SLOW LogoeSLOWprint 124 - Jun 1999


Club Officers Ginny's Jottings Midge's Mutterings JK99
Secretary's Stuff Membership Matters Pete's Report Elisabeth's Bit
Event Reports Letter to Editor Junior Matters Lost Property
A letter from Pavla SENiLe Results 1998/9 General  

Club Officers 1998–1999

Chris Robinson

Secretary & Membership:
Di Leakey

Men’s Captain:
Peter Huzan

Ladies’ Captain:
Elisabeth Finch

Madeleine Watson

Fixtures Secretary:
Andrew Trimble

Equipment Officer:
Chris Fry

SEOA Rep.:
Andy Robinson

Beginners’ Rep.:
Heather Walton

Anne Leaney

Club Kit:
Teresa Turner

SLOWprint Editor:
Ginny Catmur

Sue Lumas

Social Secretary:
Vicky Robb


Training Officer:
Ann-Marie Kjös

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Ginny’s Jottings

Elsewhere in this issue of SLOWprint there are reports on the Club’s marvellous result at the CompassSport Cup Final. While that was going on I was running a ‘Come and Try Orienteering’ event at Polyapes Scout Camp Site, Blundells Lane, Oxshott, on a brilliant new map by Andrew Trimble. There weren’t many takers, but those who tried it really enjoyed it - in fact the parents came back glowing, saying they hadn’t enjoyed their exercise so much for years! Then on 25 May the Club put on the annual Oxshott Heath Orienteering Challenge and Picnic for Year 5 and 6 (9- to 12-year-old) girls at Lady Eleanor Holles School, Hampton: this was a score event, planned by Paul Canham, with assistance from Chris Robinson, Andrew Trimble, Diane Leakey and me. Groups of four girls, plus a parent, had 60 minutes in which to find 15 controls. About a quarter of the 24 groups managed it, with the fastest back in 37 minutes! Again, the level of parental enjoyment was very visible, and some even asked me if I could organise Orienteering birthday parties for them. We’re working on it ... it must be good publicity!

Ginny Catmur - Editor

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Midge’s Mutterings

No business like SLOW business

There is certainly no shortage of SLOW business to report. We have a healthy mix of activities at all levels, both competitive and social, near and far: staging elite events such as the JK and local fun events such as FROLICS; arranging high level technical training in the Lake District and sessions for beginners and juniors on Wimbledon Common; JK and British trophies have been won by juniors and seniors, by individuals and relay teams; and we sure know how to party too!

Life after JK

The JK has been and gone, successfully planned and assistant-controlled (both days) and organised (Day 2) largely by SLOW members; those closely involved did a great job and deserve the plaudits; huge thanks to all who helped – it could not have happened without you.

Those involved in the above recovered sufficiently by the next day to take several prizes in the JK Relays; our junior men’s team especially put in a superb performance – relative newcomer Matthew Walter joined Edward Catmur and Tom Fry to take 2nd place; followed by a great wind-down party at the Leakeys (for which many thanks).

Best of British

A hugely enjoyable, helpful and sunny training weekend (thanks to Ann-Marie Kjös and Andrew Leaney in particular) was attended by 11 members in the Lake District in preparation for…

British Championships – again well attended and with great success – the only mugs in this club are china ones with pictures of the Lake District on them!

CompassSport Cup Final – we came equal 2nd, only beaten by a club that paid for the British Elite Champion to fly in for the occasion. Congratulations to the captains on amassing a near-full-strength turn out. Speaking of full strength, the rumour that Guy’s O suit got round by itself is a dirty fabric-ation!

‘Making a Splash!’

The British Orienteering Federation’s briefing session on organising and publicising events to capitalise on the World Championships taking place in Scotland in August was attended by Ginny Catmur on our behalf; we now have a very helpful and professional looking information pack full of ideas to help us organise….

Training/introductory sessions for beginners are being planned for September-October, with a view to helping novices take part in their first colour coded event at the OK Nuts Trophy on 24 October. This novel idea is hailed in ‘Making a Splash’ as an example of good practice.

Plans are also developing for the idea of ‘fun/coaching’ sessions for younger juniors; we hope to hold the first one in conjunction with the FROLICS event which we are hosting on Wimbledon Common on 11 July; I’m still looking for a co-ordinator for this idea – unless someone comes forward it may not happen.

As we have so many first-time planners tackling events in the next few months, I am looking into the possibility of holding another training session for planners – probably in June, based on Wimbledon Common using the Thames Hare and Hounds/SLOW clubhouse; if you are interested in attending this, please get in touch.

