|Editorial | Chairman’s Letter | Puzzle Corner | SE Galoppen | New Chigs on the Block | Training Corner | Handicap Trophy | CompassSport Cup | Puzzle Corner Solution|
This CHIGCHAT may seem a bit delayed – this is because I posted the last CHIGCHAT in February, and sat back, content that another task was complete. About a fortnight later, Tim Pribul rang me somewhat tentatively, wondering if I had sent it out. A quick ring round some local members led us to the conclusion that the GPO had managed to lose the entire issue!
In my naiveté, I thought that the GPO might be interested in the fact that they had obviously mislaid a bag containing the contents of a letterbox, and might make an attempt to find it, so I went down to my local sorting office. All they did was give me the telephone number of their Customer Services Department, which I duly rang. The girl there told me that I had to fill in a form, and told me that she needed a form filled in for each of the 64 lost copies! Even she agreed that perhaps a sample form would do. So the form came, and I duly filled it in, and sent it off, and after a couple of weeks got a “hey, Joe, send this one the lost letter” reply. It was quite clear that the GPO had not read the complaint form at all, otherwise why would they have apologised for losing a letter sent to “Julianna Grant” of “SE Development Officer, 41 Osborne Road, Brighton“? Why would they have referred to an individual letter when I mentioned that there were sixty other lost letters? I mention all this, because it makes me feel a lot better getting it off my chest – and there is clearly no point in wasting further time complaining – and as a public service, in case any of you end up in a similar position and think that complaining might get you somewhere.
And now for the editorial I wrote for the missing edition…
ADAM SMITH, THE prominent eighteenth century economist, said, “people of the same trade seldom meet together, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public.” If he had been inclined to consider voluntary groups, he would probably have come to a similar conclusion, in that each group promptly sets up a system of jargon designed to exclude the outsider, and reinforce the belief that members of the group are in some way privileged. In the days when I bought the local paper, I always used to read the results of angling matches and pigeon races, not because I was in the slightest interested in either of these pastimes, but because I was fascinated by their use of the English language – the individual words made sense, but once they were combined into phrases and sentences, their meaning – to this outsider – gradually disappeared.
It was in this spirit that I looked at Ian Ditchfield’s jargon-buster website, that Tim mentioned in “Chairman’s Chat”. Are we an outward-looking sport? Would an intelligent man on the Clapham omnibus understand a report of an orienteering event, or would he be referring to this (very comprehensive) list for every other word? I was rather surprised to come to the conclusion that we come out of this exercise pretty well. We do have a predilection for acronyms for club names, and rather too many clubs are Klubbs, but I think that our intrepid traveller could work that one out. Galoppen is a word that we could well replace with Ranking List, as that is what it is, and some of our map descriptions could be simplified. Forests should simply be described as thin, medium or thick, and a re-entrant is merely a small valley, so why not call it so? “Knoll” is probably acceptable, although “mound” would be better, and I am sure there is a better word for “platform”, although I cannot think of one. The rest of our jargon is, I think, intelligible, with no clashes with “normal” uses of the word. Well done, us!
However, they’re other aspects of the sport which are not so user-friendly. Do we have to be so purist about fairness? If a control site is misplaced, what causes more distress – voiding the courses, and making the trip a waste of time for all competitors, or accepting that some runners may have suffered unduly compared with others? Do we really need the plethora of courses, some of which have hardly any competitors? Do we really need one-minute gaps, or would thirty seconds – thus substantially reducing the overall time of a competition – suffice? Has anyone tried this, as an experiment?
How do first-timers get on? My general impression is that helpers at events, and other competitors, are always extremely helpful, but would it not be more friendly for a large sign to be displayed saying “Newcomers start here”, where someone could guide the newcomer on his or her way? Given the way our numbers are steadily falling, making those new to the sport feel welcome is one of our most important tasks.
