Over the last five months, 20 QOs have travelled around Bristol as part of BOK’s summer urban series.
The series consisted of 12 events nearly weekly on Wednesday evenings (although a few of the events had to be re-scheduled this year). There were short, medium and long courses at each event.
A bunch of regulars formed a lift share scheme administered by Phil. Not only did this mean saving on fuel costs, but it also meant plenty of in-car discussions comparing times, discussing routes, and chatting about all things orienteering.
To add to the social aspect, some of the events were finished with dinner out - fish and chips in Bradford Upon Avon, burritos (and more fish and chips) in Weston-Super-Mare, a cafe in Hanham and a larger gathering to celebrate the end of the series in a pub near Kingsweston.
At the final gathering, we discussed our highlights (the events are all summaries below):
Brian: Enjoyed them as they came, but liked the intricacy of Portishead.
Martin: Not Wells (he was one of the unlucky early starters caught in the torrential rain), but also especially enjoyed Portishead.
Richard: Emersons Green as he had a great start with the early controls in the wood and the sprints at Hanham with the cafe.
Shelia and Hamish: Portishead as it was scenic and interesting, and Emersons Green.
Pete: He especially enjoyed Bristol University on campus, which stands out from the rest.
Phil: Sad to miss Portishead, but especially enjoyed the last two - Troopers Hill and Kingsweston.
The best 6 results of the series count, so here are the results of all QOs who took part in enough events:
On the Long:
On the Medium:
16th: Martin *
(* Martin’s scores are listed under two entries)
Thank you to everyone at BOK involved in organising, planning, controlling and volunteering at events. There has been a suggestion that QO offer to organise a stage of the competition next year in one of our areas…
Bristol University: Sprint-style controls on campus mapped in detail with longer street legs in the surrounding area.
Emersons Green: Surprisingly tricky woods with plenty of contour detail at the start before moving to sports fields and urban streets.
Bradford Upon Avon: Hilly, with detailed lanes and steps on the hillside north of the river and a sprint segment in the centre of town. Fish and chips in the park afterwards.
Bath: A very wet but very technical urban orienteering course.
Weston-Super-Mare: Sprint-style controls in the park, cut-throughs and underpasses in the shopping and residential areas, residential streets, running along the seafront and some final climbs back to the finish.
Hanham: Sprint format with two shorter races followed by dinner in the sunshine outside the cafe.
Nailsea: A network of streets and lanes with an unexpected small but complex wooded area in the middle of the map.
Wells: Complex starting and finishing legs. Early starters were rewarded with torrential rain and having to navigate slippery steps and alleys.
Chipping Sodbury: Quite a few legs had multiple route choices thanks to out-of-bounds roads with limited crossing points.
Portishead: Fast racing on the flat streets in and around the marina.
Troopers Hill: The Long and Medium courses both had considerable altitude gain with a mix of street controls and controls on mixed terrain on top of the main hill.
Kingsweston: A mixture of wooded hillside and streets with plenty of route options.