There has been plenty of orienteering to keep us busy over the last few weeks. Starting with a local SOC event on a very wet day at Southampton Outdoor centre on 8th January, where there were good results for Tim on the Green, with Scott making the top half and also good to see Gavin A-H orienteering in WSX country. The following day, a few of us were at a Quantock event in the Blackdowns at Buckland, with Lyra now running up on the blue course (finishing top 10, behind some fast men and a former British Women’s champion) and Esk having a go with me at (and winning by 9 mins) a short green. It was very muddy underfoot, and the woodland was more tropical jungle than runnable forest.
The following weekend, folk went either to the SW league event at West Woods near Marlborough or over to a National event at Chelwood, in Sussex. The sun finally appeared, and the best results at West Woods were Ian and Scott on Green and Gavin on blue. Over in Chelwood there were top 5 positions for Lyra on blue and Esk on light green, with their old man in the top 10 on short brown. Don’t forget that there is a SW league with scores produced after each of the nine events. We don’t have many members near the top of the league, but then few have travelled to the events, however there are 3 remaining events, including this weekend at Ocknell, then our event at Agglestone.
In between the weekends, there have been two night league events. Firstly a cold moonlit evening in the darkness of Farley Mount Country Park. It’s always great to take part in forest night orienteering, particularly to the sound of hooting owls. The low numbers of competitors makes for a surreal experience and for the most part I hardly came across anyone. Sequencing is always the key, and making sure the big scoring controls are collected without the mad dash to the finish and the very painful bonus points when you turn up to the finish late. Out of a turnout of 32, 14 of the crazy folk were from WSX with Jolyon, Jon, Alan and Jason in the top 10. A big shout out to Martin who had trouble with bad traffic and a flat tyre, and still managed to run around the wood.
This week we had our Wareham night event, planned by Jon (thanks!). It was another cold, moonlit night, accompanied not by owls but the Grimpen-like mists that cloaked the valley of the Piddle between the two parts of Wareham town. Jon planned some fiendish controls, and some clever sequencing of points that caught a few out (by the look of the illegal fence climbing and hedge gap making!). After a frantic hour of finding flags, some of us enjoyed a pleasant evening in an old pub with jovial chatter, good food and a beer or two, making for an enjoyable evening. Julie has posted the league tables and you can read the summary here:
“10 events so far this season, 6 more events planned before the end of the night league. Dan looks unbeatable having won 5 events and also showing great commitment in being the only person who has run at every event. Alan has beaten Dan on 2 runs this year so could make a late move, as could James at the moment in 16th place but only has 4 scoring runs so far. Mike’s doing well in the general league but ahead in the handicap, but with Dan moving up an age class he could take both leagues this year. Jo is leading the lady’s class just ahead of Tina but look out for Lyra to jump ahead with a couple more runs. Derek is leading the novice league 131 different competitors this year the largest events being Alresford and Canford Heath with 43 competitors Please let me know if I have got you in the wrong age class this year as it affects your handicap score, or if you think you should be in the novice league. Email— [email protected] So, 2 events within the next week Martin Down on Saturday night followed by Alderholt on Monday evening Do also keep the final night of the league free to run at Fordingbridge on Monday 28th February where we will be having a presentation and dinner evening after the event.”
The Night league moves on to Martin Down this Saturday, then the Covid delayed Alderholt event on Monday. Twenty-one of us will be at Ocknell on Sunday for hopefully a crisp and sunny day in the New Forest, so see you there. Coming up we have our fantastic day at Studland, followed by the team event at the CompassSport cup qualifier at Ramscombe, (check emails from James) then Agglestone, not to mention more night league….
Have a good weekend/week and keep warm!