Results without split times
- A pair of size 10 black and orange “Twister” orienteering shoes left in the car park
- SI card no. 414210 belonging to Rowan Purkis (we have no contact details)
- We didn’t find SI card no. 282221 – anyone else pick it up?
Peter Heywood is holding the lost property – please contact him via email, firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01293 862299. It can be reunited with you at Burnham Beeches Enquiries next week.
Our original intention was to base the event at Crowborough army camp and make use of the area further to the east (as used in 2000). However, it quickly became apparent that the amount of gorse in the vicinity would be a major problem for the shorter courses. Thus we chose to work from the more familiar Pippingford end of the map and drop the eastern section altogether. This was in practice similar to the area used by the army for their night score championships earlier in the week, although I did take the opportunity to take the longer courses south of the road. Ideally I would have liked to give courses 3 and 4 the chance to visit this as well but at 1:10,000 we couldn’t have squeezed the map onto an A3 page.
As you’re probably all aware, South Ashdown certainly offers plenty of physical challenge, but with the number of paths and rides, technical difficulty is harder to find. All but the shortest courses had to traverse the woodland below the old windmill; fortunately the range of features here offered scope for some variety in the courses. I also tried to give most people the opportunity to explore the interesting contour detail in the wooded stream valley. On the heathland there are many pits and knolls available; I tried to stick to those that could be reliably located by reference to other features. Control 154 caused problems for a few people because, in an area of scattered gorse thickets, gorse has grown up in the depression. The feature itself is still well-defined, but perhaps use of the “overgrown” symbol would have been appropriate here.
Apologies for the absence of maps on display in the start lanes – an oversight on my part – and also to anyone affected by the disappearance of a small patch of rough open near the ponds (creating the illusion of a block of runnable forest – perhaps those who did navigate this way were seeking an escape from the tussocks and heather!), which just goes to show that you need to keep an eye on the whole map, not just the areas where the controls are.
The weather was a big disappointment and unfortunately will only have served to enhance Ashdown’s reputation for being somewhat gruelling. If Saturday’s near-perfect conditions had prevailed I suspect times would have been generally quicker and everyone would have gone away with a much more favourable impression. Although the tussocks don’t go away, it really is much less bleak on a bright sunny day.
Last but not least, my thanks go particularly to:
· Mike Elliot for all his work on the survey and cartography, and also for taking care of the SI side of things;
· Alan Halliday at Kall Kwik for his efficient printing service;
· Simon Maytum for controlling at very short notice and with a tight timetable;
· all the Moles who helped put out and collect in controls;
· and everyone who took part, for making it all worthwhile.
Nick Green (Mole Valley)
40 years of Mole Valley orienteering – look at us now!
Maps drawn on a computer;
Courses set on another computer and sent to be printed via email on yet another computer;
Event details, entries and results over the internet;
“Dibbers” to record where you were and when; and
Instant printouts of split times and results.
None of it possible of course without human intervention!
Big Thank You’s to:
Mike Elliot for the new map;
Nick Green for his excellent courses;
Simon Maytum for stepping up to control another regional event within 5 weeks of the last one he had done; and
Adrian Moir at Fabian4 who came back from holiday on Christmas Eve to find a request asking him to set up our online entries. It was up and running by the 28th.
Thank you also to the Ashdown Conservators, Pippingford Park Estate and the Army for allowing us to use the area and the event centre, St John Ambulance for providing First Aid cover and of course the “Mole Machine” who turned up on the day and made it all happen.
Two of us acted as joint organisers for this event – and we would heartily recommend it. The pace and pressure of modern life leaves little time to spare to organise something on this scale. Of course it helps if you’ve known each other a while and can complement each other’s strengths. It is immensely useful to have “a n other” to bounce ideas off, remember what you forgot and pick up the baton when your “normal” life demands time and attention.
As computer literate types, we are very keen to see the sport make use of internet entry. It is a major step forward in reducing the burden of collating names, addresses, course and start preferences. It downloads straight into the Sportident software and away you go.
Once Adrian has added a start time allocation routine to the suite, that task can also be done away with – currently you can allocate time blocks very simply. Having said that, we decided against time blocks – what happens when everyone scheduled for 10:00 turns up at 10:40, and the keen folks scheduled for 10:45 are champing at the bit (especially if they are all having to wait around in the prevailing cold/rain/sleet/gale)?
Not sure what people have got against internet entry? Intriguing to see how many have an email address but sent an SEF and a cheque. There were a few who contacted us because they couldn’t get the site to work, maybe blocking settings on company sites or personal firewalls? Please use it if you can – it saves lots of work for the organiser(s) and the treasurer.
So here’s to the next 40 years!
Thank you for taking part (despite the rain!) and making it all worthwhile.
It rained on the day of the last regional event I controlled, at Eridge, although the days preceding it were clear, crisp and bright. And so it was at South Ashdown.
I came on board with this event with only a few weeks to go, but Nick Green's planning was such that the courses and selection of control sites needed virtually no alteration. The area is very open, and inevitably a few controls could be seen ahead. However, this did not seem to worry too many competitors. The terrain was physically tough in places, as I'm sure some of you discovered in the more marshy regions where the huge tussocks seemed to consume the unwary orienteer. The heather also added to slow progress in places. On the bright side, there was hardly a bramble in sight.
We apologise for not having blank maps in the start box (usual practice at Regional events. Rather than arrange for them to be delivered halfway through the event, we thought it better to do without.
Winning times appeared to be about right, and on the whole, everyone seemed happy. Thank you to all who turned up to support the event and to those who boosted numbers by entering on the day. Thanks to Nick Green for planning, Peter Chapman (SO) for some control checking (not his course!), and to the organising team.
Simon Maytum (SAX)
Mole Valley Orienteering Club
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