British Night Championships - Moors Valley

Last night Wimborne held the British Night Champs. A few QO travelled down to Moors Valley.
Tony Hext was 7th on M75L
Sheila Braine was 8th on W55L
Richard Sansbury was 7th on M50L
Hamish & Ailani were both sole finishers in M18S & W20S respectively

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I chose to do the British Championships for what was only my second night event of the season and only my second orienteering race of the year. Given my lack of practice and realitively inadequate headtorch I didn’t expect to do well, but was attracted by a long course in a decent area.
Night events are great fun if the weather is kind, and fortunately it was a very mild night. And Moors Valley is a great venue. Its a popular place in the daytime with large car park and cafe and a very extensive grid-like system of paths. I thought the planning was excellent, with lots of variety, keeping us largely off the tracks and going against the grain of the terrain. The forest is quite rough with ridges and furrows but there’s not much undergrowth and sometimes you can travel quite quick.
Being out of practice I made a massive mistake on 1, with the worst time in my class. I was very lucky on 3 - I was lost, saw a control and thought I’d see what number it was in case it would help me relocate, and it turned out to be mine. By 4 I’d started to get my eye in and things were going better.
Lots of little mistakes though. The biggest problem with night events is the lack of long distance vision which makes it very easy to get disorientated. As well as my mistake on 1, I frequently drifted off-line and so was slow.
My little headtorch did very well. I used to have a complicated 1000-lumen system with a battery box in a waistbelt and over-complicated head harness. I had to thread the lead inside my shirt to stop it flapping around. That device failed long ago and recently I’ve made do with a simple Petzl 300-lumen headband. It looked pretty feeble compared to the fierce looking searchlights some people had but it did the job and didn’t get in the way.