SLOWprint 136

September 2001

 

 

SWING INTO ORIENTEERING

Anna and Fiona Steinitz

 

http://southlondon.orienteers.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Club Officers 2000-2001

 

Chair: Chris Robinson,

 

:cmmidgley@care4free.net

 

Fixtures Secretary:

Andy Robinson,

:AndyLoofa@aol.com

 

Social Secretary:

Vicky Robb,

:victoriarobb@hotmail.com

 

Equipment Officer: Chris Fry,

 

:cjf@stpaulsschool.org.uk

Secretary:

  

:Jennifer_Thomas@bdo.co.uk

 

Club Kit: Teresa Turner,

 

Membership Secretary: Ginny Catmur,

:

vcatmur@bigfoot.com

 

 

Archivist: Sue Lumas,

 

 

Ladies’ Captain:

 

: ajkpjones@aol.com

 

Men’s Captain: Peter Huzan,

:huzanp@logica.com

 

Mapping Officer and SEOA Rep.:

Andy Robinson,

 

:AndyLoofa@aol.com

 

SLOWprint Editor: Sarah Brown

 : Reddragonpie

@btinternet.com

 

Treasurer:

 

:jeff.armitage@talk21.com

 

Publicity Officer:

Paul Canham,

 

: paul.canham@btinternet.com

Beginners’ Rep. and Training Officer: Heather Walton,

 

SLOW Webmaster

Andrew Trimble

 (020-8715 8063

:trimble@cableinet.co.uk

 

                                               

Copy date for Issue 137 (The Silver Jubilee Issue) will be  October 31st. Letters, event reports, articles, cartoons, gossip, scandal, notices, small ads, court circulars, births, deaths and marriages should be posted to Sarah Brown (address above); electronic copies via e-mail are particularly welcome.

New Members: If you are new to SLOW, you might not know about ... Training: Tues. eve. (7.15 pm) training open to all, of all standards: every Tuesday at the clubhouse (Thames Hare and Hounds, Richard Evans Memorial Playing Fields, Kingston Vale); 9 pm at the ‘Robin Hood’ pub, Kingston Hill; and other venues: see the Training Diary for details.

            … and Transport: we can organise lifts to events: ring any of the club’s officers, as listed above, and one of us will sort this out for you.


IN THIS  BUMPER ISSUE

 

INVITATION TO THE AGM and a discussion page 4

INVITATION TO THE 25th ANNIVERSARY DINNER PAGE 9

Appeals for Articles for the Jubilee Issue page 9

Training and News for Juniors pages 6 & 7               

Can You Read This without Glasses: Feature from Paul Street page 10

More Event Reports (loads of them) and Diary from page 11

 

MIDGE'S MUTTERINGS 

 

 

SLOW's 25th Anniversary Dinner promises to be a fantastic occasion.  The Wetlands Centre is a wonderful venue and the food there is superb.  We are greatly indebted to Kay Denny for negotiating a very good deal on our behalf (Kay is a volunteer at the Wetlands Centre).  We would like to contact former members, especially those involved in the early days of SLOW.  If you are in touch with any of these folk, please pass on the information about the dinner and encourage them to attend.   We also hope to have a speaker or two and a display of photographs. 

 

A special 'jubilee' issue of SLOWprint is being produced - all contributions gratefully received.

 

We had a display stand at the Countryside Fun Days at Holly Lodge in Richmond Park the weekend of 8 and 9 September.  Thanks to all who came to help.  We also put on two short courses: The Taster and The Main Course.  We were pleased with the interest shown and the number of people who went round the courses: approx 30 on Sat and 40 on Sun.

 

Chris Robinson

Chair

 

*********************************************************************************************************************

Congratulations to Charlotte Turner (W14) for being selected for the Junior Home International to be held in Wales in October and to Michael May (M12) and Ralph Street (M12) for being selected for the South East Junior Squad.

 

**************************************************************************************************

 

PUTNEY HEATH LIMITED COLOUR CODED EVENT 14TH OCTOBER

 

HELP IS NEEDED FOR THIS EVENT

 

Any volunteers to help please contact Heather Walton Organiser 020 8891 0453

Heather.walton@doh.gsi.gov.uk

 

.


SLOW AGM

13 November 2001 8.00pm

 

Thames Hare and Hounds Clubhouse,

Richardson Evans Memorial Playing Fields,

Kingston Vale

 

·        Reports from club officers

·        Election of committee - vacancy for Secretary: nominations to the Chair by 8.00pm 13.11.01

·        Discussion on the future of orienteering, no less (see article below)

 

Refreshments available

All members are very welcome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REVOLUTION OR EXTINCTION?

 

Orienteering is a tough elite sport which requires a high level of fitness, intelligence and dedication. 

Orienteering is a fun recreational activity, suitable for all the family. 

 

Which view of orienteering do you incline towards?  Both are true of course; and the fact that both are true is one of the reasons we love the sport so much.  But it is also likely to be the downfall of the sport.

 

The main problems are the poor image of the sport and lack of PR, resulting in hardly any young people taking up orienteering.  Recent articles and letters in CompassSport have articulated better than I can the problems and some suggested solutions.  I recommend that you read them: British orienteering in crisis by our very own David May, June 2001, pp30-32; Do or die, Aug 2001 p29; The sporting world's best kept secret, by Oli Johnson, Aug 2001 pp14-15; letters, Aug 2001 p37.

