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Friday, June 29, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
After 2 years of planning sprint courses at Chew Valley School, I decided to have a score event this year. A short visit to the school in Half Term was enough to refresh my memory of the grounds, which are extensive and varied. Set in the middle of the Somerset countryside this school is so lucky to have 3 playing fields, trees and footpaths. The weather was fine as the school children arrived at 4pm. The Yellow course was a starter for several but the Score course soon gained popularity. By 5.30 the Guides started coming and they kept coming till the school grounds were full of runners. They were still running at event closure!! We also had a selection of other people from very little beginners to experienced older orienteers. It was good to see them all.
I think the score format has lots to commend it and I would probably use it with variations again at this venue. I had great support from the school and I could not have managed without the help from Nick Adjerian and Anne Donnell.
A moderate 22 people ran a course on a gorgeous albeit very windy evening. Perhaps the cloudburst of the day before put people off, but it was still double the attendance of my last go at planning (11 at Ashton Plantation in 1999 when the heavens opened). There were Blue, Light Green and Yellow courses on offer plus putting them all together for a score course. I just had the one taker for the latter – a Joe Taunton of NGOC who managed to get round all 29 controls in an impressive 48 minutes. He reported that No 8 on the LG was vandalised but the flag was found later (but not the pole and stapler). He or a later runner kindly positioned the flag on the crag foot so it didn’t cause much disruption . Oldbury of course is known for vandalism, but that control I thought was fairly safe. Anticipating trouble with vandalism on the yellow course, I had asked a friend, Jules Smailes from Nailsea RC to patrol the most vulnerable sites. In spite of that precaution we still lost No 6 for a while. Unfortunately that badly affected the only taker of the Yellow course – complete newcomers. It could have been worse however, and Jo Foster managed to find the complete control later. The Blue was fairly challenging but Duncan Innes got round it in about 40minutes. At 4.7km and 100m of climb it is about as long as one can make Oldbury without having a 2nd master map The Light Green proved a little tough perhaps with most people taking an hour or longer – perhaps some of it was of Green standard.
Thanks to Katy, Jo (even after re-injuring her cut hand from Stock Hill), Gwen and Jules for control collection, and Anne for helping. Those of you who didn’t like my No.6 on the Blue, E side of crag, up a steep bank may be pleased to know I slipped back down the mud after collecting that one in and needed a quick wash in the river as result!
I was just staring to think about planning the courses for this event, when it was suggested that I could use the maps that were used for the JK Training day at Purdown on Good Friday. I discovered that Dudley Budden had a lot of maps left over, so it seemed a good idea not to have to reinvent the wheel. The maps had 20 controls on them, so I did wonder whether that would be sufficient. However, there were 3 suggested courses which were roughly equivalent to a Yellow, Light Green and Blue so I thought why not. This did mean that there were quite a lot of controls which were common to all courses but as this was an informal event it didn’t matter particularly. Having planned a couple of previous events at Purdown before it was interesting to see that there were quite a few new control sites.
It became apparent when doing the recce the previous Saturday just how much undergrowth and brambles there is on Purdown in the Summer, with some of the paths being almost impenetrable. So I hope those wearing shorts didn’t suffer too much! I did have a bit of a problem when putting out the controls with some of the punches getting tangled up (its so much easier with electronic punching!) and also a tree which must have blown over in the heavy rain the previous Sunday and was completely blocking one of the laths, so had to do a bit of gardening. As a result, I hadn’t quite got all the controls out by the 11.00 am start time, so apologies to Tony Noott who was, as far as I am aware, the only competitor who was affected by this. We had about 40 competitors and glorious weather and no complaints that I heard of. Finally thanks to Katy and Mark Dyer for their help both at Registration and also in collecting in some of the controls, and also to Dave and Denise Mullins of SARUM (I think) who also offered to collect some of the controls. As a result I didn’t have too much to do afterwards.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
This event forms parts of the SWOA Chairman's Relay Series, which comprises the following events:
- Sunday 24th June, Coate Water Country Park (NWO)
- Sunday 1st July, Ashton Court (BOK)
- Sunday 15th July, Cull-Peppers Dish (WSX)
- Sunday 22nd July, Whitchurch Common (DEVON)
- Sunday 29th July, Somerley Park (WIM)
Pre-entry is mandatory for the BOK and WIM events and preferred for the WSX event.
