British Night Orienteering Championship Weekend (27th/28th Nov)

Looking forward to another weekend in our region including the British Night Champs on Cleeve Hill, Cheltenham. Some of you will fondly? remember a QO team took part in the overnight Harvester Relay here in 2016. It is an intricate, challenging area during the day but throw in the night… If I finish in time, a sleepover at the provided camping area (same as Harvester), then off to Cannop Ponds, a prime part of Forest of Dean. It can all be entered together with food choices. Note that the Blue course is already full for the Sunday.

I am still traumatised from my one night race in Devon when I lost my dibber (thankfully found!)

I did see you were entered on Brown on Sunday - I am looking forward to it.

Really looking forward to this weekend especially the night event. Based on my recent results in complex areas I probably won’t do very well with the added difficulty due to lack of daylight! But I am sure it will be great fun.

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Cleeve hill Met office forecast is feels like -4! Brrrr

T shirt with shorts instead of a vest then.

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Really enjoyed my run on Cleeve Hill last night. I knew it would be cold and windy but I didn’t expect snow! My main motivation in entering to support a nearby club putting on a major event. But I’m really glad I went as it was great.

Searching for the first few controls I realised how ill prepared I was. This was my first night event for a couple of years. Also I’ve done little of any sort of orienteering and it showed. It took a while to get my eye in but I stuck with it and eventually got going. There was just enough background light to make out the shape of the hills, and I learnt how to spot the tracks marked yellow on the map despite the snow covering some of them. However finding the control kites was hard, for a couple of reasons they did not show up very well - partly they had been battered by the wind but mainly because looking for a white object against snow is a bit tricky.

I didn’t do particularly well. no big mistakes but most legs involved an element of search. However it did feel good to be out in pretty harsh conditions yet getting round in reasonable time.

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Same here Richard, I was glad I went and pizza never tasted as good

Not the best start for me being 43 minutes late, mostly due to a difficult journey involving a lengthy detour. I read that the start system was changed to a punching start but didn’t appreciate the times couldn’t be shifted as it was a Level A event. As I didn’t discover this until the next day, it was a consolation that I arrived on the start line stress free.

It was an amazing experience with the snow drifting knee deep in places, apparently east of Cleeve Hill the next highest point is in the Ukraine and with the strong freezing wind it felt like a real adventure. As with Richard it took a while to adjust to the yellow paths, not helped by yellow tinted glasses but I was able to carefully pick off the controls amongst the crags and quarries. Once or twice it was so steep I was scrambling up on all fours.

Across the top it was very exposed with areas of thickets, these proved to be the key to navigating but it was here when my headlamp cut out with a loose wire. Thankfully while rummaging for my hand held backup light, it kicked back in so only a minute lost. I had a moment when I thought I arrived at #9 but checking the code I realised it was #6, luckily it was more or less on the route.

My next drama was still with 1km to go when my headlamp totally gave up. I still had three controls to go and can recommend not using a hand held torch to flit between the map and terrain. I slowly made it to the finish feeling very relieved.

The official result didn’t help my campaign in the UKOL but at least my Routegadget track shows my efforts in real time which would have put me in the middle of the pack.

I had forgotten how brilliant night orienteering can be and will remember this little adventure for a long time and many thanks to the event team, I didn’t envy the control collectors.

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Looks like you had a good run at Cannop Ponds :clap:, I especially like your route choice from 5 to 6 using the path network. Following the stream was ok ish but it was slower afterwards. I felt totally drained and thought I was stood still when Ben Mitchell overtook me… Nice forest and I had a feeling of missing out by choosing tracks to make some progress but looking at Adam Potter and Bens’ runs from 12 to 13, tracks looked a bit quicker.

Generally it went ok - it probably says a lot that I am now frustrated with my fine control finding rather than making large mistakes.

I think there was a better more direct route for 3 - 4 than using paths but 5 - 6 was ok although I cut up to the treeline too early as it was harder running off the path.

I was too high at 10 (and 9) which lost me a bit of time. I messed up 12-13 - in my head I was on the path to the south of the control, so I needed to turn left and stay above the slope running north. Instead I was on the path to the east and, despite the obviously not runnable trees, I still turned left and into the darkness. It was only when I got to the open area did I realise my mistake.

I am of course now blaming my compass for my poor bearings… I seem to be offline for most controls. I can see from the legs that you are definately more consistent on the smaller legs, and I am clawing back the advantage on the longer legs.

Overall I enjoyed it - I am pleased with the result, but there are definately areas of improvement!

My main concern at the night champs, typical for a Saturday night out, was what to wear :laughing: I took everything just in case and after quick run up to the start decided to head back to the changing room and put everything on! I heard others at the start line on day two saying how they had to retire because they just got too cold. Fairly extreme but as Brian says quite an adventure and great fun