 

There has been scarcely any attempt to tackle the problem by the British Orienteering Federation.  The SLOW committee has been gainfully battling away at these issues for some years now.  Various approaches have been tried with minor successes.  Collectively we have very little time available to put in the huge effort which I now think is needed to turn things round.  Is it time to call in the professionals?

 

If the leadership isn't coming from above, then change must come from the grassroots level ie us.  I believe the time for revolution has arrived!  And I think SLOW should be at the forefront of the revolution.  Let's start by changing the whole language of orienteering.  I propose we drop the term 'badge event' for a start.

 

These issues will be discussed at the SLOW AGM.  Please come and join in the debate to ensure the sport you love thrives in the 21st century.

 

I am a great believer of the adage: 'If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.'

 

Revolution or extinction?  You decide.

 

Chris Robinson

Chair

 


MEMBERSHIP NEWS              from Membership Secretary  Ginny Catmur

Changes of address

Jackie Bird’s address has changed    ; 6 jackie.bird@pjbpubs.com ; and she has reverted to her maiden name: Jackie Chapman.

Peter Carlill’s address has changed  

Dawn Casali has a new address:  ; 6 dawn.casali@virgin.net

I don’t know how I managed to do it, but I spelled Mike Elliot’s name incorrectly in the last issue. His name has one ‘t’. This affects his e-mail address, which is: 6 mike.elliot@bigfoot.com . Apologies to you all.

David May’s e-mail address has changed to 6 davidmay@connectfree.co.uk

Kate Thomas has a new e-mail address: 6 kate.thomas@bigfoot.com

Mark and Bambi Walmsley have a new e-mail address: 6 mark.bambi@verizon.net

A very warm welcome to the following new members:

Stina Andreasson (W18), + c/o The Catmurs,  ; 6 lillstinis@hotmail.com

Geoff Lashbrook (M21),  , Wimbledon Chase,  6 geofflashbrook@hotmail.com

Jenny and Paul Treadwell (W21/M21)  , Dorking,  , 6 TreadwellJ@logica.com

 

Other News

Russell Holroyd has moved abroad, and has to cancel his membership of SLOW. Please remove his family from your address lists.

Past members of SLOW, Pat Bartlett and Su Twissel, now living in Edinburgh, have just had a baby boy named Joseph.

 

Previous SLOW Treasurer Mark Walmsley, now working in the financial district of New York, is OK.  He was not working there on the day of the disaster

***************************************************************************

CAN YOU HELP?                                                                 From Angela Bonafini

I just received an e-mail from a Swiss orienteering girl. Her name is
Alexandra Altorfer. She would like to spend 3 to 5 months in Britain
learning English between January 02 and September 02. She is looking for an
orienteering family who would take her to events and club training. She is
willing to pay for food and lodging, as she would like to go to school. She
is in our squad, so she'd like to go training every day if possible. She is
quite prepared to do her share of housework but she is not looking for an
aupair job.  Is there anyone interested in SLOW?
I suppose her English is good enough already to be directly contacted.
Her e-mail is:
alea@gmx.ch
Thank you very much in advance              Regards,    Angela


 

TRAINING DIARY                                                                             Heather Walton

 

A big thank you to those who helped organise summer training evenings since the last SLOWPRINT – Andy Morrison and family for the Claygate capers, the Street/Browns for Sheen/Richmond and Alan for a two part run/orienteer on Wimbledon.  I particularly liked the tree identification system of controls on Richmond (with some drawings to help) – no controls to put out and good for wildlife appreciation.  There was a good turnout for all these events so it is a big pity that encroaching darkness makes this type of event difficult.

 

However, there is some variety ahead – a group run round a night orienteering course on Wimbledon on 27th November to get you back into gear for the Southern Nights near Exeter on 1st December and the SENILE on Wisley on 8th December.

 

Mike Garvin is organising a street event near Victoria station on 6th November, meeting at the Queen Mother Sports Centre with the option of a swim afterwards.  This is the chance for all those of you who claim you can’t get back home from work in central London soon enough to go training, to show me you are not just lazy!

 

Finally, there is a Christmas street event at the Finches on 18th December – an excellent social occasion so do come along.  For those of you who haven’t been to one before, street events involve going out running on roads for an hour or less going to as many points marked on the map as you can and solving the clues when you get there.  You can run in pairs if you want.

 

Other Tuesday evenings on the training schedule given below are all from the Thames Hare and Hounds clubhouse 7.15 for 7.30.  Don’t forget we will also be in the Robin Hood pub on Kingston Hill afterwards from about 9pm onwards.  Bring your orienteering maps and relive your orienteering courses – it’s a good way to get tips about route choices.  I am presuming the park will not be closed for deer culling since it was closed for Foot and Mouth reasons earlier in the year.  But of course it may be naïve of me to presume this – if so, the schedule may be modified but we will still start from the clubhouse.