Kit Chat

Not forgetting of course The Great Kit Debate. A decision has been made! New kit is being ordered as I write. All will be revealed shortly. Or more accurately, all will not be revealed ever again, as we are getting thicker material!!

And coming up… a series of summer evening training sessions, club BBQ at the Turners, and in August the World Championships start team heads for Scotland and the Midges (no relation).

Chris Robinson – Chair

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JK 1999

A big thank you to all those many members who helped at this event and made it such a success, especially to the person who ordered the weather for us. In particular we would like to thank our team leaders, planners and controllers (for both days) and those who gave up their runs to help. The event was a tremendous success, but only because of all the help we had before, during and afterwards from so many people. It’s a novel way of celebrating a birthday, but Diane wouldn’t want to repeat it !

66 people from SLOW helped at the event and they were all needed; and that did not include Start, Finish and Results processing, which were all carried out by other South East clubs. Even then certain areas creaked from a lack of numbers.

Organising such a large event needs everyone in a club to contribute, so if you are asked to help please think very carefully before saying no, and if you do agree make sure that you turn up. We were not impressed with the comments, verging on abuse, that we received from one club member, or the antics of couple of people who agreed to help but asked for an early run and then promptly disappeared. Remember that organisers are attempting to put on an event, not for their own needs, but for the enjoyment of others.

Diane and Alan Leakey - Day 2 Organisers

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Secretary’s Stuff

BOF have sent me a copy of the Rankings List for May, which includes everything up to the JK. Let me know if you want a copy. I have also posted a copy in the club house.

Diane Leakey - Secretary

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Membership Matters

This month’s copy of SLOWprint includes an updated membership list therefore there is no need for a specific list of changes of address. Please check your details and let me know of any inaccuracies. I have deleted members who have not yet renewed.

Welcome to our only new member: Ian Edmond, an M21.

Diane Leakey - Membership Secretary

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Pete’s Report

The spring season is pretty much over. Before I review the year so far, I’ll start with what will be coming up next - most of these are low-key, except for the September relays! As usual, contact me if you want to take part in any of these.

June 27th - South-East Relays. These are at the Pickwell Estate, Bolney, Sussex. The actual closing date is 14th June. Over the last two years, a SLOW handicap team has won this low-key competition. There is a revised format this year with three classes for three-runner teams. The classes are Open, Intermediate, and Junior (Orange & Yellow standard). The Intermediate & Junior courses use a handicapping points system. This is a fun day out, and not too serious.

July 18th - Furrow Hoppers Relay. I have dug out another interesting low-key relay, taking place in the New Forest. The senior competition is teams of 5, 4 courses of 2.5km including "Norwegian" and map memory. The junior competition is teams of 4, 3 courses of 1.5 to 2km yellow/orange standard. Team start time is based on the age classes of the members and the start time will be between 1030 and 1200. First team back wins. It is on a 1:5000 map and "courses are of limited technical content but fast and furious". And I almost forgot to say - each course has to be completed three times per team. Once you have understood the format, let me know by 4th July if you want to have a go!

August 29th - French Champs, Provence. Some interest has been expressed in this 3-day event (short, classic, relay). I’m sure there will be lots of eating and drinking as well. Almost certainly a fly-drive event.

September 11th - Harvester Relays. Out of all these events, this is the most important. These take place near Soudley in the Forest of Dean in the Welsh borders. We have always had great fun (and success) at this event. It is a 7-person (or 5-person on the B course) relay starting at night and finishing in the morning. Just over half of the people will be running at night, so keen night orienteers are especially welcome. We can have less competitive teams for those a little less experienced. This year I hope to enter many teams, so please mark this date in your diary, and ring me if you would like to show early interest. There should be open, handicap, women, and junior teams. There is also a night string course for the young juniors !

September 25th - Peter Palmer Junior Relays. The junior-only version of the Harvester. A favourite amongst the SLOW juniors. Contact Ginny Catmur for more details.

[PS Send me a cheque if you still owe the club for relays (£7/8) or the Compass Sport Cup (£4.50)]

Now back to earlier this year !

CompassSport Cup National Final (Burghfield Common)

We were battling it out against Nottinghamshire (NOC), Thames Valley (TVOC), Walton Chasers (WCH), South Yorkshire (SYO) and Manchester District (MDOC). Thanks to TVOC for staging the event on a good area on a fine day. The pre-marked maps were appreciated, and I just about managed to cope with most of you saying that you would run despite not sending me a yellow form or money !