IT IS NOW some time since our major annual event, the Michael Brandon Mitre. There were some particularly complimentary comments about the courses, we had relatively fine weather and none of the SI units were vandalised in the forest. There were some disappointments though. Fewer than four hundred badge competitors took part, which will have an adverse impact on the club’s finances, and there is a burden on us all of organising such an event. We were certainly stretched – two starts, two finishes, two road crossings, and a boggy car park all added to the workload. In the past, for our very large events, we have called upon the support of other clubs nearby, and, of course, we have reciprocated on the major commitments in the South East such as the JK. We probably, therefore, need to acknowledge that any badge event that we organise will need one or two of the key tasks allocated to another club, so that we, at the end of an exhausting day, can feel that we might at least want to be involved in a further event in the not-so-distant future! For this event our appreciation must go to all those who worked so hard to bring it to fruition.
In a past edition of SENAV a little article was tucked away on one of the pages recommending an orienteering ‘jargon buster’ website. Looking at it, it is very comprehensive and we have introduced it as a link from our own club website. Those of you who surf the web may have come across other useful sites we could link to. If so, please let George know, plus any other suggestions or improvements that you think would be worthwhile to make our site better both for us, and prospective, club members.
Into the summer months we seem to have plenty of choice of fixtures, both south of the river and into East Anglia. I even notice that in May, WAOC have found a new area between Newport and Thaxted, near Carver Barracks, which is scheduled for a limited Colour Coded event. Amongst all these fixtures are the JK – now, of course, over – and the British, which have required club entries. Separate notices were sent out to you, but I would ask that you respond to all emails and letters, giving a positive, or negative, response since this avoids the unnecessary follow-up at a later date and makes the task of arranging entries so much easier.
The W(h)ine evening at the Pearce’s was very useful with courses at both the Thorndon Park Colour Coded event and the GO fixture at Heyshott and Ambersham Commons under scrutiny and analysis. It is a very positive activity and can be just as beneficial as the alternative post-event choice of soaking in a hot bath!
I’VE BEEN TAKING a group to SWESO events for a while now, along with my colleague, Jo. She very kindly sits by the start/finish, counting them all out, and counting them back in again, while I run round the forest, making sure the children don’t get too lost. At least it keeps me fit!
Anyway, two weeks ago, I set them off at minute intervals as usual round their 3km course, and when Joe, the last runner, set off, I immediately set off round the course backwards until I reached Joe, when I turned round and ran back to Jo, to see if anyone was back. I then turned round and ran back to Joe, then turned round, ran back to Jo, etc until eventually, Joe reached Jo at the finish, the last to start and the last to finish. The pupils did very well, this time, and I passed them all exactly on the route. If Joe does 20-minute kilometres, and I do 12-minute kilometres, how far did I run?
Last week, the event was almost identical. The only difference was that (except for Joe), all the pupils got lost, so I had to run all over the place to help them find their way. How far did I run that week? [Solution at bottom of page!]
SE Galoppen 2001
AS USUAL, CHIGs failed to distinguish themselves in the SE, with the honourable exception – as usual – of Carol Pearce, who won – as usual – although she actually ran her right age class, which is not so usual. The table below shows the class, position, name, score and number of runs of every CHIG who completed at least two Badge events last year. In addition, Ruby Campbell, Tim Pribul, Sally Pribul, George Pribul, Rachel Lund, Hugh Lund, Harold Wyber, Colin Flint, Helen Pearce, Ray Weekes, Ian Whisson and Sandra Daniels all completed one event.
New Chigs on the Block
A big welcome to Darrell Smith who now forms part of our northern contingent in Bishop’s Stortford. Darrell was born in Australia but also considers Holland to be his home as his parents still live there. He has already attended several “O” events with a group of friends and is interested in the longer courses. When not working at his day job as an Analogue IC Designer (and we all know what that is!), Darrell is involved in several other sports and is also a Freelance Classical Singer (Bass Voice). We look forward to seeing your name in the results lists soon.
I know that this is a bad time of year to mention it, but “Club Only” subs are due again. Just as that Christmas credit card bill is landing with a heavy “thud” on the doormat, the last thing you want is another bill. But your Club is in great need of the “dosh” so please send your cheque now to the Membership Secretary – Seniors £8, Families £10. Prompt payment will ensure no break in the receipt of the deathless prose of CHIGCHAT.
Yes, its that time of year when evenings become brighter and warmer, and Chiggies go out into the woods to play….