 

25 September        Hill intervals, Broomfield Hill

2   October             Steady run

9   October             Hill intervals, Ballet School Hill

16 October             Steady run, bring sand dune maps (pre British)

23 October             Hill intervals, Broomfield Hill

30 October             Steady run

6   November         Street event from Queen Mother Sports Centre, Vauxhall Bridge Road, Victoria

5 mins from Victoria Station.  Starts 7 to 8pm  Bring swimming kit for a swim afterwards.  Further details from Mike Garvin 020 7821 1757

13 November         Long run

20 November         Hill intervals, Ballet School Hill

27 November         Night orienteering Wimbledon Common can run in groups.  Bring headlight.

4   December         Steady run

11 December         Hill intervals, Broomfield Hill

18 December         Christmas street event at the Finches 24, Park Farm Road Kingston 020 8549 2144

25 December         No training – overcome by too much Christmas dinner

1   January             No training unless requested

 

Any bright ideas to add variety to training gratefully received particularly to give a break from running on roads – trampolining? Aerobics? Visit to a gym somewhere?  Also any volunteers for street events for Jan to March please let me know.

 

Happy foot and mouth free orienteering,

 

Heather Walton

 

 

SLOW Juniors - Yvette Baker Trophy & More (by Pete Huzan)



Hi SLOW juniors,

Well done to those who came along to the event at Nonsuch Park on 16th September. We only just lost out to Southdowns Orienteers. Good luck to Southdowns for the final later this year. The results are:
1. Southdowns 1 795
2. SLOW 788
3. Southdowns 2 769
4. Guildford 572

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and there were some good results as well. Thanks to the parents for bringing you all along.

Top marks (ie 100 points) were achieved by Charlie McMillan (M10, Yellow), Ralph Street (M12, Orange) and Helen Walter (W18, Girls Light Green).

Ali McKerrow (W16) was 2nd best on Girls Light Green. Our other scorers were Kate McKerrow (W20, Girls Green), Matthew Walter (M14, Orange), Alex Robinson (M10, Yellow) and Michael May (M12, Orange). Others providing valuable backup were Greg Street (M10), Nick McKerrow (M16), Adam Bailey (M12) and James McMillan (M12). There was also a small hoard of SLOWies racing round the white course.


NEXT STEPS
--------------------
There are a few events close by coming up soon. If you would like to be shadowed (ie followed round!) by someone else from SLOW for any of these then please let me know. Shadowing can be good to get advice and feedback on improving your orienteering.

Remember also that you don't have to keep trying to improve your skills - many adults are quite happy to get around at the same level for years. However it can be very enjoyable to try new things and see yourself succeed
in doing something that you could not do before.

Look out for the club banner (or club tent) at the following colour-coded events (especially those marked ***), and bring a picnic or football if the weather is nice! I suggest we all go for "middle" range start times.
***7th October - Hawley & Hornley, Camberley
14th October - Putney Heath (a small event organised by SLOW)
28th October - Waggoners Wells, Hindhead. This is a club team score event for everyone. You go to as many checkpoints as you can for up to an hour - but with penalties if you are late. Anyone is allowed to run.
***18th November - Wisley, Guildford
***9th December - Winterfold, Cranleigh (SLOW's very own age group event. Would you like to help, and see how an event is run?)

For anyone feeling adventurous, there is a night orienteering event at Wisley on 8th December (Saturday evening). If one or two of you are interested, I suggest we go round together in a little group to try it out.
Could come in handy if we get a team together for the Peter Palmer Relays (which have a couple of night legs, out of eight) next September.

I'll end with a little tip. Draw your route on your course after the event and discuss it with someone afterwards. Think about what went well, and what could be improved for next time. But most of all, remember it should
all be FUN!

See you! 

Pete

FORTHCOMING ORIENTEERING EVENTS

 

North Downs Way Relay – or at least half of it

29th September

 

In the absence of the real event, scheduled in the midst of FMD, HAVOC are running an alternative just for 2001. This will be just half the usual 16 legs, starting from Vigo Inn and finishing as usual at Farnham.

 

We have a side out, together with GO, LOK, HAVOC and probably Tadworth/Loose Valley. Current Leg assignments are as below:

 

Start                 Vigo Inn                        Mike Farmery

+1h 05m           Dunton Green                Chris Owen

+ .45m              Betsom Hill Farm           Peter Carlill

+ .45m              A22 Bridge                    Vicky Robb

+ .50m              Reigate Hill                    John Dowty

+ .45                 Stepping Stones            Ed Catmur

+ .70                 Newlands Corner            Dick Clark

+ .50                 Puttenham                    Paul Canham

+ .45                 Farnham

 

The start is scheduled for 09:30, but may be put back until 10:00. Finish in Farnham around 17:00. Then food and liquid refreshments for those interested at The Princess Royal in Runfold.

 

Please come and support us along the way, and in the pub afterwards. Just give me a call if you want to check the final start times.

 

Dick Clark.

 

ESPECIALLY FOR BEGINNERS

 

30 September.       Abbey Woods, south-east London.  Grid Ref TQ474789.  Organised by the Dartford club.  The vegetation here is usually evil and everyone will be sticking to the paths where possible.  But novices should be doing that anyway and so it's very suitable for them. There should be most colour-coded courses.

 

7 October.              Hawley and Hornley, just west of Camberley.  Grid Ref SU844587.

Organised by the Berkshire club with the full range of colour-coded courses.

