Category Archives: Club News

SLOW planning competition winners

This competition required entrants to plan Orange and Blue courses on Charlie Turners’s fine map of Holmwood Common, which featured much ‘green stripe’ to add to the challenge! We had 10 entries, although none in the Junior category, which were judged anonymously by Alan Leakey and Matthias Mahr.

After much deliberation we decided to award joint 1st place to Jim Mallinson and Steve Clelland, with 3rd place going to Barbara Griessner.

Both winners produced excellent Blue courses taking full advantage of the nicest bits of Holmwood, while at the same time offering much variation and as a bonus, a really good long route choice. As expected, providing Orange courses at the appropriate technical difficulty proved much harder for everyone! Congratulations to our winners, who will receive prizes of SLOW kit, and thank you to all the entrants for giving it a go.

COMMENTARY ON WINNING ROUTES

OVERALL

Both Jim and Steve produced excellent blue courses with good variety and a good route choice leg. We felt that Steve’s blue course was marginally the better one, particularly around the start and finish areas but also because it took in more of the area and had a nicer ‘shape’. On the other hand, Steve’s orange course was a little too hard in the second half especially in an area as detailed as Holmwood, while Jim’s course was of more appropriate difficulty. Hence, we felt the fairest thing to do was to award joint 1st place.

JIM MALLINSON – here is Jim’s Orange course and his Blue course

Orange. A good course, with many controls just off paths to increase the challenge, although #9 was bordering on the too hard. In common with most entries it lacked any significant route choice legs, which is something that the Orange course should aim to introduce. However, the route from the last control to the Finish is too complex at this level; it would be better with a last control on the path to the north of the Finish.

Blue. A varied course which good use of the limited ‘white’ terrain in the forest. A big range in leg lengths and types which therefore require a variety of skills from the competitor. A really long good route choice leg. However, the route from the last control to the Finish doesn’t meet BOF guidelines and opens up the probability of competitors approaching the last control from several directions and mixing with people heading to the Start; it would be better with a last control on the path to the north of the Finish. Also, the ‘shape’ of the course is a little squished due to the course sticking to a relatively small (but very runnable) part of the forest.

STEVE CLELLAND – here is Steve’s Orange course and his Blue course

Orange. A nicely shaped course, although #4 represents a dogleg. Many controls just off of paths to increase the challenge, but the second half of the course (from #6) is probably too hard for an Orange course on an area as complex as Holmwood. While Steve managed to introduce some route choice, as is requested for Orange, the leg from 6 to 7 requires very fine navigation, and the approach to #10 requires a bearing with no catching feature behind.

Blue. A really good and varied course which makes the most of the limited ‘white’ terrain in the forest and requires a variety of skills from the competitor. #2 is a good, really long leg that adds to that variety. We really couldn’t find anything to improve on this course.

Permanent MBO SCORE Courses

Available Mountain Bike Courses

We have four courses currently.

  1. Mogador: The start is just north of the village of Mogador, at the south end of Banstead Heath and covers the area west of here across to Headley.
  2. Hurtmore: This course covers the area from Hurtmore to Tilford taking in Crooksbury Common and Puttenham Common.
  3. Knowl Hill: The course is centred around Knowl Hill and covers the area from Warren Row and Bowsey Hill to the north down to Waltham St Lawrence to the south.
  4. Holmbury St Mary: The event from 2017 based at Holmbury St. Mary and covering the heart of the Surrey Hills around Winterfold, Hurtwood and Pitch Hill.

These courses should only be ridden while adhering to government guidelines. The aim is to practice route choice and navigation, finding the shortest route for however many checkpoints you visit but ignoring timing and penalties.

You will need two files: the map and the control descriptions.
To get the map and control descriptions please email

Instructions

Download MapRunF v4.8.8 or higher and sign up. Press “Select Event” and navigate to the folder UK/South London/MTBO then select your chosen course which will download to the phone. You will need a 4 digit code to open the course. You will find the code in the control description file.

Once you’re ready, select “Go to start” and start riding. When you get to the first control the App will beep and the recording will start. You can start at the Start/Finish point or at any control which will then be considered as the Start and Finish (no score). To finish you must go back to where you started to end the recording. The Start/Finish will become a normal control which you visit as you go round the course and it will be assigned a points value automatically.

