Ham Hill 2x2 relay win times (and more planner reflections)

Here is the break down of course win times:

Planned win time Actual win time Controls 101, 142, 118 or 155
Yellow 1A 21 19 No
Yellow 2A 20 16.5 No
Orange 1A 20 27 No
Orange 2A 19 27 No
Short Green 1A 21 32 Yes
Short Green 2A 23 28 No
Green 1A 22 28.5 Yes
Green 2A 23 18.5 No
Blue 1A 23 29.50 Yes
Blue 2A 22 18 No
Brown 1A 22 32 Yes
Brown 2A 23 30.5 Yes

Controls 101, 142, 118 and 155 were the ones in the middle section of vegetation.

Yellow - it is hard to tell with a small number of entries, but I suspect the faster 2A time was because both courses were similar and so there is a small advantage on the second leg. We went through a lot of route options but were ultimately restricted with the course length and safely getting juniors past the access road.

Orange - hard to tell with the number of entries whether the courses were right.

Short Green - the target win times were out on Short Green. We found these the hardest courses to plan as they needed to be the same length as Orange but with a butterfly loop and more technical controls. This ruled out going across the road or going out much to the open north area.

Green / Blue - the average of the two Green courses was 23.5 minutes vs a target of 22.5 minutes
the average of the two Blue courses was 23.75 minutes vs a target of 22.5 minutes. So not far off.

Brown - we definitely over-estimated Brown. Partly the estimated speed used was too fast, there were longer legs (which disguised more distance) and the courses encouraged braver route choices (and therefore worse vegetation).

Ham Hill has some fantastic features and areas (my favourite control site was 101 - only visited on Brown) but like a lot of orienteering venues, a reduction of funding was meant more and more of the area is being lost to rampant vegetation. Several mapped paths had to be removed as they are now impassable, and we spent quite a bit of time cutting back bushes, brambles and other vegetation that were taking over other paths and control sites.

Whether we made the right decision to use the vegetation area for controls 101, 142, 118 and 155 is probably down to your experience of that area. The mapped paths were repeatedly cleared to make sure all the control sites were accessible, but it sounds like they were easy to lose leaving you stranded in the vegetation (and I under-estimated the desire of orienteers to take the straight line route!) With hindsight - it might have been best to leave the area out in favour of more accessible and less technical control sites.

We will endeavour to get the event on RouteGadget, but for reference here are all the courses - Dropbox

Well done to Phil and Mark for sorting out an excellent event. Very sophisticated, but it worked. Most course lengths were spot on - so you got a lot right. Its a tricky time of year for orienteering planning, with vegetation changing week to week.

Control 101 was amazing - I have orienteered at Ham Hill many times before but I had no idea that feature existed!

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