There has been much O activity over the last few weekends, we have had the British Night Champs in Moors Valley, our SW league event in Longbeech, courtesy on SOC, juniors have been on Oban Camp and to represent England at Interland in Belgium, there have been the Northern Champs in the Peak District, Lakes Spring Weekend, as well as the final events and presentations of the Wessex Region Night League. So I’m finding less and less time to write these blogs, but at least my excuse is that I am too busy (working and) orienteering.
British Night Champs
It was great to have a British Champs on our doorstep and many thanks to WIM for a very well organised event. Moors Valley was a great venue, and the a small number of WSX went to BNOC, perhaps more than in previous years when they have been in Yorkshire or Scottish Highlands. It was my first BNOC, and I even persuaded Esk that she could find her way around Moors Valley in the dark, even though she has never done night forest orienteering on her own before. WSX results were:
M21S Scott 2nd
M45L Jolyon 4th, Peter 5th
M50S Martin 5th
M55L Jon (mp – a Brooke tradition)
M60L Rob 9th
M65L Gavin 2nd (Silver medal)
W16 Esk 2nd (Silver medal)
W50L Tina 10th
Congratulations to Gavin and Esk for their podium finishes
Longbeech (WSX league event)
We had a glorious day in a really super bit of New Forest woodland, thanks to SOC. This part of the forest, along with Bramshaw, is some of the best forest I think, and we had some challenging courses. There was a very big turnout, and the longer courses were dominated by the military who had an inter-services competition, so only Gavin managed a top 10 position (9th), so top WSX on courses were Jolyon on Brown, Esk on Green and Tim on Short Green
GB Talent trip to Oban
Lyra missed both of these events as she is now on the GB Talent South group, the first tier on GB squad. During February half term she spent four nights in Oban YH with all of the 16-20 year old GB juniors from across the UK (about 50). As you can imagine they had a great time and did some fantastic training. This included a sprint around Oban, a middle, long, relay and night event in places like Glen Nant, Coille Nathais and Ardnaskie. Check out the maps
This year DVO and SYO organised the NC weekend, with two days on the Peak District moors above Hathersage and Chatsworth. If you don’t like knee high heather or endless boulder field then this was one to avoid. The Middle event at Birchen Edge was fantastic terrain, and an area worth visiting. The previous week Esk and I had attended a CLARO event at Brimham Rocks, and millstone grit tors and cliffs on heather moors are a novel and challenging landscape to orienteer in. The Northern Champs the next day at Burbage involved a 1:2000 boulder field map, and a final few controls that involved some pretty touch heather trudging. I didn’t envy those with short legs. Congratulations to Lyra who won the Northern Champs W16, but isn’t northern champ.
Lakes Spring Weekend
Training for the JK is what it was billed as. In fact the long distance event at Whitbarrow Fell was cancelled quite late. This is an unusual lakeland hill with limestone pavements. The permissions were in place from Natural England but Forestry England overruled it and decided that it could not go ahead. In its place was a day on Loughrigg Fell, with the opportunity to run on a map with only natural features, that’s no walls (except uncrossable ones) and no paths. Personally I think it made it more fun and a bit easier as paths can cause parallel errors, and with large topographical features, it is easier to read the landscape. The day before was in classic south Lakeland terrain at Blind Lane. Good training for Bigland.
The same weekend was the Interland cup in Belgium – England vs two Belgian national teams, Northern France, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Esk was selected to run for W14 England, coming second on the training day and fourth on the cup day. Great results for her international debut. Suffice to say she had a brilliant time, and was rather sad when the weekend came to an end. These are tremendous opportunities for juniors and a good chance to meet likeminded juniors from other parts of the country. A pity the last two years were cancelled due to Covid as the juniors have missed out.
Night League events
In addition to the BNOC, there have been 3 night league events, at Ageas Bowl, Kings Worthy and Queens and Kings Park. Thanks for SOC, BADO and Brad/Ian/Julie for organising and planning these events. It has been another brilliant season.
Top 10 WSX winners of Open league were Alan B (1st), Jason (6th), Jolyon (9th)
Top women on open league were Julie (2nd), Tina (3rd)
Age adjusted (Handicap) top 10 WSX winners were: Alan B (4th), Julie (6th), Ian (7th), Jason (8th).
Julie won the Women’s age-adjusted (handicap) league – well done Julie.
Esk also won an award for the best female junior.
There were some great trophies, and well done to Jo for coordinating and Andy Snell for scoring.
Scott also tackled the Scottish Night champs in Balmoral, in the King’s private woodland – a challenge in daylight:
SARUM event at Great Ridge is coming up (19th March), followed by the BOC long and relays at Cold Ash and Hambleden. Then it’s JK. We’ve gone for three Wessex Kings as names for our JK relay teams. Can you guess who is in Aethelred (the Unready), Aethelwulf, and Aethelbald?
Starting 1st April is the first of the Summer Series at Blandford, organised by WIM. There will be 12 events, six organised by WSX at Broadstone, Corfe Castle, Upton CP, Canford Heath, King’s Park and Christchurch. Keep an eye on the website for details as this will be fun, and the intention is for this to be a precursor to a Wessex Summer Region League. Rob M (WIM) will be circulating a flyer once we have agreed organisation and pricing. Likely to be £20 for the 12 events. This also combines the Find Your Way events and gives new members a chance to do some fun local orienteering until the next season starts (does it ever end?)
We welcome Oliver Heckford (M16) – a new member to the club. Oliver is a friend of the Miller family, and with two new M16s in the club, we could now create a junior Yvette Baker Trophy team (with my girls and Arthur).