It has been a week since our 2nd Purbeck Orienteering Weekend and I hope you all enjoyed it. We are not the largest club in the country, or even in the region, but to be able to host a quality weekend of orienteering on two premier terrain areas is testament to the spirit within the club and enthusiasm of our members. Firstly we must thank Julie, Ian, Roger, Karen, Andrew and Linda as our officials for the weekend, as well Tim, Alan H and James for sorting out the IT (!). Then we have to thank the National Trust who not only provided access to Studland Dunes and Godlingston Heath, but also permission to use their outdoor facilities for download. Having both events in the same location (with on-site toilets, cafe, shop, sauna, beach and sea swimming) is a huge advantage. WSX members were out in force, and it was pleasing to see some of our longer standing members as well as our newest junior members taking part and helping out. The club is not just about running and navigating, but the social network and a chance to spend time with like-minded individuals, of all ages. There were several members that helped but didn’t compete, and so gave up their time generously to ensure the two days went smoothly. Specific mentions to (an injured) Scott, Bill, Eric, Tim, Andy, Dale and Dick (WIM) for helping but not running.
Saturday at Studland was excellent. My initial concerns about disturbing naturists were unfounded, even though the start was close to the OOB area. Andrew made excellent use of the terrain, and kept your mind on your navigating the whole way. We attracted many ex-elite orienteers from around the country, interested by Studland’s map and terrain, but also the offer of two days of orienteering, at the start of half term. I heard many positive comments about how “intense” and tricky the area is. The weather held off largely, although it rained on me. There were excellent results for young SN juniors Tommy Rollins on Black, SW premier vet Ben Chesters on Brown and young Marcus Perry from BOK on Blue. Bradley was top WSX on Black and with two excellent runs, I note he now takes the crown as top BOF ranked member. After a few deleted legs, there were only 9 seconds between myself, James and Alan B on Black, with Jon B not far behind. On Brown, Lyra and Nesa (our temporary Swiss junior) came in 3rd and 4th, with Peter (flying over from Budapest) and Martin not far behind. Andy E also did some filming on Black, watch Scott’s video.
Nesa has now returned to St. Gallens/Appenzell, having stayed with the Medlocks for a month. In that time she ran the JIRCs in South Wales, the Caddihoe in the Forest of Dean (winning W18), won the OK Nuts Women’s Trophy at Holmwood Common, ran four sprints/urbans in Scotland, against Hanna Lundberg, and capped it off with Studland. Whilst she was with us, she was crowned Swiss W16 league champion, which is rather impressive. So we may want to fly her back for the Compass Sport Cup. Her parents Thomas and Barbara (and sister Flora) joined us at Studland, and enjoyed the comparison of Dorset’s seaside dunes to the rocky Alpine terrain of home. Thomas commented “by my calculation there is only 10 metre difference between all contours” – welcome to Dorset!
In recent weeks, Lyra has also been representing England, coming 2nd at the JHIs, back first on the first leg of the JHI relay, she has been selected for GB Talent Squad South and is currently on the Pre-JWOC (Junior World Orienteering Champs) tour in Czechia. No rest for some…
A few photos of Lyra and Nesa at the Stirling weekend in Scotland, inc running in a relay team against the elite from Sweden, Switzerland and Norway, sharing the podium with Alice Leake (World champ bronze medalist) and some photos from the JHIs at Sutton Park, where the England juniors were triumphant.
I digress, back to Blue (at Studland), and whilst Rob, Nicki and Bruno flew the WSX flag, new juniors Oliver and Robbie tested their nav skills for the first time on the dunes. Looking by the smiles on their faces, they enjoyed themselves, and hopefully they will be back for more.
On Green, Gavin was first with a 2 minute win. A poorly Esk walked around in decent time, with Rebecca M and Tina coming in with decent times, with Laura top half on short green (Sarah mp).
On Light green, new member Hannah came a decent 2nd, and great to welcome back Rebecca C who also had big smiles at the finish. Hope to see both of them at the night league events. Kath Dean came third on Orange, closely followed by Alan H.
Several people finished the day with swims at Studland or Swanage, followed by Fish and Chips on the beach. Not to forget and thanks those who had enough energy after their runs to collect controls, as well as the late evening sorting amended results and SW Middle champion winners.
The overcast weather of Saturday gave way to sunshine on Agglestone. Roger had prepared some physically challenging courses, where careful navigation was required amongst the marshes and old clay pits of Godlingston Heath. The views from Agglestone (if you stop and look long enough) are some of the finest from any orienteering area in England. The blue waters of Studland Bay and Poole Harbour, the forested islands of Brownsea and the distant views of Bournemouth and the Needles are far reaching and spectacular.
Top runners for WSX were Bradley on Brown, Gavin on Blue, Laura on Green, Julie on Short Green and Robbie on Light Green. Several members who hadn’t run the previous day were out, including Sheila, Madeleine and Tracy.
A few images from the day:
Check out the buffs we had produced for the weekend:
We now turn to the night league, so get your entries in for Monday (West Moors) and the following week at Meyrick Park. Our next regional event is at Cold Harbour in January, and when I visited yesterday, it was looking lovely.
Finally, November Classic on 5th November is our Club Champs, so enter your age group to count.