store
  • Alan Leakey, Matthew Schepisi, Peter Huzan – SI team
  • Nigel Saker – Entries Sec and Registration and Welcomer in Chief
  • Heather Walton, Fiona Tam, Eoin O’Callaghan – Registration team
  • Andy Jones, Paul Street and Chrissie Glew – Car Park team
  • Raffaella Marin, Matteo Rebora, Andrea Rebora, Olin Davies, Keith Davies, Sarah Brown – String Course team
  • Paul Couldridge, Sue Carter, Hanna Tuomisto, Don McKerrow, Peter Huzan, Dmitry Adamski – Start team
  • Steph Moss, Simon Moss – for erecting flags, bits of marquee and notices
  • Ed Stott, Cate Slade (a member of Saxons!), Hing Hung, Dmitry Adamski, Peter Huzan, Don McKerrow, Matthew Schepisi – control collecting
  • Nigel Clemens, Kim Rowe, Neil Mitchell – road sign collection
  • Gail Parker – control dismantling and generally tidying up
  • Chris Fry – keeper of the SLOW store who got everything ready for collection

Finally a shout-out to a certain gentleman from SN who gave me the biggest laugh of the week by claiming he had fallen asleep watching Poldark and so had missed the first closing date and could he please pay at the lower rate – and offering his wife to collect in controls.

Many thanks to all competitors too for coming; also to Ultrasport, Tom’s Catering and Southern Medical Services for tending to our every need.

Good fun, hard work and the satisfaction of a job well done.

Christine Robinson

Planner’s comments

Glovers Wood has such a wide diversity of terrain for its small area and this coupled with its good runnability at this time of year makes it a wonderful orienteering area. Use of a large part of the area is controlled by SSSIs protecting spring/summer flora in the long valley, which runs the length of the map. The whole area is weald clay and from early October onwards the parking field is a no go area – hence the earlier than usual date for the OK Nuts event.

The courses seemed to provide a challenge for everybody and I know the frequent changes of direction, with short course legs, resulted in some people making big errors. The small thickets caused some problems and maybe by the next time we use the area these will be a little larger. The Woodland Trust who owns part of the area will be made aware of the expanding holly and hopefully, with time there will be some thinning to ensure future runnability. I will try to encourage them to leave some isolated bushes for control sites!

A big thank you to Peter for checking everything and spotting some things that needed improvement. As a dad with two young children he was very keen that the White and Yellow courses should be exactly right. I am pleased that Ben and Emma, together with the other entrants completed the White course with no issues.

Charlie Turner

Controller’s comments

Q1) Who would have believed that such a diverse and runnable area (especially at the end of the summer) would exist in the relative flatlands of this part of the Wealden clay?
A1) Well SLOW did and this was the second time that they have used Glover’s Wood for their prestigious OK Nuts Trophy event. The previous occasion was in 2008, when the event featured middle distance courses.

Q2) Who would have believed that it would be possible to get a good 10km course into an area barely 1km square?
A2) Charlie Turner had the faith to promote the area to his club and push ahead with obtaining (complex) land permissions, preliminary organization, updating the map, and planning courses (assisted by Charlotte).

SLOW had faith in Charlie and rallied round to support Charlie’s efforts to stage the 2016 OK Nuts Trophy event on a pocket hankerchief sized area 2km off the end of the Gatwick runway. SLOW’s organizational capabilities (overseen by Chris Robinson) were impressive and the result was a very fine event.

The event seemed to grow in stature and presence as the planning and organisation advanced. Though registered at level C, it had almost all of the characteristics of a well organised level B event. The main level B feature not seen (strictly allocated start times) was probably seen as a benefit by many of the participants! Proximity of assembly, car parking, start, finish, string course helped to produce a really user friendly event.

The anticipation of a quality orienteering challenge lived up to expectations. Area size, shape and terrain type meant that very long technical legs were not possible (longest leg was approx. 550m). The longer courses, especially, therefore took on a middle distance type characteristic, but did not suffer because of it.