A blindingly fast yet quite testing area, which is why it has been used for championship relay competitions.  Although this will attract many classy runners it is still a colour-coded event and as such the priority is providing the appropriate level of challenge for everyone from beginner upwards.

 

14 October.            Putney Heath.  Grid Ref TQ234737.  Organised by SOUTH LONDON ORIENTEERS .  Using the Wimbledon Common map, courses will go under the A3 using the various subways.  There will be a limited number of colour-coded courses (yellow, orange and light green) to suit beginners and novices.

 

28 October.            Waggoners Wells (off the A3 beyond Hindhead).  Organised by the Guildford club.  A score event - for a pleasant change.  By their very nature (do as much as you can within an hour) score events are suitable for all levels of entrant from those who want a hard 60 minute run to those who want a nice hour's walk with the family.  It also means that if you can't find a control you still count in the results.

 

Further details on fixtures available from:  SLOW website www.southlondon.orienteers.co.uk and

SLOW Membership Secretary, Ginny Catmur  Tel 020 8398 8190  Email ginny@vcatmur.fsnet.co.uk  (also contact Ginny if you would like help with getting a lift to an event)


 

 25th Anniversary Dinner

 Saturday November 24th at 7pm

 The Waters Edge Cafe,

 The Wetlands Centre, Barnes SW13 9WT

Main Course: Salmon or Vegetarian Strudel

Some Wine provided by SLOW

Cost £20.00

 

This promises to be a very special evening at the Wetlands Centre in Barnes. For those of you who have not been there before, the Wetlands Centre was created from the redundant Barn Elms Reservoirs on the bank of the Thames. The centre is now a wonderful mixture of specially created habitat for species of wild fowl from all over the world and natural habitat including lakes, marsh land, ponds and streams. The hub of the centre is a group of buildings set around a courtyard with a cinema, enormous observatory, education centre and hands on exhibits.

The birds should be tucked up in their beds by the times we get there but there are numerous bats who may put on an aerial display. The cafe is modern and well designed in a pretty setting opposite a small lake. The food during the day is of an excellent standard, so the evening should be very worthwhile.

Do fill in the flyer and let Kay know as soon as possible. In the meantime, why not visit the centre for a sneak preview.

***************************************************************************

Urgent Appeal: Photographs needed  

We want to put on a display at our 25th Anniversary Dinner and are calling for the loan of any photographs of SLOW activities over out first 25 years. We would particularly like to see the photographs which were published in early SLOWPRINTS. All will be treated with tender loving care and returned to the lenders in due course. Please send them by NOVEMBER 1ST to: Sue Lumas, 7 Mount Pleasant Road, New Malden, KT3 3JZ (or deliver them if you prefer not to post). Tel: 020 8949 6765

25th Anniversary Issue of Slowprint

Please please please could I have some memories....funny, sad... embarassing...entertaining of early days in the Club, the beginning of orienteering, mapping and the like. You know who you are if you have been O-ing for 25 years. Don’t wait for the phone call..Send in an article NOW !!

 

 EVENT REPORTS   Another Perspective on The Veteran Home International - Paul Street              

 

I’ve just had a six-month break from orienteering and come back to find it changed for me forever. I don’t mean e-punching; that’s the sport itself changing, this is me changing.

 

New readers may not know I am married to the editor. We met through orienteering, like several other SLOW couples. Our children Ralph (M12) and Greg (M10) have got used to “going orienteering” both on Sundays and for their holidays. Greg is particularly good at teasing us with a joyful cry of  “do we have to?” Together we have done forty or fifty events a year for the last several years, finding it a good way to meet nice people, get out from the urban existence to great places, and gain enjoyment from the combination of physical and mental exercise. We have understood more and more about the sport over the years, about the technical side, and have, some years, even kept training diaries to try and arrive in good shape for important events.

 

The six-month break came about by accident. Mainly it was because of foot and mouth, and the cancellation of most of the events programme. The Scottish 6-day was in prime midge territory and Ralph and I do have a bit of a reaction to their bites. So we decided to do less. Ralph and I concentrated on cricket this summer, as he played for and I managed Richmond CC’s Under-10 colts team. Sarah did keep her hand in, as is only right for the manager of the England Veterans (Over-40) Team with a trip to the Scottish 6-day, with her mother, and also with the event a few months ago on the new map of Wimbledon Common. Greg also tolerated not going “borienteering” as you can imagine. We actually had a non-orienteering holiday - well done Team Jones for sharing a week stay in France including swimming, tennis, canoeing and climbing, and a case of red wine.

 

My break from the sport ended at Macclesfield Forest  this September. It was the weekend of the annual Veteran Home International (VHI), with Sarah managing the England team. Accommodation was at the Gradbach Youth Hostel, a great old building five miles up single track roads, so we were pleased to come along to support the manager. And to run in the National Event that the VHI was piggybacking on.

 

I prepared for my return to O at the Harry Potter theme SLOW summer BBQ on Ed Catmur’s excellent Telegraph Hill map (see report elsewhere this issue.)  This was a great event, but not perhaps a full reintroduction to map-reading, as a) I kept a keen Greg company, and he did most of the navigating, and b) in any case my map had no controls marked on it.