The result: (1) WCH 205, (2=) SLOW & SYO 183, (4=) NOC & TVOC 158, (6) MDOC 124.

This was one of the most competitive Cup Finals ever, and I would like to say well done to the whole SLOW team. Beforehand, I thought we would finish between first and sixth place, so I knew that a strong turnout would be important ! And we had a strong turnout with very few people missing.

WCH had some very good performances on the day, including squaddie Stephen Palmer who had been flown back from Sweden for the event.

There were top performances by Paul Street and Alan Leakey (2nd and 3rd on C), but they would have been overshadowed by an excellent run by Tom Fry if he had not mis-punched at a nearby control. Pavla Fialova (3rd on D) and Sarah Brown (2nd on E) were also great performances.

I hope that people will be as enthusiastic next year. If we can get through the regional round, the final is on Ilkley Moor (baht’at) on 18th June. And I will be working on strategies to see how we can continue to do well ! So get training, while I look up the airplane timetables.

JK Individual (Leith Hill, Winterfold)

This event should be most memorable by the amount of work put in by key club members and the whole of SLOW to make it a success. I shall briefly note the following people who got Championship Standard on either of the days. These are excellent performances against the best people in the country.

Michael May (M10A - Day 2). Tom Fry (M18A - 2nd), Edward Catmur (M18A - 6th). Trevor Jones (M40L), Peter Haynes (M40L). Alan Leakey (M45L - 9th), Paul Street (M45L - Day 2), Charlie Turner (M45L -Day 2). Tom Lillicrap (M50L), David May (M50L), Jim Mallinson (M50L - Day 1). Mike Murray (M55L - Day 2)

Caroline Catmur (W20E - Day 2), Pavla Fialova (W21E - Day 1 - 9th Overall). Karen Jones (W35L - Day 2), Heather Walton (W35 - Day 1), Elisabeth Finch (W35 - Day 1). Diane Leakey (W40L - 3rd), Sarah Brown (W45L - 2nd)

JK Relays (Hawley & Hornley)

This was my first set of relay selections as men’s captain. This can be a difficult task because of our strength in depth in some of the classes. Fortunately things went well and we came away with four podium positions altogether.

JK Trophy (25th) [Malcolm Fisher, Jon O’Donnell, Steinar Laag, Tim Rogers]. Another solid performance on the most prestigious course.

Women’s Trophy (10th) [Caroline Catmur, Elisabeth Finch, Pavla Fialova]. A very good position.

M120+ (3rd) [Stephan Rudolf, Alan Leakey, Trevor Jones] and (4th) [Peter Haynes, Paul Street, Andy Jones]. I am amazed that we manage to have excellent performances in this very competitive class every year. But the big star was Jerry Watson who came back 2nd on first leg!

W120+ (1st) [Sarah Brown, Christine Robinson, Diane Leakey] and (5th) [Karen Jones, Teresa Turner, Heather Walton]. A predictable top performance, and a top run by Karen on first leg.

M165+ (2nd) [Tom Lillicrap, Jeremy Denny, Mike Murray]. Especially well done to Jeremy for helping to make up this team. Mike almost got us first.

M48- (2nd) [Edward Catmur, Matthew Walter, Tom Fry]. Especially well done to Matthew in such top SLOW junior company.

British Individual (Graythwaite) and British Relays (Holker)

See Paul Street’s article for details. These relays were fast, in some contrast to the previous day. I had some selection headaches while trying to be as fair as I could. I do not think that the final team results would have been much different if I had changed things. Commiserations to Paul Street and Timo Teinila who missed out on the top selections then ran very well at the relays to put the M40 second team ahead of the first team after two legs. Fortunately for me these two people are good "team" players and can put up with my decisions!

Personally I would like to thank Jerry for bringing the M35 team in ahead of the M40 teams to set me up for an enjoyable second leg in good company. I was happy keeping up with Richard Oxlade (GRAMP and ex-SLOW), till he told me he hadn’t been training for weeks.

Men’s Premier (27th) [Tom Fry, Tim Rogers, Malcolm Fisher]. Solid again despite my trying to switch things around. Edward Catmur did well on the second team first leg.

Women’s Premier (25th) [Pavla Fialova, Sue Bright, Vicky Robb]. Thank you Sue and Vicky for helping to make up this team on the top women’s course.

W35 (3rd) [Karen Jones, Heather Walton, Madeleine Watson]. Perhaps an annual occurrence for us on this course.

