SLOW Frolics - Ham Lands - 26 June 2011

Event Summary

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Thanks to you for coming, and I hope you enjoyed it. We enjoyed the company of several orienteers from distant clubs such as Airienteers of Yorkshire (Ruth Ker, who won after handicap, and son Sam Brown), Eco-Sport of Romania (Alex Fozocos) and Garingal of New South Wales (Ross Barr.) At the start Ross said the bright and hot sun we were enjoying seemed to be in completely the wrong direction, but it seems he coped.

Thanks too to Sarah for non-stop help and Andy Robinson for taking on the organisation.

The main show was the Frolics course, one of the few occasions when everyone runs the same course: I hope you found someone interesting to compare post-race thoughts with. You will probably do harder technical difficulty 4 courses, but I hope it was a fair challenge for a nice sunny summer's day. I was pleased to see the course won in 22 minutes, which was the intention to allow the handicaps to unfold in a reasonable way.

Maybe a few comments on the (pre-handicap) results might be in order, based on the split times.

The quickest women, Ruth Ker and South London's Helen Gardner, were 6th and 7th, with a 10 second margin in Ruth's favour. Helen was closing over the last few controls, including a fastest leg of the whole field to control 15, but had lost a minute or so at number 13 (embankment top) and couldn't quite get that back.

The race was won by South London's Ed Catmur. He was the highest ranked competitor in the field, and as befits his elite standard he looks to have lost only a very little time, maybe 10secs on each of #10 (the one by the road when leaving the houses) and #12 (the thicket after the long leg to the west.) For anyone looking back you could do worse than compare the ratio of your times to Ed's.

Note that Ed didn't take the lead until control 8: he wasn't the fastest on any of the first 5 legs, but was then fastest on 14 of the remaining 19.

Chris Young of Happy Herts, one of the south-east's best juniors, led the race at controls 1, 2, 5 and 6. By his standards he then lost quite a lot of time to control 7, the longer leg back north in the houses.

Sam Brown, wearing a Newcastle University Orienteering top, was in the lead at 3, 4 and 5, but slowed after that.

Dan Findlay-Robinson of South London took the lead at 7, before surrendering it to his frequent training partner Ed. It would have been close between them thereafter had it not been for two controls, one each side of the road: numbers 8 (east hedge, west side) and 13 (embankment top) - at both of these Dan looks to have lost significant time.

Finally perhaps the most interesting comparisons are were clubmates tie: South London's Anja Stratford and Pete Huzan tied and London OK's Duncan Minty and Ronan Cleary did too. Duncan and Ronan were never more than half a minute apart, with the biggest percentage difference being Duncan's 25% quicker run-in. I'm afraid however that Anja and Pete whilst moving at virtually the samespeed most of the time needed large compensating errors on adjacent controls in the south-west of the map to get their tie.

Paul Street Planner.