Co Chairmans Chat 21 May

Posted on Mon, 20th May 2019 by Jason Falconer
Club News, Event Reports

In case you didnt know its been World Orienteering day which is actually a week. Ive organised 2 things for this, a Session at Hincheslea woods for 4th Sway Cubs and another one of the series at St James Primary School Pokesdown. New Forest teaching is always a pleasure and the area was perfect for the group, giving an introduction and some paired control finding. It also allowed me to enter a competition raffle to win a set of S.I kit to use, Hope I win!! As ‘they’ always say, got to be in it to win it.


Quiet weekend locally I was manning the commentary on the mic and playing music at the Youth Track Cycling Omnium in Slades Park Saturday, a good day for grassroots cycle racing. We have an openday for the new Pavilion at Slades on the 27th, with an updated Orienteering map which you can run on, if youve never checked out the first outdoor banked track 250 metre track in the U.K, do come down from 11 A.M
Onto the events- members travelled to a couple of areas to compete . Southdowns held a regional weekend on Saturday at Arundel an Urban, then Angmering on Sunday a delightful bit of Sussex. Julie Astin ran in course 2 and came 40/56, also  Tim Houlder went over to run in the semi-mature Beech forest sunday on Blue. Roger Thetford of TVOC got the first, Tim coming 23/ 49 on the blue. Look forward to seeing these maps tonight after Tuesday Trail Running.  I reckon Roger T.has so many beautiful Beech Forests in the Chiltern Hills he had the advantage there, very skillful running on loads of hill slopes.

Over in Devon Jolyon reports

“This weekend we opted for camping in Devon, taking in one of QO’s tough forest league events at Blackborough Forest near Honiton, followed by DEVON’s South-west middle distance championships at Braunton Burrows. The Blackborough courses were centred on a triangular plateau of felled forestry and dense bramble, surrounded by steep wooded escarpment littered with depressions, thickets and platforms. Many of the courses required large amounts of path running, only to dive off in search of depressions and gullies in and amongst the bramble and bracken. The main challenge knowing when to leave the path, and having found a series of depressions, knowing which one had a control in. Consequently, big mistakes were made by many runners, although we managed three top 5 positions on the blue, green and yellow despite not having clean runs. These events in the Blackdown hills are always worth a visit but for a local event these events are challenging.

Sunday was a return to Braunton Burrows. This vast network of sand dunes is the ultimate test for both navigation and eyesight and staying map contact is the key. We are blessed in the southwest for having many sand dune venues for orienteering, and we get to enjoy them at JK 2021 with three days in Cornish dunes. Sand dune maps need careful interpretation for the ups and downs and there is no shortage of control sites as there are many thousands of small depressions, which are often covered in patches of bramble, gorse and burnet rose, all with unforgiving spines. You can be standing within a few metres of a control and not see it, and ascending dunes can be steep and tiring. The dunes also create their own hot microclimate, which in summer can be unforgiving. Getting lost in this habitat, or a slight incorrect bearing to another mass of sand can cause very costly errors. On my course I got completely lost at one point, and only re-gathered my location by climbing up a dune and peering meerkat like to re-locate by large patches of dense vegetation. The courses were tough for everyone, even for Esk. However at one point I was able to run along the dunes overlooking the sea and the surf in the sunshine and there can be few better things to be doing on a Sunday morning. Although the day was heavily under-subscribed considering the premier league status of the venue, we did come away as the W10, W14 and M45 middle distance SW champions [note Rebecca didn’t do Braunton, although turning up and completing would have earned her a similar accolade]. Combined with two nights of camping, it made a for a great weekend. ”

Thanks for that write up Jolyon, nice 2nd and 5th for you and Lyra saturday, 3rd for Esk, Hope Rebecca isnt too upset by her own daughter going faster!

Sunday looked even better with the family firsts racking up, well done to Rob Hick who also went along too.

Tuesday training tommorrow is Medium Hills, great time to get along and put in an effort, check the maps after and share stories from the outdoors.

Dont forget the Canford Heath Urban on June 08th, please get your Fabian4 entries in and promote this to all, theres family courses and we hope to see lots of the Haymoor and Baden Powell Juniors who recently competed in the Dorset Schools champs along to try Urban racing. Thanks! Jason