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Free Adventure Running Challenge - POCNAV
POCNAV Update for 10th September by Becca Ellis
Firstly, apologies as I have not been very prompt about updating this over the last month or so. Fantastic to see even more people taking part. Remember, you can do any of them any time so even if you haven’t started yet, there’s still time so why not challenge yourself; Read full article...

-------------------- Recent WSX Event(s) --------------------
Dorset Delight - Wareham Forest, 25th October 2015 Results

Wessex Night League - Kings & Queens Parks, Monday 5th October 2015 Results

Planner's Notes

It was good to finally see all of the dedicated orienteers walking in our venue with anticipation and to set you off on a course with a map that was the fruit of many hours of mapping and planning. I was really hoping to be able to showcase it to more people, but alas, the weather deterred quite a few people (even though I did promise that the rain will stop in time for the Night League - and it just about did), and some have had the misfortune of getting caught up in the queues caused by the accident near Ringwood. Still, it looked like those who came did enjoy the event.
Let me share some of the thoughts behind the planning process.

The original intention was simply to use a two-sided map - Queens Park on one side and the existing Kings Park on the other. I was actually keen to link the two, and extend the area to be able to include both underpasses - this increased the options and route choices for runners massively. It also gave us a large enough area that allows for the full hours score course to be ran without having to use odds/evens and so you all wouldn't have to double back or run in the same area twice. I think it was a good choice - but it also brought along with it a large number of mapping challenges, hugely updating the Queens Park map based on the experiences from the previous score event, updating outdated areas from Kings Park, of course mapping the whole new areas including the cricket grounds, the school and hospital areas, and starting to harmonise what were all legitimate but differing mapping decisions in 3 previously separate maps so it makes sense on a single map. There were also a lot of compromises we had to take because of the unique mixed nature of the area - in a lot of places using the sprint symbol set would have made more sense, but then again in the golf course areas it would not have worked that well. We may revisit that decision in the future based on the experiences we just had. In any case, based on the feedback we ended up with a decent map that provided you with much more enjoyment than to allow the few niggles to detract.

In terms of the score course, I designed it to be on the limit, and from your scores I believe I have achieved it. I think it would have been just about possible to collect all controls if we had a spotless run from a top runner from the nearby clubs (Gavin, by his own admission, could have gotten all but 1 if there weren't some hick-ups in his run). I wanted to make sure the most of you had to make a choice though - and you could choose to collect a lot of points by pure running (hence high value points at the edges) or go for the more intricate and mind exercises of the control clusters that were relatively closer. It was always expected that the winner would have to try and master both of those aspects - as it proved to be the case in the end. You all seemed to have liked the idea of the control clusters, it seemed to have generated a lot of discussions in the end, with many of you making mistakes! Part of the purpose was to help you practice control description reading for the big events, and I think most of you now are more confident in your ability to do so. This is a good result that goes beyond this one event. I do need to explain that 126, which was the NW side of the northernmost knoll was probably not as distinct as originally planned - this is because the knoll (or heap of dirt) I originally planned to use was removed less than a week prior to the event, when the maps and control descriptions were all printed. This backup location still matched the description, but was perhaps more enticingly close to the other (penalty point bearing) control than I originally wanted.

Congratulations to everyone who came and competed, I hope you all enjoyed it!

As a final note, some of you have left a pair of VJ Falcon O-Shoes, and an orange reflective vest - let us know if it is yours.

Launch event for new Holton Lee POC Saturday 19th September Results
-------------------- Next Scheduled WSX Event(s) --------------------
Wessex Night League at Boscombe Chine & Gardens on Monday 7th December Details
-------------------- Latest News --------------------
Wessex Night League - 2015/2016 Programme available here...
Dorset Coast Path Relay

Saturday 28th June 2014 saw a dozen club members play their part in the last Dorset Coast Path Relay, along with about 40 other runners from WIM, SOC, BOK, Sarum and the South West Junior Squad. It was an excellent day, especially as we had time in between our contributions to have a leisurely late-morning drink and a snack at the wonderful Egg Cup Cafe, near the village of Swyre in West Dorset. The weather was perfect as well - not too hot, and with a gentle breeze blowing most of the time. Unfortunately, we failed to complete the run in under 8 hours, but everyone played their part magnificently and the day ended, as per tradition, at the Bankes Arms, Studland where Jon Brooke joined us for a pint - it was great to see him out of hospital, if only for a short while.