 

It was however obvious to me that the time had come when I could no longer view both the terrain and the map. At some point in the M/W45 age class the eye muscles weaken. Typically you notice it gets harder to read things, especially in poorer light (such as a forest.) It’s happening to me and it changes the sport. 

 

But of course what better place to discuss this than the gathering of many of the best veteran orienteers in Britain - the VHI weekend. Veteran Home International, or for me, Visibility - Hazy, Inaccurate. These top folk would have the vision to know what could be done

 

The good news is that not everyone has the problem. So, be encouraged that you may be OK into your fifties - and be proud if you’re one like this! But for most people the sport does indeed change. 1:10,000 maps make some difference, but it is necessary to do something more.

 

There appear (sorry) to be three approaches.

 

1. Look at the map, only.

2. Look at the terrain, and bring in magnification for the map from time to time.

3. Use one eye for each.

 

Approach 1 will tend to suit some sorts of orienteers more than others. Basically technical orienteers whose are modestly short-sighted already are best placed. If they leave off their glasses they can still read the map, but their shortsight is no longer corrected and so the terrain is not so distinct. They need to get close to a flag to see it. Steve Whitehead, M50, of EBOR does this at the moment and is running better than ever. And my former clubmate Simon Errington, chair of BOF Technical has always done this, with considerable success. It also means the weather doesn’t make a difference.

 

Approach 2 is the most common, and there are several choices for the magnification. It is the route that naturally applies for those whose eyesight has been normal previously. Many of us have used the magnifier on the compass - Pete Nicholls of Guildford Orienteers has been a great fan of this throughout his distinguished career (e.g. British Champion.) Jack Hutchinson of Southampton has a flip-down magnifier like a welder’s visor on his forehead.  And Arthur Boyt, now of Cornwall but lately of Happy Herts, tells me that reading glasses work, especially if you try and get them as far down your nose as possible. One of the most important things is to work out what to do about rain. Visors - Arthur suggests cloth ones go in a pocket well - are often used. There also used to be a paste that could be rubbed into the glasses that filled in the imperfections so there was nothing for moisture to cling to. I don’t know if that’s still available or in favour. One problem for the makers was a small pot of the stuff would last indefinitely.

 

Approach 3 was discussed with Liz Hale. It seems to be used particularly by contact lens wearers, who wear a lens in one eye. Liz says it is best that your dominant eye is set for the terrain - this is what you use most of the time and bringing the map in close naturally causes the brain to use the other eye. It may not be so easy to run and read though. Incidentally to find which eye is dominant make a small aperture at arm’s length using both hands and look through it at someone’s nose. They’ll tell you which eye is dominant.

 

I’m already a part-time contact lens wearer for short-sight. I started wearing them because of rain on my glasses in my first years of orienteering. I didn’t get on with semi-hard lenses but then I found a chap who’d give me soft lenses as a good enough correction, and they’ve been great. The theory on wearing them has changed. At first it was try and wear them the same amount every day, but now it’s recommended to vary it, with a couple of free days each week. That suits me well.

 

So on the day of the National event I decide I’ll set one eye for distance (i.e. for me, wear a lens) and one for the map (no lens.) I have tried this before incidentally, at the Harvester in Devilla nine years ago when I dropped one lens in the camping field. As if night orienteering in rain in uneven Scottish jungle wasn’t hard enough anyway. I had not been impressed then as I kept getting my legs wedged in the stuff on the forest floor and falling over, but maybe it hadn’t been a fair test.

 

Macclesfield Forest was perhaps not the best place either. It was very rough underfoot, and my footing is certainly less certain with only one lens in. But I could navigate. I expect the electronic splits to show times consistent with reasonable navigation and steady pace. But there was still a feeling like being slightly drunk - not everything registers in the same way and I particularly felt I had to pick my way carefully through the vegetation on sloping small boulders. Maybe you get used to it, or maybe I do need to get drunk as part of my technical training now.

 

So on Day 2, a badge event in the same forest, I went back to the old approach, both eyes on the terrain and knowing were both my feet went. On leg number 2, I chose a roundabout route that involved running along a track. Unfortunately when I got there it turned out to be a deer fence, and my footing wasn’t secure enough even with the lenses to run along that. So I had been quickly reminded that being able to interpret the map is useful for successful orienteering, and reading it is part of that. The end result was about the same, as the extra navigation errors were not that expensive (it was after all not that technical a forest) and the extra speed possible (it was a tough physical forest) balanced this. But I am convinced that the one eyed approach is what I need now, especially in the south-east.

 

If you think you see a  strange expression on my face at future events this may be the explanation. On the other hand it may be the usual causes, such as am I in the right place, shouldn’t I have found a control by now, am I saving enough energy to race Ralph on the run-in (one of the curses of electronic timing.)

 

And of course for all of those youngsters for whom this is a unrecognisable tale, the advice is, as ever, do enjoy the sport before it changes for you too!

 

Paul

 

 


EVENT REPORTS

What I Did On My Holidays

Ed Catmur

OK, I've been asked to write a report on my orienteering adventures over the summer.

