Portugal O meeting 2024

No lengthy descriptions this time, but event maps with minimal comments for those that follow this kind of stuff

Day1 medium- tough and technical- way more stuff on the ground than on the already highly detailed map- usual midway position due to 8min error to #3


Same day - evening torchlit street sprint- excellent stuff in small fast area but too much dithering at start trying to decipher large grey areas ( thought they were buildings but actually huge slabs of rock village is built around and on,

net result: 3 mins first leg and inevitable mid result position due to it after good consistent running from #1 onwards​:rage::rage::rage:

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The lengthy descriptions were the best bit!

So much map detail for day 1! Definitely looks tough.

I can see the potential for confusion for control 1 - the rest must have been very fast and furious.

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Here’s the opening day sprint map ( out of order as they kept these after the event and only released them yesterday)
The medieval fortress of Almeida- all straightforward on initial inspection but sneaky and sneakier- all on different levels with intricate route finding in places ( see if you can spot the devious route 6 to 7 ( I didn’t and it cost me in time!) answer later


Such a busy map i would definitely have got lost well done for getting round

Answer to above: the small curving path just W of 6 is a subterranean tunnel
I went the long way round

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Love this map! Bee now wants to come to Portugal.

Day2 long- much more of the same but I fell early on banging knee badly on a rock so had to limp and walk the rest of the course ( one has to finish cleanly each day to stay in the competition no matter how long it takes)
This terrain is probably the most brutal and unforgiving we’ve experienced in 30yrs of orienteering- some of the blocks are bigger than a large detached house and the rain has turned their mossy surfaces to ice rinks- the busiest people in the arena are the vendors selling grippy dobbed shoes to those without to afford some crampon like grip…. And the ambulance operatives!

Day3 medium
……and again more, but the toughest yet and my knee failed me resulting in 92mins for a 3.5km course. It’s hard to visualise how difficult the areas of rocks and huge massed boulders are to traverse- climbers and cavers have an advantage certainly, vertigo sufferers are challenged in places. The map has to be simplified for clarity of course so can never really reflect the true picture. Of course to counter my gripes and excuses this course was won today by our own Clive Hallett in just over 35mins

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Thought just to wrap up the event by adding some photos to show the complexity of the terrain and the issue of huge mossy boulders and multitudinous barbed wire stranded walls - photos in new thread. Thoroughly enjoyable but day 3 was memorable for involving backwards caving manoeuvre to escape from boulder abyss. Neither Andy nor I excelled - too inconsistent and too many irritating errors.Another memorable event and hopefully sunshine will be the order of the day March 2025 on the Algarve. If you want to get more of a flavour of the event there are lots of videos on the pom.pt 2024 website.