British Championships

SLOW’s winning W50 team

The 2007 British Orienteering Championships were held over the early May Bank Holiday weekend at Pwll Du, an open fell area in south-east Wales. Over 40 members of SLOW took part in the weekend’s races, which comprised the individual championships on the Saturday followed by the relays on the Sunday.

Individual results

SLOW’s star performer of the individual day was Sarah Brown, who clinched an impressive 2nd place in the W55L class, some 6 minutes clear of 3rd place.

Other top 10 results in Long/Elite classes came from Diane Leakey (4th W50L – just 13 seconds outside the top 3), Ralph Street (5th M18L), Mike Murray (7th M60L) and Liz Day (10th W21E).

Additionally, prizes were won by Matthew Jones (3rd M14B), Robert Jones (1st M16B), Alan Leakey (3rd M50S) and Anne May (2nd W55S).

SLOW’s Junior Ad-Hoc team

Relay results

SLOW’s W50 team continued their excellent record in British Relay Championships, with Sarah Brown, Christine Robinson and Diane Leakey taking another 1st place finish – Chris tells me this is the 11th year running!! (1996-2007, excluding 2001 cancelled due to Foot & Mouth) – a very impressive record by anyone’s standards! The winning team is pictured above.

SLOW also won a prize in the Junior Ad-Hoc class, with Matthew Jones, Robert Jones and Greg Street finishing in 3rd place (pictured left).

Our two premier teams also performed very well, with both the men’s and women’s open teams finishing in a very respectable 7th place.

Congratulations to all SLOW runners who competed over what was a very enjoyable weekend.

Full results from the weekend can be found on the British Championships website.

North Downs Way Relay

This year’s North Downs Way Relay will take place on Saturday 16th June. For newcomers this is an informal 16 leg relay with starting at Dover at 5:30 am and finishing about 13 hours later in Farnham, and following the scenic National Trail.

The event is good fun for participants and spectators, some of whom stay with the race all day. All who can run a leg of 10-13km on trails with some hills and have some time to recce the route before the day itself are very welcome – if we have more than 16 people keen to be involved we will just double up for some legs. This year there will be “reset mass starts” every 3 legs to keep the race competitive and ensure we get to the pub afterwards at a decent time (details TBC).

If you’re interested please drop Mike Garvin a line on . The only notable orienteering clash is with the Scottish Champs. Please say whether or not you have your own transport, what the mobile number that you will use on the day is, and whether you’d be prepared to run an early leg.

More details here: www.guildfordorienteers.co.uk/northdownsrelay

SLOW qualify for Compass Sport Cup final

For the 3rd year running, SLOW have qualified for the national Compass Sport Cup final. We won today’s qualifying round at Egypt Woods & Burnham Beeches with an excellent score of 2320 points, a comfortable 126 points ahead of 2nd-placed Happy Herts (who also qualify for the final).

The final is being held on Sunday 14th October, at Blidworth, near Mansfield in Nottinghamshire. We need the strongest possible SLOW team for the final, so put the date in your diary now! Results from today’s other regional heats indicate that the full list of 10 clubs qualifying for the final is as follows: AIRE, BOK, DEVON, HH, LOC, NOC, OD, SLOW, SO, SYO.

Full results of today’s qualifier are available on the HH website. The list of SLOW scorers from today’s event is below – well done to all of these, and to everyone else who took part and helped to reduce the scores from other teams. We’ll need you all back for the final!

Abi Weeds

Blue Women

100

Jackie Chapman

Green Women

100

Mike Murray

Green Men

100

Ed Catmur

Brown

99

Charles Bromley
Gardner

Blue Men

99

Greg Street

Orange

98

John Dowty

Blue Men

97

Paul Nixon

Brown

96

Andy Jones

Blue Men

96

Michael May

Light Green

96

Charlie Turner

Blue Men

95

Matthias Mahr

Brown

94

Liz Day

Blue Women

94

Chris Robinson

Green Women

94

David May

Green Men

94

Simon Evans

Brown

93

Paul Street

Blue Men

93

Rachael Holmes

Blue Women

90

Caroline Court

Blue Women

88

Charles McMillan

Light Green

88

Andy Hodgson

Brown

87

Don McKerrow

Blue Men

86

Teresa Turner

Green Women

82

Pete Huzan

Brown

81

Kathy Haynes

Green Women

80

Andrea & Raffaella get married

Many congratulations to SLOW members Andrea Rebora & Raffaella Marin, who got married today at Bromley Public Hall in east London (“after 6 years of quarrelling and postponing!”). The wedding reception was held afterwards at the famous Prospect of Whitby pub in Wapping with an excellent meal provided for all. Many SLOW members attended the ceremony and reception, as well as lots of Andrea & Raffaella’s friends and family who had flown over from Italy.