First off I went to the Austrian Championships with the British Junior Squad. This was a warm-up for the Junior World Orienteering Championships (July, in Hungary), for which I was reserve. For that reason my goal for the weekend was to prove that I should have been in the JWOC team, by beating as many team members as possible! Well, it didn't quite go to plan; in the short race qualifier, which was held in 35-degree heat on some fairly nice Southern-style terrain, a totally avoidable 5-minute mistake on the control 2 put me out of the running for the A final; however I retained some dignity by coming 2nd in the B final, just behind Murray Strain.

The day of the Classic was in a ski resort. In blazing sunshine (no snow this time of year) we took a cable car to 1450 and then had to walk another 150m (vertical, that is) to the start. The heat did interesting things to my physiology - try replacing a contact lens when your saliva has the consistency of Superglue! I'm also blaming the heat for my little mistakes on controls 1, 7 and 8, but there's no doubt in my mind that the 15-minute split on control 11 was due to one thing only - appalling mapping. Quite simply, the map bore no resemblance whatsoever to the terrain. Honestly. Other people lost time there too, you know (maybe not quite as much time,
but the point still stands).

From Austria to America: being left out of the JWOC team left me free to attend the 42nd International Mathematical Olympiad, in Washington DC. This was basically 12 days of mindless tourism, sightseeing, theme-park-visiting, enjoying-of-corporate-sponsorship, etc., with (regrettably) 9 solid hours of stupidly difficult maths thrown in.  Visit http://imo.wolfram.com/problemset/index.html to see what I mean. Still, I managed to solve 2 out of 6 questions, which put me just about in the top quarter of the 600-or-so competitors from 82 nations (the opening ceremony got rather boring, as you can no doubt imagine). Oh, and the food was atrocious, the weather was intolerably hot and humid outside, glacial inside, but the natives were friendly. Had the most appalling trouble getting hold of alcohol - honestly, you'd think it was against the law or something.

Next up was another Squad trip, this time to Finland. We stayed in an outdoor centre near Helsinki and I jumped into a different lake each day. My most abiding memory of that week is going to 3 successive club training evenings (on proper terrain, with pre-marked maps and SI punching) and realising just how it is that these Scandis get so good. As camouflage, all us blokes bleached our hair, to varying degrees of success.

Then came the real reason for the trip to Finland - so that we could all go and spectate and support the GB team at WOC, which was in Tampere. It's where they make the Nokia phones apparently. I know that plenty of SLOW members were at WOC and, presumably (hint, hint), will be writing their own reports, so I'll keep this brief. Yes, the GB performance didn't quite live up to our rather inflated expectations, but the team were hampered in preparation by F&M. From a spectator's point of view, the new technology was a bonus: a 10-metre video screen that was generally well sited in the field, 1/10-second timing, plenty of spectator, radio and video controls made for a generally exciting experience. Oddly enough, the much-vaunted GPS tracking system didn't get a showing, but the rumour is that it was working; the commentators just couldn't get it to interface with their own systems.

The moment I got back from Finland it was off to the Lochaber 6-Day - I had to take the sleeper train up to save time, and even so only managed to do 4 days. Surprisingly, even staying on the half-flooded campsite (bit of a shock after quality accommodation with the Squad) the midges were nowhere near as bad as in Finland.

Most annoyingly, on arrival in Alicante airport at the beginning of the Squad tour to Spain (preparation for JWOC 2002) I had to wait 5 hours in the grim surroundings of the arrivals hall for the rest of the party to arrive on a repeatedly delayed flight. Once they arrived, though, it got better. We were staying in a hotel in the Xorret del Cati, a national park in the mountains above Alicante. The terrain was quite impressive: limestone hills covered in scrub, fields and orchards with 3-metre high terraces, and intricate sand dunes. Actually, we didn't get to experience the latter type of terrain, as when we got to the map, we discovered that it had been covered with hotels, so we spent the day on the beach, among the seething masses of lobster-pink Brit tourists.

Other highlights of the tour were a 1km park race in Alicante, complete with a water-splash through the boating lake, getting a tan (good) and heatstroke (bad), nearly treading in a dead sheep on the short race, and getting caught going skinny-dipping in the hotel pool at 2AM, and finally everyone receiving their A-level results by phone at the end of the week - we all got the grades we needed, so by the time you read this I'll be an ex-member of SLOW and running for OUOC - but I'll be sure to turn up occasionally during vacation, so you haven't seen the last of me yet!

 Ed

Slow Training         CLAYGATE CAPERS

Andy Morrison

 

Results

Name

Start

Finish

PointsTime

Adjustment

Collected

Error Adjustment

Final Score

Ed Catmur

7.33

8.33

120

 

0

120

Alan Leakey

7.25

8.24

106

+1

0

107

Andy Robinson

7.24

8.24

104

0

0

104

David Finch

7.48

8.45

95

+3

0

98

Mike Elliot

8.05

9.05

84

0

0

84

Elizabeth Finch

7.49

8.45

77

+4

-8

73

Chris Robinson

7.29

8.17

66

+12

-8

70

Heather Walton

7.37

8.09

36

28

0

64

Ginny Catmur

7.30

8.33

69

-6

0

63

Di Leakey

7.28

8.25

67

+3

-8

62

Kate Thomas

8.08

8.44

38

24

0

62

Charlie Turner

7.15

8.17

70

-4

-16

50

Geoff Lashbrook

7.31

9.10

111

-78

-18

15

 

Organiser’s Report

 

The weather was not kind to the event – too much to hope for after the good fortune at Reigate Priory on the previous Sunday. Nevertheless, 13 brave souls ventured out into the showers to explore the Commons and Streets of Claygate in a 60 minute score event followed by food and drink chez Morrison.

