Kings Cliff Wood - results, comments & discussion

Perfect orienteering conditions for our second Forest League event at Kings Cliff Wood. For a fairly small area, Andy & Rosie, the planners, certainly made sure the area was thoroughly explored.

The results, now updated to make second runs non-competitive, can be found at

Here are comments from organiser Ollie Rant:

This was the first QOFL I have organised from start to finish, so thank you to all for being patient whilst we ironed out any hiccups. I would like to say a big thank you to those who volunteered to help out on the day, these events would not happen without you! A special thanks goes out to Roger and Judy for driving an injured competitor home to Dorset!

We had perfect conditions for orienteering, and the rain held off until we managed to finish packing up as well. Andy and Rosie did a fabulous job of planning the courses to make full use of quite a small area. I was able to get out and jog around the blue course at the end. There was a nice mix of technical navigation and some faster path sections and of course plenty of elevation gain. Any comments on how you think we could improve these events or just any general comments would be welcomed on our forum (below). We hope to see you all at the next event!

I enjoyed my stint volunteering at the start - everyone is always so cheerful before their runs! It was also great to see a few new members, some new faces trying out orienteering, and quite a few families from the junior events coming along.

I enjoyed my run. My start benefited from watching everyone on Blue pick up their map, and wander towards the start kite before realising they had to go the other way, so I was up the path like a rocket (briefly - before the slope kicked in at least!). I came out of 4 awkwardly and was out of place on the wall to the East losing a few minutes. I had no attack point to 6 but, although I ended up too low, I managed to stumble across the control without losing much time.

7 went wrong - the spur with the path was pretty obvious, but for some reason, my head decided it was the reentrant and I should go further west to control 9… even at 9 I still avoided the spur and milled around the contour features just west of 7 before finally figuring it out.

12 was the next error - I would be interested to see this on RouteGadget as I think I was heading in the right direction before another competitor pulled me off course. I enjoyed the last few controls - fast and furious trying (and mostly failing) to keep ahead of @AndyRey. I overshot 22 because I failed to read the control description, but thankfully only to the path. I also found it surprisingly difficult to find the finish from the last control!

I am certainly happy with my result - lots of things went well, and lots of things to learn from.

Thanks to @andyr and Rosie for planning a very interesting course.

Routegadget is available: Routegadget 2

Planner comments from @andyr -

Thanks to all for coming out and braving the significant ascents and descents of King’scliff. We’ve not used the woods for a few years now but I hope you’ll agree they were at their best after a long dry summer especially under the warm sunny skies yesterday- in particular the open beech woods on the North of the valley were delightfully free of any undergrowth and provided fine running and navigation.

I do apologise for the amount of climbing involved on all courses- this is somewhat unavoidable in a steep sided valley of limited size whilst still producing courses of sufficient length- as it was, my overambitious initial courses proved far too long and testing so were seriously curtailed to offset the climbing involved. I think you will all agree they were challenging enough on the day.

During lockdown and since then a significant amount of track and jumps development has occurred by the local MTB fraternity, whether authorised or not we cannot determine. This has included significant use of established footpaths which they are not technically allowed on. The work is still ongoing and frequently changing so I made the decision not to add details to the map but to simply avoid many controls within the main area of this work and just pass the longer courses through it- Junior courses were completely re-planned to use the north of the valley to avoid potential clashes/accidents.

The map is significantly out of date and inaccurate in many parts so I selected control sites that were positively identifiable on the ground. The available lidar coverage data for the area has greatly improved recently which has enabled the decision by me to completely re-map the area based on lidar contours to improve the fine detail. This work will be completed during this winter and hopefully we will re-visit again sometime soon to try it out in anger.

I was also challenged by technical gremlins on the day with our computing equipment so could not personally assist with the extrication and further help to Mike of Wimborne after a serious slip and injury. Many thanks for all who forfeited runs to help him. In particular, thanks to Richie of Devon, our own Mike, and in particular Roger and Judy who drove both Mike and his vehicle all the way home that afternoon. All at QO wish him well and hope he has a speedy recovery.

I want to thank everyone who helped me after my accident at King’s Cliff on Sunday. My recovery from the hillside was a fine example of the effective QO teamwork we’ve all grown used to, and my gratitude and apologies are owed to those who abandoned their run to assist.

The contribution of Roger and Judy taking the time and trouble to get me and my car back home was frankly humbling; it was outstandingly generous help. I’m sure the club appreciates how fortunate it is to have such people at its core.

I have a complete rupture of the quadriceps tendon plus lesser injuries, and will require an operation to reattach the tendon – there’s a roughly 4cm gap right now! Orienteering will be out for quite a while.

Many thanks again. We are fortunate with our good friends in QO.

@mikekite best wishes for your (hopefully speedy) recovery. We will make sure your thanks are passed on.

We absolutely do!