A big thank you goes to Chris Branford for co-ordinating the teams and for Gavin to get our team sorted in the right places at the right times!

News: 23/04/2014: A number of members had a great weekend in South Wales at the weekend and, in spite of some awful weather on Sunday, and some very complex moorland terrain, put in some creditable results. The most notable of these was Richard Arman who won M85, with our old friend Andrew Beldowski coming third. These two also came 2nd and 1st respectively in the Sprint event at Swansea University on Friday. Gavin Clegg also came 5th/125 in M55.

Note must also be made of Yvette Paget who competed on 3 days on complex Orange courses, with very few linear features or footpaths.

Well done to all those who competed - photos will be on the website in due course.

JK Relays Monday 21 April – Gavin Clegg (below) waiting in the changeover pen for Ian Sayer to arrive and clearly he was going to be coming from a completely different direction to everyone else! Photo by Andrew Beldowski.


News: 15/04/2014: M55 John Cook (pictured right) did a fantastic time of 03:05:02 in the London Marathon on Sunday. His time placing him 23rd over 55 in the country! Well done John.

And while John was pounding the streets of London, some club members went to the BOK Trot in the Forest of Dean. The going was a bit rough, apparently, but that didn't stop Gavin coming 4th/70 on the Blue, and Jason 6th/30 on the Brown.


News: 05/03/2014: The Long Disance walkers association ran a marathon on Sunday 2nd March in which three Wessex club members and some SOC orienteers took part. The venue was our own lovely back garden of the New Forest. Click here for Jason's account of the event.


News: 11/02/2014

Another lovely day Sunday saw a few of us at TVOC’s Chiltern Challenge, near Nettlebed. Red Kite country and plenty of these magnificent birds around. It was a beautiful, runnable, Beech Forest area. Terrain of this type contains large areas of open forest with tall mature trees, which means sites used for controls are often earth features, pits, valleys, banks and lend a technical navigation challenge for competitors, as it should be for a regional (South Central) championship event. The outstanding result of the day was that of Jason Falconer who came first on the Blue course with a storming run. He was on a 'high' all the way home in the car!

News: 03/02/2014

A good turnout on Thursday 30th January at Marchwood for the 9th instalment of this winter’s Night League. Jason 6th, Gavin 10th, Ian 15th, Rob 16th, Julie 23rd and Kay 30th. For all the results and current league standings click on the Night League tab. No one from Wessex made it to the Quantock Galoppen possibly put off by the floods (photo shows Burrow Bridge on the Somerset Levels at high tide yesterday). Four hardy souls went to Blackheath and Farley: On the Blue Ian was 42nd out of 95. On the Green, Julie 17th and Joff 27th out of 70 and on the Short Green Kay 31st.


News: 28/01/2014

A somewhat soggy event at Star Posts near Bracknell on Sunday for the Southern Championships. Good courses and a runnable forest, lots of rhododendron bushes, some of which were not particularly well mapped which didn’t help. Podium places for Richard Arman 1st and Southern Champion in M85, 2nd for Gavin Clegg and Chris Brown in M55 and W70s and 3rd for Julie Astin in W60. If the rain doesn’t stop soon we will have to consider, Canoe O or Swim O! Photo show Bill Brown and Gavin Avey-Hebditch both looking rather damp.

Also *Stop Press* the date for this years Coast Path Relay is Saturday 28 June. Please ensure you are available for what is a great day out. Rumour has it Daniel Whapples will be co-ordinating the team this year. Six teams have already expressed an interest in competing: SW Junior Squad, Sarum, Axe Valley Runners, BOK, SOC and Wessex. Details can be found on the DCPR website.

News: 20/01/2014 - Plenty to keep you amused over the weekend with WIM putting on their 3 in 1 at Hurn on Saturday and a South West League race near Marlborough on Sunday. Some hardy bikers turned up the MTBO Saturday morning and a good turnout for the afternoons Informal saw 14 Wessex runners brave the elements, with Sheila Gold 2nd on the Orange. 6 of us competed in the Night League and although rain threatened it never materialised. It was wet underfoot though. Check the night league tab for the results. 10 of us attended the South West Galoppen at West Woods near Marlborough on a lovely day in a superb chalk / beech forest.
News: 13/01/2014 - Excellent club turnout at Ocknells with 16 out of the 200+ runners. Best result of the day being Tim Houlder in 3rd place on Green. Gavin and Jason had a real tussle on the Blue with Gavin 3 seconds behind at the last control. But with the absolute fastest split of the day on the run in ended up beating Jason by 2 seconds. Yet another example of 'seconds count'! They ended up 4th and 5th respectively out of the 77 on that course, click picture for blue course.

