The night league is almost half way through. Since my last post we’ve had events at West Moors, Meyrick Park, Old Amesbury, Middle Wallop, Pirbright ranges, Locks Heath and Corfe Castle. The usual suspects are leading the way, although James and Alan have had some new competition this year, but after 4 events, its Alan B (again) leading by some margin, although James and Dan haven’t attended them all. Hannah is leading the women’s league, closely followed by Esk. Admittedly Esk has to run with me. Top junior is Oliver. In the age-graded league, its Alan and Ian the highest ranked men and Hannah, Esk and Julie fighting it out for top woman. However, it’s early days, and all to play for as we move into the New Year, with January events at Boscombe and Ringwood, with Martin Down in early Feb. Some of the highlights for me have been running on a windy Corfe Common in the dark, with an illuminated Corfe Castle in the distance, with Starlink tracking overhead. I also enjoyed the southern nights at Pirbright, racing through deep bracken in flat woodland, between the rifle ranges, to the sound of gunfire and shouting, quite a surreal experience. Only a handful of WSX attended, but well done to Oliver who won M16 (I came second in M45).
We’ve also had our club championship at the November Classic, with our two England stars, Gavin and Lyra winning again, as well as scooping their respective Southern Champion awards, along with Julie, who won W70. There have been a number of other good events recently, including the Chiltern Challenge this weekend at Bradenham Beeches, Devon’s league event at Braunton Burrows, a bit of O-snorkelling this weekend at Dibden, and WIM’s league event at Inside Park.
If you are looking for orienteering over the festive period, then WIM’s Boxing Day Canter is a must, always good fun, but I’m afraid to say that the Grinch is entering, and she is one year older and quicker. There are also events in the Ashdown Forest and Hogmoor, for those that don’t mind travelling to Sussex.
Early in the New Year we have a lovely regional event in the pine forests of Cold Harbour. So do enter, using the helper code. This is Lyra’s first planned event, so do support her. For those that don’t know, the British Nights this year are in the woodlands that bank Derwent Water in the English Lake District. They are making a weekend of it with a sprint around Keswick and a local event at Loughrigg. It’s start of half-term, so worth the trip. Entries are (soon to be/already) open for the British Long champs in North Yorkshire, the British Middle champs (also Yorkshire) and the JK in the Midlands (Loughborough University, Beaudesert [Cannock Chase] and Stanton Moor [Peak District]. So lots to look forward to.
See you all in Moors Valley on Boxing Day, but in the meantime Merry Christmas, and here’s to another great year of O in 2024.
ps. If you would like any WSX tops please email me or Julie, as we are putting in an order