This weekend was the South West Championship weekend at Godshill and Ashley Walk near Fordingbridge in Hampshire, and there were some fantastic results from club members.
On the Long:
@Jeff.Pakes came 4th in M45
@RichardS came 4th in M50
- Andy Rimes came 8th in M55
@BrianJP came 6th in M60
- Tony Hext came 12th in M70
- John Trayler came 13th in M75
- Bill Vigar came 3rd in M85
- Rosie Wych came first on the short green course.
Hopefully, we will get a few write-ups over the next few days, but congratulation to everyone.
On the Middle:
Also a shout out to @Pete who ran the Lundy Half Marathon this weekend.
Two days of nice and relatively straightforward (well compared to last weekend on Merthyr Mawr anyway) orienteering at Godshill in typical New Forest terrain- what’s not to like. Rosie and I packed up ‘Vinny’ our trusted VW for the weekend, and off we went. The weather all weekend was superb adding to the enjoyment of some fine orienteering. The format is two days, the first a classic middle distance, the second a long, both events forming the SW championships for those distances so always attracting the cream of the SW clubs and others from outlying clubs.
My day 1 was 4.5km and mostly flat in a new area to us- the first half woodland and then onto open moorland to finish. New Forest terrain is typically only moderately technical but provides fast running where simple mistakes can be costly in terms of overall final positions. For my part the course went well trying to keep as straight a line as possible between controls where the horrid holly trees would allow, and tracks when obviously a better option. Apart from one control where I floundered in the general area for a few seconds until Richard appeared and we both agreed its likely position, it was a good clean run in about 43 minutes and a top five position- great start. The day’s start was slightly frustrating for the host club Wessex OC as some unknown locals had decided overnight to rip up taped routes to starts/finishes and some controls, which was only discovered at the eleventh hour and caused all starts to be delayed while the situation was rectified- fortunately nothing was actually stolen, ‘just’ thrown into various ditches!!
We overnighted parked up in one of my factories which is located conveniently close to the area and providing the necessary amenities including a local pub (where we met up with Jeff for a welcome bout of re-hydration and the inevitable courses de-brief) and fish and chip shop to add some more superfluous calories.
The next day we had early starts so packed up and were at the arena by 9.30 on another glorious day- it reminded me of some of the European events Rosie and I have attended. Today’s event was on the Ashley Walk area which we have orienteered on a few times previously so we knew what to expect- almost entirely open, fast moorland with lots of boggy low lying areas and gentle ridges. Again an almost perfect run today until my control#17 of 19 where I approached too high and was left thrashing in neck high bracken way above the control site and losing 4 mins for the pleasure. This was marginally compensated for by the sight of a lovely sleek fox navigating confidently through the complex gorse thickets on the way to the finish in a manner I can only wish to emulate.
A great weekend with a good selection of results from the various QO members who made the trip
Sounds like a lovely weekend @andyr - thanks for posting.
I had a similar experience to you and your fox at the last Christmas event at Fyne Court. Floundering in some thick undergrowth I stumbled across a magnificent stag just a few metres in front of me. Such a beautiful sight!
A write up from @RichardS on his weekend -
I rarely get the chance to do a full orienteering weekend, but I do make an effort to go to the Caddihoe. Its never too far away and the date is often perfect for combining some good orienteering with an early Autumn weekend away.
My Saturday course started in the forest with only the last bit out in the open heathland. I felt rusty on the first couple of controls. My first was fairly easy to find but I was hesitant and slow. On my second control I lost quite a time searching the wrong vegetation boundary, not reading enough clues from the map. After this I had a couple of straightforward controls which gave me time to get my act together and picked up the pace. But I still struggled on some fairly elementary navigating - perhaps I was fortunate that the woods were clear and navigation wasn’t that testing. Some good terrain allowed me to speed all the way to the finish. Actually my run into the finish was the one leg where I was fastest. Overall I came 4th on M50, and amazingly managed to win the south-west middle distance championship for my age class. I am usually thrashed by Peter Ward of NGOC but unfortunately for him he made a 10 minute error on one control. I still only beat him by a few seconds, but I am happy to take the rare win!
Sunday was my turn to make the errors. My third control was particularly difficult and cost me several minutes. The description was a ruin, so I was looking for a fragment of wall. It turned out to be a car sized concrete slab that was well hidden in the bracken. A little unfair? On reflection I can’t complain because I was relying on seeing the feature rather than navigating precisely to the spot. I will have to do better! After that I didn’t have too much trouble until the very last leg, where I lost my way into the finish and confused the event photographer by arriving from the wrong direction! Another 4th place but I was almost 20 minutes behind Peter Ward so he got the long distance championship this time.