Course lengths were calculated based on the 2008 middle distance event results. Winning times for this event were generally close to the target times for long distance courses. Though the terrain was overall flat and pretty runnable (even in the “green” parts, the low visibility and frequent demand for accurate fine navigation resulting from the number of controls on the courses led to a relatively slow course speed (e.g. 7min/km for the leading Black course runners). The length of the black was justified by the winning time (70 minutes) – target for this course was 67 minutes for a “top elite”. Other course lengths were scaled from the black (in line with the current BO rules) and were close to the required course length ratios. Short Brown was, perhaps, a little short – but only by a few hundred metres and finish times were reasonable.

The low visibility terrain penalized navigational errors. There were a large number of controls, and great care was taken to select sites which didn’t fall foul of the 60m (similar feature)/30m (different feature) guideline for the technical courses. On the whole, this was successful and, despite of having 91 controls in the compact area, there were very few mis-punches. Control 165 seemed to cause some people problems (Short Brown and Green), but the general view was that it was a fair control.

Short Green / Green maps – A small, but significant, number of people inadvertently ended up with Short Green course maps instead of their intended Green course. There is an onus on the competitor to check before they run out of the start area, but in this instance (in view of the numbers) there appear to have been contributory factor(s). It is possible that a few rogue maps were mixed into the Green map box at the start (but impossible to confirm after the event), but the main factor seems to have been that Green and Short Green maps were adjacent in the start lanes and not clearly enough identified (I apologize for not having spotted it). The best compromise remedial action that could be taken was to ensure that none of the effected participants were disqualified, but were given a valid finish time on the Short Green – the fairest action in the circumstances.

Bites and stings – a number of competitors (I saw at least three) seemed to suffer from various bites and stings. My opinion is that this is just down to the time of year and the lack of any significant cold weather to knock back the activity of the insect life yet. We are not aware of any particularly prevalent voracious insect pest in Glover’s Wood – it’s just the last hurrah of the summer insect life before the autumn/winter cold knocks them back. Bad luck to those who were afflicted!

Finally, I’d like to offer my congratulations to the winners of all classes and the main trophies and say a big WELL DONE to the planning team, organization, and all the band of SLOW helpers.

Peter Chapman, SO

Results for the 9th London City Race

Results are now available for the London City Race Weekend events including the Crystal Palace Park Sprint (Friday), the 9th London City Race in Rotherhithe (Saturday) and the Soho Urban Sprint (Sunday).

Park Sprint, Crystal Palace

9th London City Race, Rotherhithe

Urban Sprint, Soho

Results queries/clarifications? Email for Saturday/Sunday’s races.

Planner’s Comments for Rotherhithe

Thanks to everyone for coming – it was great to see so many orienteers swarming over this usually quiet neighbourhood.

I was keen to use the opportunity presented by the map and focus the race on route planning over sprint-style navigation. There were only a few trick controls and most sites should have been easy to find once you were close. Average leg lengths were 300 to 350m for most courses and a little less for the more senior classes. A central start and finish meant that there was no bulk flow of competitors around the area and many of the interesting legs could be found in opposite directions on different courses where it was safe.

The senior courses had a checklist of features: first, one or two long legs that accounted for around a third of the total distance. Second, a leg traversing the bridge with its sneaky underpass on just one side of the canal underneath, which was my favourite feature on the map and therefore probably the busiest. Third, all courses up to Men’s Super Vet took a trip up to the top of the hill to add some climb to an otherwise flat area – Men’s Elite went up twice. Finally, where distance allowed, courses took one or more brief visits to the bank of the Thames to add some interest and context. Junior courses were easier to plan than in other urban areas thanks to the complex Russia Dock woodland and the underpasses allowing traffic-free access to Greenland Dock.

Some runners chose a long blast around the road on a few of the long legs. I don’t think that would have benefited every runner and many would consider it less interesting than the direct but navigationally-intense alternative. I intended that these road options would be considered and dismissed due to the extra length but, somewhat allegorically, it would be questionable if the orienteer really has free will if they never make the ‘wrong’ choice in practice.

Some things could have been improved. Despite my efforts to make every leg interesting, a few fillers crept in. Women’s Ultra Vets had a route choice that I had not considered, which crossed a ‘crossable’ wall that was too physical for this class and should have been avoided. The start was difficult to see on the map, depending on which way the triangle was orientated for your course. Finally, the winning times were fast. Some might not have appreciated longer courses but I wonder if this area is little faster than the previous London maps.

— Ed Stott