 

The full distance in sequence of all controls was 11.0km which Ed Catmur managed exactly in the allotted time. Congratulations to Ed, overall winner. Second highest gross points score went to new member Geoff Lashbrook, who showed admirable devotion to duty, even though time penalties ate into his final score.

 

Overall, the event format was successful, and a number of competitors mentioned the positive feature of bonus points for early finishing which meant that those not wanting to run for the full hour were still able to compete (viz the different approaches of Kate Thomas and Di Leakey to the same final score). Few controls caused problems, but the most common mistake was to note the wrong phone number at the two back-to-back kiosks outside the Swan pub. This cost those involved the loss of the 7 correct points plus a penalty of 8 points representing double the wrong value

 

SILLY O, with apologies to Harry Potter and Spelling (Geddit!)

Sarah Brown

 

I did wonder whilst sheltering behind a privet hedge in Avondale Avenue with Jenny Steinitz (a member of another house I should add, but whom I felt duty bound to protect from the evil bearded Wizard Robbo who was skilfully wielding the bludger heavily disguised as a football) whether the residents of the said Avondale Avenue might wonder what ordinary people (including women and children) were doing running about the streets dressed only in nylon pyjamas holding maps (in some cases completely blank!).  And muttering strange names such as Sir Kennedy Hallcase, Rory the Prat or some likeness to an anagram of Harry Potter. But then it couldn’t be any worse than the look the petrol attendant gave me when my companion, a tall spectre dressed entirely in white with a face to match asked for directions to pump 10 3/4 .

 

However I am losing the plot. It was the end of term and we gathered for the usual riotous Summer Party, being given silly things to do by silly people. The sorting hat (with a voice remarkably like Andy Robinson) organised the teams and before you could say ‘Nearly Headless Nick’ we were off to the woods in search of clues and  anagrams. Those who were deemed good at finding clues were given blank maps making them all but clueless, just like the rest of us. The organising of heavy rain to wash away details on the map left at each point was a devilish wheeze worthy of ‘he who should not be named’.

 

After a good deal of slytherin’ down slopes, hufflepuffing up hills, getting to gryffindor with the map and so on all the teams returned, soggy anagrams in hand and only on or two blooded with the bludger.

 

The anagrams unravelled, magical games from the Mistress of Ceremonies Ginny Catmur appeared to spirit away the children and the ghostly shroud wafted by Heather Walton turned into a tricky game of Twister. A banquet of food, including a fantastic multi-candled cake from Kay Denny was devoured by the hungry hoards.

 

And in case anyone still isn’t clear, it should be said that  Ravenclaw only won because Kate Thomas used Polyjuice to disguise herself  as a member of another house who then gave her all the answers.

 

Ahh, still none the wiser. Thanks to Chris and Andy Robinson, Ginny Catmur, Heather Walton and Kay Denny for organising such a fun summer event. If I have forgotten anyone, send me to Alicante (oops Azkaban)

 

 

MAJOR SHOCK AT WORLD MASTERS.

Andy Robinson

 

The crowd were stunned. Nobody had thought it possible. Could it be true? Rumours spread like wildfire. But gradually the truth came out and we all realised it had actually happened. Yes, David May had ironed a shirt. SLOW has a new 'ironman'.  After all that the rest of the week paled into insignificance, but for the anoraks amongst you we'll run through the O results.

 

Star performance of the week, and possibly star performance of any World Masters by a SLOW runner was Chris Robinson's 19th on D45. (Hang on a minute. I shouldn't be writing this. Well nobody else is, so get on with it). We've had places that high before but only at events Down Under where there isn't so much opposition. Lithuania is just across the water from Finland and packed with classy Scandinavians, which makes 19th a really mega result.

 

There were several other A final qualifiers (that means top 80). Di Leakey had started the week really well, but lack of fitness told and she eventually came 62nd in D45 . David the Ironman was recovering from injury, took it steady and eventually made 60th on H55. Mike Elliot was 70th in M50, and Pella Rye 24th out of the 37 D70s.

 

But what of the H45s, I hear you ask. No A final places there - it didn't really work out. Alan Leakey had a super first qualifying day and was well up in his heat, but mispunched the next day and so condemned to an unranked run in the C final. I mucked up some early controls on day one and might still have made it but for being in the toughest heat, and so lined up in the B final. To add to our frustration, we both had good runs in our respective finals and just shaded the best Britain in the A final in the minutes per km calculation. How annoying!

 

Scottish 6 Day Lochaber

Sarah Brown

 

By a strange combination of circumstances I was able to go to the Scottish 6 day based around Fort William. I had not liked the sound of the driving or the thought of midges but the wee beasties were on holiday somewhere else and the lengths of the drives were offset by some stunning scenery.