The rules and scoring system of the series (unchanged from 2006) are available here.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
"Many thanks to Mark Dyer who was manning the First Aid on Sunday at Stockhill - he patched me up after I lost my footing climbing over the wall between Control 13 and 14 on the Blue course. Unfortunately the barbed wire above the wall gashed the palm of my hand as I fell and I have to admit I nearly blew my whistle until I realised that there wasn't much anyone could do. I had to climb back over the wall as I had dropped the map and then took the shortest route back to the car park, dripping blood all the way. I drove back to Bristol (Pete was at the Twin Peaks) and took myself to the MIU at Southmead and luckily was seen straightaway. I needed 5 stitches, but it's healing well and we're off to the Gower this weekend where I am going to avoid barbed wire at any cost! A few people said that they hoped I finished the course, but I agree with the planner (and many others) - even without the excuse of being injured the controls in the field were not appealing in the heat."
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
- Missing BOF membership numbers have been uploaded to the BOF ranking list system.
- Colour standard times have been added.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
WARMLEY FOREST PARK WEDNESDAY 30 MAY 07
Approximately 32 people (lots of pairs, parents and grandparents) attended on what turned out to be a reasonable evening for the weather. Early starters managed to get round even the Blue course without getting rained upon. I was surprised at how far some people had travelled (Wells and Warminster of particular note (maybe the affiliation with ‘W’). It was also great to see at least seven people had cycled to the event. Competitors were fairly evenly split between the three courses; yellow, light green and blue. I innovated with the blue and included a run to another small area (Rodway Hill) to get the length and avoid having to circumnavigate WFP and Siston twice. P.S. SW433245 is in fact the ‘Merry maidens’ stone circle near Boskenna (you had to be there to know!!)
Thanks to Katy (control setting and collection), Anne and Gill for helping on the night.
More than fifty people enjoyed a warm summer evening in Leigh Woods. Whether this high turnout was due to the weather or the promise of no steep hills, I’m not sure. The forest was generally runnable still, though the undergrowth grew rapidly in the previous fortnight.
Our aim was to provide some enjoyable courses with plenty of route choice and some fun elements. A ‘draw your route on’ exercise at the finish revealed a pleasing diversity of routes on Blue 4-5 and 8-9. Quite a few people found the flat forest with a dense path network more difficult than expected. The number of unmarked and often changing mountain bike paths do cause problems, but if you use pacing and some rough compass, everything on the map is in the right place!
David and I had added the unorthodox option of a Spectating control, with a two minute pause to sketch the view of the Suspension Bridge (pen and paper provided). This worked brilliantly with 15 BOK artists leaving a sketch for us to collect afterwards. (See picture). We didn’t realise that Rolf Harris was a club member and Rachel can claim her prize next time she sees us.
Many runners commented that they had never seen this view, so it was good to find a less-known corner of the woods. Several deer were also spotted.
The junior turnout was low, suggesting Neil Cameron’s words at the Annual Dinner were right and the club does have to do something more, or perhaps different, to get more juniors to join in.
It was great to see a good turnout from the recently reformed University (UBOC) club. Clubs like SYO have benefited significantly for many years from having a strong university club and as an ex-UBOC, ex-SHUOC and ex-SYO member, I hope that BOK can benefit from, as well as help, a resurgent student orienteering scene.
Thanks to everyone for turning up, to Katy and Anne Donnell for their help on the day, and to younger son Ben for helping plan and tape control sites beforehand.
Pete and David Maliphant
THE DOWNS WEDNESDAY 16 MAY 2007
As usual, it was a pleasure to organise and plan one of the BOK evening informals. I now find it more fun to plan events like this where some flexibility is allowed, provided the courses are of an acceptable standard. It is no secret that I always aim to put on something a bit different (remember the BOK LONG-O in 1997 which included Purple and Black courses?). This year, I opted for Yellow, Red and two "Street Score" courses; sorry, no Blue or Green but I feel there are not enough safe, technical bits on the Downs for such courses. Red courses tend to be treated as a joke because they are much less technical, and are always disregarded when results are analysed, but I think most people who did my course (5.0k) had a good challenging run and enjoyed themselves - that's the important thing for me. I was particularly pleased to see so many University students taking part, it being so near to their halls of residence. The Red course enabled them to get a feel of simple orienteering prior to trying the more usual technical courses in weeks to come. My only regret was that, as I was collecting in controls, I wasn't around when people doing the Street Score finished as I was keen to know how they got on; it certainly took me some hours when I checked it all but I am not a fast runner!
Thanks to everyone for coming and to Anne Donnell for her help on the day.