Andrea & RaffaellaAndrea & RaffaellaAndrea & Raffaella

Andrea & Raffaella’s Wedding

Wapping Map

Extract from the wedding map

A special surprise was provided by former SLOW member and map-maker Remo Madella (www.remmaps.it), who had prepared a special Street-O map and course of the area surrounding the reception venue. This was impressive work, as he had prepared the map from his home in Italy with the help of Google Maps and a Tower Hamlets base map! Andrea & Raffaella ventured in their full wedding outfits to complete the course together, before lots of other SLOW members followed suit.

Andrea & Raffaella are now travelling to north-west India for their 2-week honeymoon.

Many congratulations to the happy couple from everyone in SLOW!

Orienteering with the Queen

HM the Queen and Sarah Baird.

”So you’re an orienteer. Isn’t that quite hard work?” So spoke the Queen as I was presented to her dressed in full O-kit, including gaiters, compass and dibber.

I live at Goodenough College, a residential hall for postgrads based near Russell Square. Last November, it was our 75th anniversary, and the Queen, who is our patron and a fairly frequent visitor, was coming as part of the celebrations to unveil a sundial and be introduced to members. My partner Carl and I had started a small orienteering club at the College a few months before, and I had been selected to be part of the ‘sports section’ which would be introduced to the Queen, along with Tae Kwon Do, sailing, horse riding and football, sports that were considered to be able to provide visually stimulating displays.

Hence I found myself writing to various members of SLOW with the rather bizarre question: “I’m meeting the Queen, does anyone have any O gear I could borrow?” The response was swift and generous. I was soon in possession of many maps, including those of Royal Parks, posters advertising orienteering and not only a control stake and flag, but also a SI box and dibber – all set up to flash impressively. (In the event I did not use this function, since I was warned that anything done quickly or unexpectedly, such as flashes and beeps, might cause me to become quickly covered with burly bodyguards!) I am happy to say that as a result our display was by far the most interesting to look at, and in fact I had many College members come up to me to inquire what all the bits and pieces were for.

Eventually, having been well schooled in important points such as which foot to put behind when you curtsey and that Ma’am rhymes with jam, all was ready. A slightly apprehensive silence fell as we were told she had arrived. We waited for her to walk through the lines of spectators in the courtyard, and then suddenly she was at the door, accompanied by bodyguards, pressmen and her lady in waiting. She was introduced to each of us in turn, and had a quick word and a smile for each. The families with young children were first: one little girl looked at her quizzically, then turned to her mother and asked: “Where’s the Queen?” An embarrassed whisper: “This is the Queen”. And in reply: “Then where’s her crown?”

Eventually and inevitably it was my turn. The experience would have been slightly surreal anyway, but was made more so by the fact that I was not wearing exactly what one expects to wear on this occasion! The moment was a very special one, though quickly over. While I am not sure I managed to convince her to take up orienteering herself, I hope I have given her a positive impression of our sport, at least more positive than she might have felt had she remembered the scaring of the horse in Windsor Great Park which led to the disuse of that map.

Thank you so much to everyone in the club who pulled through and helped me by providing equipment for the display. Hopefully it won’t be so long before she meets another orienteer!

Veterans Home International

VHI runners.

Three SLOW members competed in the annual Veterans Home International (VHI) competition which was held in south Wales on 11/12 November. Mike Murray and Diane Leakey (both pictured below) were both competing for England, who won the overall team competition. David May was also competing for Wales. Also running for Scotland were ex-SLOW members Christine MacLeod and Christine Patterson.

The overall results were: England 284, Scotland 244, Wales 220, Ireland 142. The full results can be found on the SWOC website.

Diane Leakey and Mike Murray finish in the VHI.

London's largest orienteering club. British Orienteering's Club of the Year 2013. CASC accredited.