W40 (1st) [Chris Robinson, Sarah Brown, Diane Leakey]. Sometimes it’s too easy for this trio. The second team came 4th annoyingly just behind 3rd [Teresa Turner, Anne Leaney, Kathy Haynes].

M40 (5th) [Peter Haynes, Andy Jones, Trevor Jones] and (6th) [Paul Street, Timo Teinila, Mal Lyon]. The selector’s dream, or nightmare.

M45 (2nd) [Charlie Turner, Andy Robinson, Alan Leakey]. AIRE were better on the day, despite a good last leg from Alan.

M50 (1st) [Jim Mallinson, Tom Lillicrap, Mike Murray]. The best running order to let us win by 10 seconds.

Harris Format Team Event (Butter Wood)

Five SLOW teams had lots of fun at this event - despite two of them being eligible for disqualification by mis-punching or not visiting a control. Luckily the controller did not disqualify anyone! See also Paul Szarvas’s report.

Congratulations to Chubby Hubby (Andy Robinson, Timo Teinila, Paul Szarvas, Dick Clark). All the team names were ice cream flavours.






Chubby Hubby




Wavy Gravy



3 (dsq)

The Navvies



4 (dsq)

Chunky Monkey (Juniors)



5 (dsq)




9 (5th!)

Dastardly Mash (Ladies)



Long-Distance Footpaths

Unfortunately not enough people have shown interest in the Bob Graham Round Relay for this year. Perhaps this will take place if we have a less congested fixture list next year! Contact Dick Clark regarding the North Downs Relay on 26 June.

Peter Huzan - Men’s Captain

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Elisabeth’s Bit

With the JK results finally in hardest of hard copy, and the CompassSport Cup final done and dusted, Pete tells me that time has come to say my bit. "I was unfit" and there you have it. 3 months out of action with a dodgy back left me with very little time (2 weeks in fact) to get in shape for the JK, I didn’t run in the British, and began my comeback at the CompassSport Cup final - I’ll be peaking at the Scottish 6 days so watch out!

Fortunately, lots of others were fit, and blazed the trail for SLOW in the women’s classes, at JK, British and Compass Sport Cup final. Setting the pace for our women’s teams this year has been Pavla Fialova, and it is with real regret that we saw her head home after the CompassSport Cup final. Pavla has run at elite level and put SLOW up there with the best. She helped our Women’s Open team to a very respectable 10th place in the JK relays, finished 9th on W21E at the JK and 19th at the British.

The other turn of speed injected into SLOW’s relay teams this year came in the form of Karen Jones. In the JK Karen warmed up gently for the relays by finishing overall 14th on W35L, and sent out on first leg on one of our W120+ teams, came back in the lead, 9 seconds ahead of Sarah Brown on our other W120+ team. Sarah’s team (with Di Leakey and Chris Robinson) more than made up the time, and came home to win the class over 5 minutes ahead of the next team, and Karen’s team finished 5th.

But the podium position came Karen’s way at the British, this time setting the pace for the W35 team with Madeleine Watson and Heather Walton. Karen again came in leading the field, and the team finished 3rd. With SLOW’s recent dominance in the 40+ age classes in men’s and women’s relays (Sarah, Di and Chris yet again took the British W40 trophy), it is encouraging that we are extending our relay success to the younger age classes - slowly, but I hope, surely!

Finally a word of congratulations to Di Leakey and Sarah Brown for their podium finishes in the individual events at the JK and British: two 3rd places for Di, and two 2nd places for Sarah.

Elisabeth Finch - Ladies’ Captain

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Event Reports

Thank you for these reports. I look forward to many more in the next issue. In particular, can we have reports on

  • the Saunders
  • Junior Inter-Regionals
  • JOK Chasing Sprint and Future Champions Cup Final
  • South-East Relays
  • Highland '99 / World Orienteering Championships
  • Czech Five Days
  • French Championships
  • the Capricorn

Folklore and the British, by Paul Street

(The editor has made some adjustments to this article but if anyone is upset by inaccuracies complain directly to Paul when he is next near the bar.)

The Annual British Championships Weekend of individual and club relay competitions took place in the Southern Lake District over the second weekend in May. It's a long way just for a weekend, but there was a big showing from SLOW; in fact several of us were doing it for the second time in two weeks, having been on the Kjos / Leaneys' training trip at the end of April. Such a big thing must have a report in the club magazine.