News: 07/01/2014 - An excellent turnout at the Poole Town Urban. Somewhat breezy but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Thanks to all those that made the effort on what could have been a very nasty night and I hope your journeys home were safe. Thanks also to the fantastic band of Guys and Girls from Wessex OC who helped out on the night. Without these ‘volunteers’ our events wouldn’t take place.

No change at the very top of the order, but the ladies are making a move with Lyn Branford, Jane Morgan and Julie Astin all moving up. Jason Falconer and Andy Snell have moved up into the top 10. Tim Morgan had a fantastic run on the night to take the win, taking a unique route – was this the optimum route? Apologies for control 21 (61) which was on the edge of the circle. If you feel you lost time on this control and it has affected your points then let me know and I will make an adjustment.

Gavin. (Photos of the Twin Sails Bridge by courtesy Chris Branford, WIM.)

News: 30/12/2013 - The OK Nuts Trophy and Blood Races, Hankley Common and Elstead Heath. On a bright and frosty Sunday morning Jason Falconer and Gavin Clegg ventured forth for the OK Nuts Blood races near Liphook. Both opting for the 11.4k ‘Half Blood’ race (as opposed to the 15k ‘Full Blood’ or 6.9k ‘Almost an Armful’). Jason was 11th overall in 69.40 and 1st M40, Gavin 19th in 73.41 and 2nd M55. The event attracted over 350 runners. Video

News: 17/12/2013 - Saturday 14th December saw the annual WSX/WIM/Sarum minibus trip to Brighton for the City Race. A chance for sightseeing or retail in the afternoon with the mass start race at 6.30pm. There were some great results amongst the minibus passengers:

1st Sue Hands (WIM) Womens Ultra Vets, Gavin Clegg Mens Super Vets, 2nd Chris Branford (WIM) Mens Ultra Vet, 3rd Charlotte Thornton (Sarum) Womens Ultra Vets, Julie Astin Womens Super Vets, Dale Paget Mens Vets, 4th Carolyn Dent (Sarum) Womens Vets, Ian Sayer Mens Super vets, 5th Becca Ellis (WIM) Womens Open, Kay Sayer Womens Ultra Vets.

Full results and Photos available on the Southdowns Orienteers web site.
News: 09/12/2013 - Julie Astin became W60 Southern Night Champion with a great run at Gore Heath over the weekend. Guillaume Paget won the Lt Green at Busketts Lawn on Sunday and rumour has it Gavin has a broken toe and will be out of action for a few weeks.

New Permanent Course at Slades Farm Launched

Saturday 30th November saw the launch of the new Permanent Course at Slades Farm, near Bournemouth University. All those who attended had a great time, the weather was good as well! (Results) The Permanent Course is open to everyone so do have a go. Click the link for further details.

L-R Jason Falconer, who produced the permanent course, Nicola & Arthur Brooke starting their course and Roger Crickmore & Rob Hick having just completed their runs.

Rempstone Roast Duathlon

With no local orienteering this weekend, Tina Stratford, Helen Dyke and Gavin Clegg took part in the Rempstone Roast duathlon. Based at Burnbake the assembly, start and transition were very familiar. The race consisted of a 2 mile run, 10 mile bike and the 2 mile run again to finish, all off road. Tina came 56th overall in 1.25.20, being 10th lady and 4th FV40. Helen came 11th overall and first female, in 1.01.22, in the process breaking the female record. Gavin was 13th overall and 1st MV55 in 1.02.33, breaking the MV55 record.


National Rankings

As expected following the successful Dorset Delight at Agglestone & Newton Heath 17th November, big movements on the National Ranking list for some:

Tim Houlder up 124 places, Roy Morgan +224, Sarah Houlder +256, Peter Keene +347, Laura Wilcox +354, Fran Biggin +578 & Roger Crickmore +730. Best movement though was Frida Forshallen up 1212 places, overtaking Tim Houlder. She now has Rob Hick in her sights!


