Co-Chairman’s Chat, June 6th

Posted on Sat, 6th June 2020 by Julie Astin

Well, it’s been a long time hasn’t it? I hope you’ve all been managing without our wonderful sport. Although ‘proper’ orienteering hasn’t been taking place in the UK, many people have been busy setting up alternative options, including Virtual Orienteering using Street Map, Catching Features and other software. I discovered I have less patience than I thought and didn’t persevere with the various tasks that were set! However, there are now an increasing number of MapRun courses which both WIM and WSX have been setting up – the latest being Poole Town which was uploaded today. Alan Blanchflower also emailed recently about the Upton MapRun challenge which replaces the planned club night on the 8th. It’d be great if lots of you could have a go and we can compare results. All the maps can be printed by going to the ‘Training and MapRun’ page on our website (under the ‘Events and MapRun’ menu). Jolyon is currently putting the final touches to our first non-urban event out at Greenberry (Holmsley) which sounds like it’s going to be a real challenge, even for our top runners.

Chris Branford of WIM has recently set up a Postbox Challenge for Blandford Forum, using the Open Orienteering Map format – basically, all the controls are post boxes, so easy to spot! This might be another option that we could set up for our urban maps. I’m also keen to see if we can create MapRuns based on some of our POC courses. If it is possible, then we’d be able to see exactly who’s using these areas. It’s worth a try.

So what’s happening to ‘proper’ orienteering? Well, there’s been a lot of discussion about how we can resume the sport safely and BOF has recently put out an email on their latest thinking on this matter. If you’re a BOF member you should have received it. And there’s a webinar lined up if people wish to contribute their thoughts on the matter this coming Tuesday (9th).

We’re not planning, at the moment, to hold any of our summer events but this may change as things become clearer. What IS clear is that the intended “Caddihoe Festival” in early October, which WIM and WSX were co-organising,  will not be taking place in its original format. We will be unable to put on Championship-level events nor have the social aspects which we were hoping for. We are, however, still hoping to put on a weekend of lower-key events at another location in the New Forest – and calling it the ‘Return to the Forest’ weekend. We are also hoping that we can hold the intended Caddihoe Festival next year instead, but are awaiting a response from Devon OC who had been allocated this event.

So, there’s a lot to look forward to – even though it might not be quite as we had intended. 

Keep safe and keep sane.

Orienteering Club