But who are you and why are you writing it, I hear some of you wonder; we've not seen your name here before? It's true I'm a new contributor. It's my third year in SLOW, which is much less than most but would have been a long while in my previous fast changing club LOK (the issue of the newsletter that announced me as a new member also said elsewhere I was the new chairman!) I started orienteering when I started getting injured too often in football about twenty years ago. This year I'm in M45 and enjoying its larger map scale. Also just at the moment I have a bit of time as I've finished working for IBM after 22 years, and am having a break from "IT". One of the things I need to do is throw out old orienteering stuff, but until then I can compare this year's SLOW veteran results with those of five years earlier, just in case there are any anoraks out there (every sport has a few.) Five years ago it was in Sussex, so folklore would expect SLOW to do worse by comparison. Southerners don't do so well in "proper" terrain you know, and besides which all the good folk from Scotland and the North will be present, as they wouldn't have been in Sussex.

My family are much better known however. I am married to Sarah Brown, who is a top W45 as well as the voice of the south-east answerphone and England veteran team manager. Together with a couple of M10s, Ralph (8) and Greg (6) we form the "Street/Brown" membership unit. My mother-in-law is Elizabeth Brown of Southdowns Orienteers, currently World Champion in W80. And perhaps most relevant to this article, my sister Sally is married to one of the planners of this year's British Individual, Ian Gilliver, lately of LOK, and now of fellow CompassSport Cup finalists Manchester and District (MDOC).

When I rang my brother-in-law with this article in mind, at 9pm Sunday night a week after the event, he was happily sorting out controls in their garage. The event was nearly cleared up! The courses had been a year in the planning. Preparing, putting out, checking, modifying (see below) and collecting the controls was a massive job. And there's all the travelling to and fro. It's a lot of effort involved and Ian has done several big ones now; fortunately he enjoys it very much. He mentioned a story from this particular event. Whilst staying in the area early on he was at a B&B which had a local map from 1780 displayed. He noticed that the area of the Championships, the Graythwaite Estate, was owned by a man with the same name as the current owner, who incidentally is a delightful and very helpful chap. It reinforces to me how, with land access such a big issue, orienteering must look after its relationships with landowners for the long term.

Graythwaite is a rough and heavily contoured forest. It's the sort of place where most of us find we can't go so quickly - 10 mins/km vs 8 mins/km for me - but the top folk don't slow down very much. It is a topnotch area with few paths and tracks but plenty of detail; it was first used last year for a World Cup race, as a result of which it has a first-class map. For several of the SLOW core it was a familiar location, if not familiar terrain, as they had organised the start for the World Cup. And with a lot of rain early on but not getting too cold it was good conditions.

The biggest scare curiously wasn't to do with parking so many cars in such a wet Spring but rather a lesson in how careful you have to be. The planners had built a control of the form intended for the event and it successfully survived the winter in Graham Nilsen's garden. Thus the design passed its test. Despite this Ian, whilst checking the controls just before the event, found a number fell off. So they had to visit every control and wire the numbers on on the morning of the event.

On Sunday the British Relays took place in several small areas of woodland around Cartmel racecourse linked by tracks and fields. Some confusion in the parking enabled large crowds to watch the first legs at close hand, and with runners in view of the spectators at several places on the course the running was very different to the previous day - under 7 mins/km on the previous measurements.

Elites & Juniors

On Friday the elite classes of M21, W21, M20, W20 had a short race on a third area. This was a competition in its own right but was also to determine start times for the classic races the following day; the faster you do the later you go. With SLOW known for the strength of its veterans, it's nice to report four SLOW results from this: our Czech member Pavla Fialova 32nd in W21E, Caroline Catmur 17th in W20E, and Tom Fry and Ed Catmur both running up, securing very good positions of 8th and 10th in M20E.

On Saturday in the junior classes Tom and Ed returned to their own class of M18 with Tom in Championship and Ed in gold, and were supplanted in M20E by Simon Evans narrowly pipping Guy Barnett. David Catmur and Matthew and Helen Walter also did well, but Michael May didn't take up his entry with his family staying in the south, dad David scarcely able to walk let alone run. Pavla and Caroline picked up to 19th and a very fine 6th respectively.

Other Seniors & Veterans

All the longer courses (W45L and longer) started in a relatively clear part of the forest, but everyone got the authentic rough stuff late on. With W55 almost entirely in this, our best-known Norwegian Annemarie Kjos was 4th. At the other end of the course lengths Vikki Robb was 39th on W21L and Susan Bright 10th on W21S. There were cracking runs from Malcolm Fisher 3rd and Tim Rogers 11th on M21L. Behind them were Jon O'Donnell 31st and David Finch 64th with Chris Owen retiring, perhaps still suffering from the training weekend back to back with business trips to the USA. Andrew Leaney, who as planner of the training had done much to wear us all out, was still nursing his ankle from an accident on the way to control one in the JK relay, and so stepped gently down into M21S coming 22nd.

