Night League Commentary 2013-2014

Posted on Wed, 30th April 2014 by Ian Sayer
Club News, Event Reports

Wessex Night League – Final Results

Congratulations to the winners: Jane Morgan of SOC and Chris Branford of WIM.

What a fantastic night season we have had. Not too many disruptions despite the weather and a nail biting competition all the way through. Jane has won at the first time of trying and Chris is a previous winner. The handicap competition will always favour those ‘good for age’ competitors and in Jane and Chris we have two of the best in the country.

With that in mind we introduced the ‘non handicap’ league this year to give the M21s something to aim for. The winner this year being M50 Dale Paget!!!. Tim Morgan would probably have won if he had attended enough events.

Participation has been particularly good and is building year on year. I have not included ‘Ind’ competitors this year and we are just two shy of 100 competitors – something to aim for next year. We have a full calendar of 15 races lined up including Salisbury City and Lyndhurst. Meanwhile let’s look forward to the summer. Gavin


1st Jane Morgan SOC
2nd Julie Astin WSX
3rd Charlotte Thornton SARUM


1st Chris Branford WIM
2nd Dale Paget WSX
3rd Gavin Clegg WSX

Non Handicap

1st Dale Paget WSX
2nd Jamie Hicks SOC
3rd Andy Snell SARUM

Read on to see how the season unfolded…

Sat 9th Nov, Downton

All change after the Sarum event on 9th November. Heading the league is Rob Hick of Wessex, closely followed by Nigel Benham and Andy Snell both of Sarum. Leading Lady is Jane Morgan from Southampton in 4th place overall. Son Tim is in 7th place.

Sat 16th Nov, Basingstoke

Gavin Clegg WSX now heads the league with Carolyn Dent SARUM first lady and 4th overall. The 23rd Nov race has been cancelled (but may be replaced later in the season), so the next event is on December 2nd at Parkstone Grammar School, Poole. Gavin wont score in that one so there is likely to be more change at the top after that race.

Sat 23rd Nov, Port Regis
Mon 2nd Dec, Hillbourne

All change following the 5th race at Hillbourne. Chris Branford of Wim now tops the chart with Carolyn Dent of Sarum a close second heading the ladies. Ian Sayer and Rob Hick are 3rd and 4th. Becca Ellis after her best performance of the series to date moves into the top 10. Amongst the family contingents parents are just on top; Nigel Benham is heading Jack, Jane Morgan heading Tim, Colin Hicks is ahead of the injured Jamie , however Harry Butt in 12th place is just managing to hold off father Jeff in 13th.

Sat 7th Dec, Wareham, Results by Class or Course
Mon 6th Jan, Poole Town 

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.

Sat 18th Jan, Hurn Forest 

What could have turned into a compete washout had hardly a spot of rain, although it was rather wet underfoot. Thanks to Chris Branford for a variation to the normal score event. It worked very well. Very little change at the top of the order. but as the current leaders hit their 6 scores those below the top 10 are making big strides up the table. Gavin moves up 8 places to 8th, Becca up 4 places to 10th, Charlotte and Dale both up 9 places to 11th and 12th respectively. 5 races within a month coming up so expect to see a lot of movement in the table. A key race could be the reinstated Port Regis race on 22 Feb as this coincides with the British Night Championships and will see some of the top scorers absent.

Thurs 30th Jan, Marchwood 

Ninth race done and six to go. With more people now doing their sixth race or more, changes are slowing down. Jane Morgan now heads the table. Son Tim was one of the highest movers going from 17th to 11th after another win at Marchwood. However due to the age weighted handicap he needs to win by an even greater margin to make much more progress. If Tim finishes in the top ten that would be a very impressive performance. Both Jamie Hick and Andy Snell are up 4 and Charlotte Thornton making a move up 3.

Sat 1st Feb Rockford
Mon 3rd Feb, Wimborne Town 

Looks like the Women are taking over the world! An superb turnout for the Wimborne race, usual rules with a little Branford twist to keep the fast guys happy, but it is the ladies who profited. Jane still in the lead, Julia Astin 2nd, Charlotte Thornton moves up four to 3rd and Carolyn Dent 4th. Chris Branford and Ian Sayer are hanging in there for the guys. Dale Paget enters the top 10 in 9th. The forest night at Vernditch this weekend might shake things up a bit.

Sat 8th Feb Vernditch
Sat 15th Feb, Upton 

With just three races left it looks like the league it will be going down to the wire before we know the winners. A small contingent turned out at Upton House for what was one of the best evenings of the series, very still, cool with a spectacularly clear sky. However what with the winds of the previous night and the Compass Sport Competition the following day, participation was always going to be low. So thanks to Tim Houlder for putting on the event. Main mover in the league was Dale Paget who has gone up to 4th. It has been agreed to run a parallel ‘non handicap’ league as well to encourage the youngsters and M21s who are highly unlikely ever to win the handicap league. Its produced an interesting list. I would add that it wasn’t my idea!

Sat 22nd Feb, Port Regis 

Following Port Regis Jane Morgan still remains top but everyone is queuing up behind. Most significant challenge is coming from Dale Paget. The second chart shows a ‘non handicap without organiser points’ league with Dale heading that. However if Tim Morgan in 4th were to win one of the final two races then the non handicap title is likely to go to him.

Mon 3rd Mar, Brownsea 

With just the one race left in what has been an excellent series of races, things are starting to look a little clearer on who’s going to end at the top of the pile. Jane Morgan has a reasonably secure position at the top of the table but can still be overhauled by Julie Astin, Chris Branford or Caroline Dent. Caroline needs to score 493 handicap points, Chris 410 and Julie 379 at Southampton on Saturday. Chris has won the male title and can’t be caught. Things are slightly more clear-cut on the non-handicap league. Dale is currently leading and the only person that can stop him is Tim Morgan. Tim needs to score 500 points with Dale scoring less that 470 otherwise the title is Dales. Trophies will be presented at the Wim social on Saturday 26th April.

Sat 8th Mar, Pear Tree Green 

Jason Falconer collected all controls in 53.00 minutes. However the event was using proximity emit and he wandered too close to the start box when on the way to download and erased his emit. For the league Jason will be inserted as having completed all in 53 minutes. Gavin

Check the organising clubs website using the links above for further details.

Orienteering Club