Day 1: tricky contour details in woodland with man eating streams and jungle style undergrowth... But things could only get better.  Day 2: Strathsmashie, a forest that lots of orienteers said they would never go to again but the planning (no doubt facilitated by electronic punching) seemed to avoid some of the worst on the shorter courses. Day 3: glorious open moorland high above Loch Etive, shame about the head wind and bouts of driving rain. Day 4. Back to Strathsmashie. Day 5: Arisaig Fantastic open moor with stunning views over Muck, Eigg. Skye. My best day! Day 6 Fersig, interesting mixed area of wood, open and contour detail.

TIME FOR A FIX

Andy Robinson

 

Nigel Saker is a star. Don't anybody forget that. Why? He is now the organiser of both of SLOW's biggest events of 2001. Having already done the Wimbledon colour-coded last March he has now agreed to organise the re-run of the Winterfold OK Nuts Trophy on 9th December. What a hero. But surely the club has others who could do the job.

 

OK, it obviously helps if officials are appointed early to feel confident that they can tackle the job. Next year's OK Nuts is at Hankley Common on 8th December 2002. I'm happy to take any volunteers now, and will be actively chasing people from January. Also required are:

 

Senile 12 January. Esher. Organiser needed.

Southern Express.  April. Pitch Hill. Organiser and planner needed.

Score Event. June. Wimbledon Common. Organiser and planner needed.

 

This also seems a good point to plug the South-East Technical Conference at Dorking on November 10th. It's aimed not just at controllers but also experienced planners wanting to learn more about using SportIdent and night events. I can also see myself organising some organiser's training in the next 12 months.

 

Andy Fix

 

IS SLOW FADING AWAY                                        Sue Lumas     Archivist

As archivist I hold a copy of all the SLOWPRINTS and reading through them, I realise that the earlier issues are becoming difficult to read. This is our history and it would be a shame to lose it. It would be sensible to store them on disc to prevent this happening. Could any members with the right technology, volunteer to scan in or input text from one or more issues to capture it in this way. I realise scanning is not infallible and there may be a problem with photographs. The end results will ahve to be proof read. I can volunteer to co-ordinate the exercise and proof read a print out of anything so captured in order to correct it before it becomes an archival copy. If the originals of early photographs can be found, they could be scanned for posterity.

We would need someone to handle the technical knitting together of scanned issues. If everyone took just one issue we could cover the lot without overloading any one individual. More recent issues may be available on someone’s hard disc?.......

Help us get back into focus           Sue Lumas 020 8949 6765

 

SEOA TECHNICAL CONFERENCE: SAT 10TH NOVEMBER 10am-5pm

FRIEND’S PROVIDENT SOCIAL CLUB, DORKING GR: TQ 172507

 

The conference is open to all planners organisers and controllers and will concentrate on:

 

1) organising, planning and controlling electronic punching events

2) planning and controlling night events

 

No registration fee, bring lunch, bar should be available. Hands on sessions with elecronic punching equipment but no outdoor exercises. So that we can have an idea of likely numbers could anyone planning to attend please contact me beforehand

 

Neil Crickmore (SEOA Competitions Officer)

Tel: 01273 832420, E-mail: crickmores@tesco.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EVENT DIARY/  OBTAINING INFORMATION

 

You are strongly urged to confirm these events using the following answerphone services. The SEOA website has links to SE clubs and other regions.

 SEOA (020-8948-6056): http://homepage.ntlworld.com/simon.errington/seoa/seoa.htm

(SCOA (0118-946-4354)           (Army (01256-883265)               (SO (01903-239186)

(SAX (01303-813344)                (MV (01372-279295)

 

29/09/01

North Downs Way Relay

30/09/01

Colour coded

DFOK

Abbey Wood

6/10/01

Saturday Series

SAX

Lodge Hill

7/10/01

Colour coded

BKO

H awley & Hornley

14/10/01

Novices event

SLOW

Putney Heath

14/10/01

Colour coded

SAX

Kings Wood Challock

20/10/01

BOF AGM

talk by Chris Bonington

North Wales

21/10/01

BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS

 

North Wales

21/10/01

Colour coded

SO

Devil's Dyke

27/10/01

Saturday Series

Sax

Battle Great Wood

28/10/01

South East Score Champs

GO

Waggoners Wells

4/11/01

November Classic

SOC

Denny Lodge

10/11/01

South East Technical

Conference

 

10/11/01

Senile

MV

Ranmore

11/11/01

Colour coded

MV

Ranmore

13/11/01

THE SLOW A.G.M.

 

 

17/11/01

 

Army Night Champs and Senile

 

Venue to be arranged

17/11/01

Rodings Rally

 

 

18/11/01

Colour coded

SN

Wisley

24/11/01

       SLOW'S 25TH

BIRTHDAY

DINNER

25/11/01

Badge

CHIG

Epping NW

1/12/01

Southern Night Champs

 

Harcombe,Devon

2/12/01

Colour coded

SO

Houghton

2/12/01

Colour coded

HH

Ashridge

8/12/01

Senile

SN

Wisley

9/12/01

OK Nuts Trophy

SLOW

Winterfold

16/12/01

Badge

TVOC

Wendover

23/12/01

Colour coded

DFOK

Mereworth