W35L saw good packing from Karen Jones, Heather Walton and Madeleine Watson, finishing within five places of each other – excellent team building which was capitalised on the following day coming 3rd running as a team in the W35 relay. Kathy Haynes got her name top of the W40 results, by retiring early on, and taking increasingly longer were Diane Leakey (4th), Anne Leaney (23rd), Chris Robinson (26th) and Editor Ginny. Folklore was right as Diane was the champion five years ago. So too for Teresa Turner, 44th in W50L vs 25th five years earlier.

M35L saw Captain Peter 52nd and my erstwhile IBM colleague Jerry Watson was 23rd on M35S. Largest SLOW turnout was in M40 with Andy Jones (22nd) beating home Trevor Jones, Timo Teinila, Peter Haynes, Mal Lyon, Paul Canham and Michael Walter. This large turnout created a familiar problem in relay selection for the captain, which I gather he may be commenting on elsewhere. Suffice to say that Trevor, whose selection as last leg for the first team is automatic, for the second year running found his first task was to overtake the SLOW second team. The teams finished a useful 5th and 6th. The M35 team of Jerry, Peter and Paul Canham was 10th, with a particularly fine run from Jerry on first leg making the most of his speed despite a contact lens slipping out of place.

In M45L a fine run and from an early start in the worst of the rain too by Charlie Turner brought him 14th, one place behind Alan Leakey. Alan was running later and might have been expected to stay drier but with a vigour equalling that which got him a spectacular headwound in the international in Kent in March he managed a full length "5.9" dive into marsh. Map reading must have been a bit difficult for a time after that. Behind them but also in Championship standard were Andy Robinson 25th and Paul Street 35th, and Richard Catmur 108th. Andy and Charlie improved on five years before, Alan and Paul slipped. The relay team of Charlie, Andy and Alan were 2nd, a few minutes down on their Yorkshire rivals "AIREbrush" and a few seconds ahead of rival southern teams. M50L saw Tom Lillicrap 6th gaining one place from 5 years ago, Jim Mallinson 22nd, up nine places, and Chris Fry 81st.

And finally to the coincidental near misses. Mike Murray was 2nd in M55L, 5 seconds down on local (West Cumberland) Mike Pearson. Sarah Brown was 2nd in W45L, 71 seconds down on local (Lakeland) Beryl Offley. These margins, especially Mike's, are tiny in such a rough area - the proverbial which side of the fallen tree. Coincidentally both runners had been second five years ago to the same rivals, but had narrowed the gap. Perhaps there are limits to the folklore after all, or perhaps being in SLOW helps keep you young?

But the weekend didn't end without some wins. Sarah, with Chris and Diane in the W40 relay, and Mike, with Tom and Jim in the M50 relay, gained first places. In W40 this was a comfortable margin, and any member of the SLOW second team who came in 4th overall, Teresa, Anne and Kathy could have replaced the corresponding runner in the 1st team and SLOW would still have won. The team was running the same course at the same time as the W35 teams and had they entered that they would have won. In M50 however it was far from comfortable. Mike, running the last leg, reached the spectator control about five minutes from the finish level with Harlequins runner, M50 individual winner and England selector Andy Hemsted, and outran him by 10 seconds to the finish. No doubt this is an excellent way to get yourself noticed, well done Mike. I wonder how much the selectors believe in folklore?

5th May 1999 - Fun Relay in Richmond Park, by Paul Szarvas

Being the Wednesday before the British, this "fun" event was entered by just the two SLOW teams, though in the event the ladies ran two out of three legs due to injury to Madeleine. Various SLOW members also took part in other teams including Jeremy Denny and Alistair Irvine, and Kate Thomas came along to give us some support - and we needed it. Men were in teams of 4, women in teams of 3 and each leg simply had to run a 2.9 circuit in Richmond Park. Now the reason for the "fun" being in inverted commas is that although the entry was open to all, almost everybody else either had an athletics club shirt on or looked quite fast. We sent Dick Clark off first and he came in half-way down the field in somewhat under 20 minutes. Setting out on the second leg I was soon feeling very tired, reassuring myself with "only people with club vests have overtaken me so I must be doing alright" and coming in at 21.55. Jenny Thomas had started for the women's team, handing over to Vicky Robb. As Jenny came in to finish, she was lapped by the second leg of the leading men's team. Were we out of our depth slightly, I wondered. "Oh, don't worry about that, that was Gary Staines," said Andy, and I replied, "But he's an ex-Olympic athlete, isn't he?" and Andy responded with "Yes, that's right ... Sonia O'Sullivan's just gone out." OK, I had the measure of what we'd let ourselves in for now. Chris Owen was third leg in a time of about 20 minutes and Andy just below that. The judges looked back along the course, wondering if there was another team to come - there wasn't. Despite the tone of this report, I did enjoy it and may yet go back, though I suspect I was the slowest man there.