You are likely to need to slow down or stop at a control point and make sure that the App beeps. The GPS signal may vary slightly or be affected by tree cover so in some cases you may need to move around the location where the control is located.

See Permanent Orienteering Course page for further information.

COURSES NOW AVAILABLE FOR INDIVIDUAL TRAINING

Thanks to the efforts of club member Peter Foulkes, we now have three Street-O training events available that you can run in your own time. These are the races previously held in Battersea, Wimbledon and Norbiton / Kingston. We are also carefully managing testing of the app in Richmond Park and on Wimbledon Common. Members interested in being involved please get in touch.

Here’s how it works (more details are on our Permanent Orienteering Course page)

1.Select your event, and send an email.

2.Print the map.

3.Download the App from the Google / Apple store.

4.Run the event and see your result appear automatically when you finish

Important note: Please only do these training runs if you can do so while adhering to the current government guidelines. This means getting to the start / finish preserving social distancing, and running either on your own or with other members of your household.

We hope you enjoy it!

5 COURSES NOW AVAILABLE FOR INDIVIDUAL TRAINING

Thanks to the efforts of club member Peter Foulkes, we now have three Street-O training events available that you can run in your own time. These are the races previously held in Battersea, Wimbledon and Norbiton / Kingston. [UPDATE] We also now have training courses for club members available in Richmond Park and on Wimbledon Common.

Here’s how it works (more details are on our Permanent Orienteering Course page):
1.     Select your event and print out the associated map
2.     Download the App from the Google / Apple store 
3.     Run the event and see your result appear automatically when you finish

Important note: You should only do these training runs if you can do so while adhering to the current government guidelines. For the moment, this means that you should be able to get to the start / finish reasonably quickly (and ideally by bike or on foot) and run on your own or with members of your household. 

We hope you enjoy it!

ALL EVENTS CANCELLED

With recent developments relating to the mitigation of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and guidance from the UK Government and British Orienteering we are suspending all our orienteering activities.

The events planned for Tuesday March 24th (Richmond Park) and Tuesday 14th April (Kings Cross) are cancelled.

Other events remain in the calendar for now but will only take place if the guidance changes.

As you will probably know in the last two days next weekend’s British Long and Relay Championships, the JK festival scheduled for Easter and the summer multi-day event Croeso have all been cancelled.

British Night Champs

The British Night Championships were held on Saturday evening in the woods at Hambleden near Henley-on-Thames. Hambleden is a private shooting estate, and was an excellent venue for the championships – technical and hilly but very runnable. The organising club Thames Valley did a terrific job putting on the championships and a big race the following day. The area was previously used to host two days of the biggest UK orienteering festival, the JK, at Easter 2013.

Congratulations to club stalwart Paul Couldridge who won the M45 trophy through fast and accurate orienteering and a well-paced race. He built a lead of four minutes in the last third of the course of 8.3km with 300m climb, to finish in a time of 55:23.

Paul is pictured above with the trophy, bracketed by second-placed Nicholas Cooper of South Yorkshire and third-placed Will Heap of Southdowns. In the fluorescent jacket is the organiser, John Dalton of Thames Valley O.C.

Paul has previously won both the M35 and M40 (twice) night trophies.

The W35 trophy was won by SLOWprint editor Sarah-Jane Barrable. This was her first win.

Third on M35 was fixtures secretary Duncan Grassie. (Sarah-Jane’s husband Nick Barrable who runs with South Yorkshire was second in this class.)

Provisional results (all classes).

Other runners from SLOW were: Juste Raimbault and Yordan Kolev on M21L, Fiona Tam on W21L, Matthias Mahr – fourth on M40, Sue Carter – fourth on W50, Dorte Torpe Hansen – fifth on W50, Richard Stanhope on M60, Paul Street on M65 and Jim Mallinson on M70.

The M21L trophy was retained by Graham Gristwood of Forth Valley Orienteers who covered the 11.9km and 380m course in just 60:21. His speed was not very different from that of his run at the JK Middle race back in 2013. He has represented GB at World Orienteering Championships a record number of times. And he also presents our video Introduction to Orienteering.

The W21L trophy was won by Megan Carter-Davies of Mid-Wales O.C. Megan now holds all four British trophies, having won the long, middle and sprint titles last year.

Megan Carter-Davies and Graham Gristwood (photo: On The Red Line)