To make playtime more motivating, each evening’s training will have a theme to it, loosely based around some common orienteering techniques. These are aimed to help you orienteer better – IT IS YOUR INTERESTS TO MAKE THE MOST OF THESE EVENINGS – and will be suitable for ALL members of the club.
|5 June||Hainault||Attack points/aiming off|
|19 June||Harlow||Route Choice|
Training will start at 7.00 pm, and will consist of an exercise or two. You can do as much or as little as you like, though I would encourage you to take the time to do the exercises properly, else you won’t gain from them. You may also find it helpful to talk over the exercise with others who can point out where your technique(s) could be improved.
You may or may not know that CHIG has managed to secure a training weekend (4-6 October) on Merthyr Mawr. This is a highly technical grassy sand dune area, with few paths and little vegetation to aid navigation. (If that worries you, this weekend is for you!). The provisional arrangement is to travel Friday afternoon/evening, stay in a Scout Hut or similar, and have two training sessions on Saturday. On Sunday, we will either have a further training session in the morning, or go to a local event, then return in the afternoon. It will probably cost about £50 per head. Please let Tim or me know if you are coming.
Some members of the club have been on this area before, some haven’t. Whether you have or not – THIS WEEKEND WILL BE A FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY TO GET SOME FIRST RATE TRAINING!!
I would say that everyone who possibly can, should go – especially if you have not run outside the SE before, or on this type of area. This is not to say that experienced orienteers will not benefit from training on the area – it is a favoured area for training by orienteering squads right up to elite level!
While I think I know what people would most benefit from, I would love to hear from you about any technique you would like to learn/practice while we are there – I should be able to cover most requests – however big or small. Give me a call, e-mail, or catch me at the summer training evenings.
The Handicap Trophy may be won by any club member who competes in his or her right class in the club championship. To compete, you have to compete in at least five of the qualifying events, which are the previous year’s champs, the South East and other local badge events, any CompassSport Cup matches we compete in, and any major local colour coded events. We calculate your average speed over your second, third and fourth fastest events, and use that to produce an expected time for the Club Championship. The orienteer who runs in the smallest percentage of that time, and does not win any other trophy, wins the shield.
The format ensures that the better orienteers do not do better simply because they are better. In fact, if anything, they tend not to win, because they are too consistent. The winner tends to be someone who has erratic performances during the year, and a good run on the day.
So far this year, we have had eleven qualifying CHIGs – John Duffield, Carol and Helen Pearce, Ken Wickham, Robin and Ruby Campbell, Sandra Daniels, Derek and Josh Jenner, George Pribul and Ian Whisson have each put in the requisite five qualifying runs. Paul Corney and Mark Ford only need one more run to qualify, and Michael Brett, John Gillespie, Helen Hampton, John Pearce, Tim Pribul, Jenny Taylor, Ros West and Harold Wyber need a further two runs. There was a control problem at the CompassSport Cup heat, which meant that these results could not be included, but there are still a few events left to get those final runs in. Further details should be put on the Club web site soon.
|NAME||NO. QUALIFYING RUNS||AV. SPEED IF QUALIFIED||AV. SPEED IF NOT|
CompassSport Trophy Sunday 10 March 2002 – High Lodge, Brandon
We competed against City of Birmingham, South Midlands, Dartford, Stragglers, Potteries, Suffolk and Havering. City of Birmingham and Potteries were new opponents; we have usually beaten Dartford, Suffolk and Havering, and had varied results against Stragglers and South Midlands. Under the new format, we have usually vied closely with Stragglers for second place, but lost comfortably to South Midlands. This year, for a change, we vied closely with South Midlands for second place, but lost comfortably to Stragglers. Although we were not at our strongest, the absence of a couple of stars would merely have made the result closer – we would never have overtaken Stragglers, so our congratulations to them, and our best wishes to them for the final.
Records of scorers for CHIG in the old-style competition do not exist, although I can say without fear of contradiction that our leading scorers will have been Tim Pribul, and John and Carol Pearce. Robin Campbell has scored the most for us in the new style competition – 36 – followed by Tim Pribul on 35 and Carol Pearce on 27.
Puzzle Corner Solution
5 kilometres both weeks
Joe took exactly one hour both weeks, so I was running for exactly one hour, so I ran exactly 5 kilometres. Where I ran it – i.e. on the course, or not – is irrelevant.
EDITOR: John Duffield