Agglestone photographs supplied by Jon Brooke (Click pic for full version)

WSX Club Championship at the November Classic - November 3rd - New Copse & Perrywood

Another bright day saw many of us at the SOC November Classic in the New Forest (and what a contrast with last year's event!) Most missed the rain, I think. The most outstanding result was for Bill Brown who won the M75 class. Well done Bill. Gavin was 2nd in his (M55) and John Cook also had a cracking run, finishing only 2 minutes behind Gavin. Arthur Brooke also had a very good run, coming 4th in the M10 class.

As this was also our Club Championship event, there was a lot at stake! I was sure I had blown my chances of retaining the Ladies Championship, having made a real mess of one control - but was gobsmacked to hear later that evening that I HAD in fact won it again, my near rivals having also made an error or two. Kay Sayer came a close second, with Zoe Paget third.

Gavin also retained the Men's Championship, with John Cook coming a close 2nd and Bill Brown third. The full results will be going in the next newsletter. Well done everyone.

Julie Astin

The Summer League results table has now been updated following the Sturminster Newton event on 1st July and is available here.

Clean sweep for Wessex

With success at the Devon Relay 21st July, Wessex O. C. completed a clean sweep of all relay trophies in the SWOA Chairman's summer relay series. Winning team below, (L-R) Dale Paget, John Cook and Gavin Clegg.

NWO Relay Success
The winning Wessex Raiders Team at the NWO relays held on 29th June at Coate Park Swindon.
L to R Dale Paget, Ken Stimson (Chairman of NWO), Gavin Clegg, John Cook.
Wessex also had the second team home of Ian Sayer and Roger & James Crickmore.
The Wessex juggernaut keeps rolling along...
Wessex Raiders won the Furrow Hoppers Relay, the second race in the summer series. They were ably assisted by Wessex Marauders who pushed other teams down the order. So all six relay trophies remain in Wessex hands. For full results see the Wimborne website.
Pictured left, Andy French, Wimborne Chairman presented the Furrow Hoppers Trophy to the Wessex Raiders; Kay Sayer, Gavin Clegg, Ian Sayer and Dale Paget. John Cook (not pictured) was unable to attend the prize giving. Pictured right, Wessex Marauders; Rob Hick, Tina Stratford, Tim Houlder, Julie Astin and Eric Whapples.
More Wessex success at Adams Avery Relays
The winning Wessex Raiders team at the Adams Avery Relays, the first in the summer relay series, on Sunday 16 June.
(l-r) Frida Forshallen, Gavin Clegg and Dale Paget. Having won the last 5 relays last year, it means Wessex are in the unique position of having all six trophies in their possession.

Wessex success at Southern Championships

Julie Astin took first place and the W60 Trophy at the Southern Championships held on a damp and windy Penhale yesterday (Sunday 14th April). For those of you who haven’t experienced Penhale, it is one of the jewels in the South Wests crown, being amazingly technical and pretty fast. Check out the maps at the next Club night. Julie has been coming along to the Tuesday sessions at Bournmouth Uni, they are obviously paying dividends! So very well done Julie.


Wessex at JK 2013 - The Chilterns, March 29th - April 1st

Well, we had a great weekend at the JKs in spite of the cold. Our most notable results were:
Gavin Clegg 1st M55 Sprint
Gavin Clegg 9th M55L
Ian Sayer 18th M60L
Richard Arman 4th M80

Bill Brown actually came 4th on Day 3, but hadn't entered Day 2, so it didn't count overall.

Regarding the relays, our top men's team (Dale Paget, Gavin and Jon Brooke) came a creditable 14th, out of 57 teams.
Note must also be made of our Mini Relay Team - Agnes and Arthur Brooke and Yvette Paget - who ran well and came 13th. A top team of the future?!

Click On images to see full version.

All images by courtesy of
Mark Lockett


Also at JK 2013, Julie Astin grabs the opportunity to catch up with Charlotte Thornton (SARUM) and present her with the Wessex Night League Ladies Trophy.

Kings Garn Gutter

Well done to all those who turned out on Sunday (17th March) in the horrible weather to compete at Kings Garn Gutter for our 2012 Club Championships.

Ian Sayer has already circulated the results to most people. However, congratulations go to Gavin Clegg for winning the Men's Captain's Trophy and to Julie Astin for winning the Lady's Sheila Beldowska Trophy!

Presentations for these trophies will be made after the Poole Town Race on June 1st when we are having a Club Social in the Blue Boar. More details to follow in due course.


Gavin Clegg receives the Men's Wessex Night League Trophy, presented by Andy French (WIM Chairman) at the recent annual WSX/WIM Dinner.