18th April 1999 - Butter Wood "Harris Format" Team Event, by Paul Szarvas

This relay was intended as a fun event but it attracted an excellent posse of 5 teams from SLOW. The basic relay format was that there were a total of 27 controls, of which controls 1-9 had to be visited by every member of the four-person team and each of the other 18 by any one member of the team, the first complete team finishing being declared the winner. The tricky bit was thus to determine who should visit which additional control. Three members finishing 20 minutes ahead of the fourth would probably be a disadvantage. Andy Robbo, our team captain, came up with a complicated formula along the lines of the following.

1. Everybody has to visit 9 controls, implying 4 * 9 = 36 visits.
2. Each of the other controls has to be visited once = 18 visits.
3. Divide the number of visits according to the respective abilities of the team.

This worked out as 1 or 2 additional visits for Dick Clark and myself and 7 or 8 additional visits for Timo Teinila and Andy. The race was a mass start and only once the whistle went could you see the map. Cometh the whistle and I'm looking dazy eyed at the course but Andy soon had a handle on a plan. I was duly despatched to controls 10 and 21, while Dick was assigned 17 and 23 - see map. [On the front cover.] Andy took all other controls north of the main road and Timo all those to the south. This turned out pretty optimal for our team but I will leave what we could have done better as exercise for the reader.

I started a little ahead of most people, which helped quite a lot as I progressed round the southern spine as I had plenty of people telegraphing the route. Most disappeared off to controls not on the spine and I found myself hanging on for dear life to Alan Leakey and then Andy as Alan disappeared completely. Crossing the bridge I reckoned that they were the only people definitely ahead. I then embarked on the dog leg to 21 and 10 and saw only Alan running back. So long as I could finish before him, on the basis that he was bound to have to visit additional controls, then my part in the team result would be assured, which gave me plenty of incentive to keep going despite all the gasping for breath. I sighted Dick ahead of me approaching control 6 and Andy appeared at control 8. Three in, Timo to go and he duly appeared a few minutes later to give us a win - the first team event I have ever won - and probably the last!


Springtime in Shropshire: 29–31 May 1999, by Ginny Catmur

Three badge events, all within 40 minutes of the event centre and camp site at Ludlow School: Day 1, Shobdon; Day 2, Bury Ditches, and Day 3: Titterstone Clee Hill. Shobdon, I noticed with alarm, is a Forestry Experimental Research Station. What weird trees would we encounter here? In fact, nothing to worry about from the trees, but the stinging nettles were awesome, and I still have thorns under my skin! Most memorable though was the thunder. We arrived to hazy sunshine, but finished in torrential rain, with the lightning directly overhead. (I should have run faster!) We learned that you can dry your O kit in about half an hour if you turn on the air conditioning in the car with the heating set to maximum. (However, it's not very good for the environment, and the smell is terrible!) Day 2 was memorable for a long steep climb to the start. The weather threatened, but never actually produced, a downpour. Both Days 1 and 2 suffered from brashings, brambles and nettles. What a contrast with Day 3! Completely open moorland, with close-cropped grass and intricate contour features resulting from mineral extraction. We parked in and around the quarry almost at the summit, and had the eerie sight above us (and next to us, at the red start) of radar dishes, domes and tracking aerials. A good day, culminating in the prize-giving (three winners for SLOW): Edward Catmur (M18A), Chris Fry (M50S) and Mike Murray (M55L). The trophies were delightful wooden pictures with the SinS springy control symbol (hand-made by Noël Gould).

