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Updated 18th Dec
Congratulations to the trophy winners
thank you and congratulations to all those who braved the
weatherto try the string course. The organisers provided us
with a lovely triangle of wood with lots of features, including a
hill. I think that a string course map with two contour
lines is very special. With all the rain of the last few weeks
the pond control 1 was a bit larger than when mapped but this did
not seem to cause the competitors any problems. Also all
competitors successfully coped with the lack of a pin punch at
control 8 by correctly counting the animals on the secondary
Several competitors asked for information on the heraldic significance of the control flags. This was a very good question and I shall ask Sarah Brown, who provided the artwork, to provide full notes for next time.
The course was successfully completed by the following competitors.
Name Age Time
Simmons 7 6
Rosina Simmons 10
Armitage 1 25
Samuel Francis 8
Dane Blomquist 6
Elise Desdarats 3
Steven Elkington 5
Thanks too to all the helpers: Caroline, James, Chasrles, Kathy, Peter and James.
Andrew McMillan (SLOW) 12
Controllers report - "Just like Sweden"
Quotes overheard at the Finish:
"Just like Sweden",
"What a great event", "What a good course",
"I really enjoyed that"
Such comments make all the hard work seem
worthwhile. So, once again, SLOW has staged a successful event
and on behalf of all of the competitors, I wish to thank them for
their time and efforts. It has been a pleasure to work with the
club over the last months.
Hankley Common is an excellent area and one of my own local favourites. I believe that Chris Fry made good use of the area and planned some excellent courses. He managed to take lots of courses into the very best parts and to give you the opportunity to run straight through some wonderful forest. I was very pleased with the crystal clear map so thanks to Mapworks and SLOW for all of their hard work in the update and production - it shows that, perhaps, digital printing still does have some way to go. However, nothing is ever perfect and, like Chris, I am disappointed that we did not notice a small triangle of non standard colour on the final map near controls in the south of the area, my apologies to those competitors who were lost time as a result
With Chris still recovering from a recent
operation, his own mobility was restricted. So thanks must go all
his team, especially to his intrepid helpers who set out long
before dawn wearing headlamps and carrying the SI boxes. I must
also add my personal thanks to Keith Tonkin. He also arrived
before dawn to help with the final controlling almost straight
from a flight from America.
Charlie Turner always seemed to have
everything well organised and our thanks are due to him, his team
leaders and all helpers. Basing the OK Nuts event at the huts in
the middle of the bowl was a major change. I believe that having
the start, finish and car park all close together worked well,
especially on the damp, misty morning. In particular, my thanks
are due to Gavin Andrews and Andrew Trimble and their helpers -
there always seemed to be an atmosphere of calm efficiency
surrounding the computers, despite the conditions.
Congratulations to the winners - your names
are added to a long list of illustrious winners of OK Nuts Trophy
races, enjoy the trophies and come back to defend them next year.
Finally, a quote towards the end of a damp,
dark and dismal December day - "just imagine that course and
forest on a warm, sunny summer evening" - now, there is a
Tim Pugh (GO)
Organising an orienteering event at this time of year is hampered by the hours of daylight and some of the equipment/road signs were put in place in the dark on Saturday night/Sunday morning. On the plus side the last finisher came in well before the time the courses closed and this enabled the organising team to clear the area before the last kites were removed from the forest. If needed we had a 'search plan' in place to try and find any competitor but in an area like Hankley this is always going to be difficult, especially when it is dark and wet. Our request for you to carry a whistle in the case of an emergency was as much for your benefit as ours.
The organisation of this event was entirely dependent on its key helpers and at the risk of failing to name everybody who deserves a mention, I must thank Andrew Trimble, Gavin Andrews and Peter Huzan, who between them handled the entries and all the computer aspects of the event. I must also, in particular, thank Tim Pugh, for giving constructive advice and always being there when needed.
How many of you noticed the car park area/tarmac access road was the location of scenes from the new James Bond film or recognised the huts as the set for the TV series, Tenko. The massive concrete structures to the northwest of the huts were built in WW2 to replicate the Normandy Atlantic wall fortifications and used for destruction practice.
I hope you all enjoyed the orienteering and will return in December 2003 for our next event at Hankley.
Congratulations to the following winners:
OK Nuts Trophy Edward Catmur (SLOW)
Women's Trophy Helen Pearce (CHIG)
Margaret Loveless Trophy* Graham Gristwood (MV)
*The Margaret Loveless Trophy is awarded to the Junior with the highest points, as calculated using the SE League scoring system.
Coasters were presented to some competitors at the event but for those of you who had left some were given to fellow club members and others will be sent by post.
Charlie Turner (SLOW)
preferred style of course-planning is to try to provide
continuous mental challenge and to avoid dead running at all
costs. Seeing that the northern part of the common had been
virtually stripped of vegetation, apart from a strip along the
top of the map, I concluded that some courses would have to go
twice round the southern, more wooded area. The next decision was
to put the start, finish and assembly area close together so as
to make the event as competitor-friendly as possible. Once we had
worked out that there was sufficient parking space around the
military huts the general shape of the courses fell into place,
along with the idea of a spectator control which would, I'm sure,
have attracted more spectators if the weather had been more
I argued to and fro about course lengths and in the end I feel we
got it more-or-less right on most courses. The outstanding
exception was course 14 (M/W10A and M/W12B) which produced much
slower times than expected in terms of its length and technical
difficulty compared with other courses - I'd welcome feedback
from anyone who found it technically or physically harder than
Among the many things one has to think about on the day I have to own up to completely forgetting one item until I saw a small competitor standing near the last control, in sight of the finish, searching for the advertised tapes to follow. My apologies to him and to any other early finishers affected by this. Another apology is due for failing to spot a colour anomaly on the final map: a small patch that should have been light green came out almost yellow. This would have affected runners on courses 3 and 8 on their way to control 111 and possibly course 2 depending on their route choice from 108 to 125. Had I spotted it I would have put a warning notice in the start lanes. This anomaly was, I think, a result of the map having been revised by a variety of club members using various versions of OCAD over a period of years; oddly, the problem does not show up on screen or on an ink-jet printout, nor did it appear in the previous (1998) printing.
There are many people to thank: the clubmates who spent Saturday afternoon setting out stakes then reported before dawn on Sunday to put the SI boxes out; more clubmates who cleared the forest quickly after the race; Nick Nourse of the MapWorks for patiently talking me through many of the unexpected features of OCAD8; the unflappable hardware and software gurus who make the SI system work so efficiently; Tim Pugh for sage guidance throughout, as well as for doing some of my running around for me when my cartilage rendered me insufficiently mobile; Charlie Turner for thinking of everything and thus providing a solid platform for the event; and last but not least those of you who braved the weather, ran the courses and expressed your appreciation. You only enjoyed about an hour of Hankley on a dull day; I have been rewarded with many delightful hours over the last year: it's a smashing forest - do come back for more next year!
Chris Fry (SLOW)