On Saturday evening there was a quiz, in which members of SLOW came 2nd and 4th, and on Sunday evening a talk by Göran Andersson, BOF's Performance Director. Göran spoke about the 'Go for Gold' campaign, to make the British orienteering squad into the best in the world. He outlined the benefits to the ordinary orienteer of having élite athletes: all the major technical improvements in orienteering have resulted from demand by the élites (coloured maps, the 1:10,000 and 1:15,000 map scales, thumb compasses, electronic punching). Young orienteers benefit also from having élites that they can emulate. He circulated a couple of Swedish O maps ('rather different from what you have run on today', he commented), to explain why so many top British orienteers found it necessary to move to Scandinavia to improve their own standard. He talked about how we, the ordinary orienteers, could improve our own performance (other than by being born Swedish, of course): he advised us to spend time after a competition in analysing what went WELL, not what went wrong. He demonstrated the GB Squad's mascot, who is Tigger, because Tigger is always the best at anything. We should have asked if we could buy the Tigger T-shirts! There was a discussion session, in which the perennial question of how to attract, and keep, talented juniors was raised. This was a valuable evening, and we were very lucky to have Göran there to talk to us.

So a good weekend overall: Ludlow School makes a good event centre, with ample space for camping, and use of toilets, showers and cafeteria; the swimming pool of the South Shropshire Leisure Centre, on the same site, was a great attraction. But I think we deserved better weather!

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Letter to the Editor

I have been actively admiring 'Ginny's Jottings' and 'Midge's Mutterings' but as I readily read your newsworthy newsletter, I find the alliterative allusions jarringly jilted (jolted?) by 'Pete's Report'. What is to be done? Are the overpowering odes of our captain courageous to be uniformly understated by the non-tidy title in future forthcomings? 'Pete's Prose'? 'Pete's Palpitations'?

Yours Yearningly,

The Anonymous Anarchic

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Junior Matters

In addition to their successes in the JK, British and the CompassSport Cup Final (reported elsewhere), our Juniors were involved in the planning and organisation of the JK Training Day at Redlands (including selling lots of recycled-map notebooks and notepads for their funds)!

Tom Fry and Edward Catmur have been selected for BOF Summer Tours: Tom on the U20 'A' tour to Scandinavia, and Edward on the U20 'B' tour to Scotland. Well done.

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Lost property

Left behind in the SLOW tent at the British Relays - a pair of tracksters. Chris Fry has them. Also: a rather faded SLOW top, short-sleeved, left in Guy Barnett's car after the CompassSport Cup Final. Please claim from Ginny Catmur.

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A Letter from Pavla

Thank you!

After a year of au-pairing and orienteering in England, I'm returning to the Czech Republic. I'm really glad I could join your club. To orienteer in England was very exciting and good fun. I learned some new ways of organising orienteering events. These are slightly different from the way we organise O-events in the Czech Republic. I was particularly impressed by colour-coded events. We don't have anything like this. They look relatively easy to organise and the courses themselves are no worse for the competitor than courses on pre-printed maps at badge events, which are more convenient for the competitor, but that's all.

I'd like to thank all the people who helped me in some way throughout the year. Special thanks go to the Catmur family who gave me support and hospitality, not only in orienteering. I don't know what I would have done without them! [We are equally grateful to Pavla for her generous friendship. – The Catmur family.]

Whenever you want to come to the Czech Republic for orienteering events and want to learn more details about them you can contact me and I'll do my best to help you. Pavla Fialová can be contacted via Ginny Catmur.

When I get back to University in about the middle of September you'll also be able to contact me via the Internet. Ask Ginny Catmur for my e-mail address.

Good luck, and best orienteering results to all of you,


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SENiLe results - 1998/99

There were seven events in the SENiLe (South-East Night League) this year. From the full results we publish the top five plus all SLOW members in the top fifty. Points after seven events; best four counting.



Best 4

































































































































































































1998/99 Events: 1. Trent Park; 2. Ranmore Common; 3. Thorndon South; 4. Broadstone Warren; 5. Hindhead Common; 6. Redlands; 7 Knole Park

H - includes helper points

Compiled by Keith Tonkin, Guildford Orienteers

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Copy date for Issue 125 (August 1999) will be Wed. 11th Aug. Letters, event reports, articles, cartoons, gossip, scandal, notices, small ads, court circulars, births, deaths and marriages should be posted to Ginny Catmur (address above); electronic copies via e-mail or on 3¼" disk are particularly welcome.

The current SLOW e-mail directory can be accessed by sending an e-mail to with the subject line "slow request"; your own e-mail address will be added and you will receive the latest version.

New Members: If you are new to SLOW, you may not know about

... Training: Tues. eve. (7.15 pm) training open to all, of all standards: alternate Tuesdays at the clubhouse (Thames Hare and Hounds, Richard Evans Memorial Playing Fields, Kingston Vale); 9 pm at the Duke of Cambridge, 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.

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Comments to the Webmaster Andrew Leaney