ChigChat 148 – March 2003

Editorial | Chairman’s Letter | Use of SI in Orienteering | Chris Brasher| Forest Forum | Past Events | Mapping News | Summer Training | What’s New on the Web | Letters to the Editor | Dates for your Diary ~ Social / Events


Welcome to a new format and medium for ChigChat. I’m looking forward to the editorial role, though I know I have to try to live up to the reputations of some celebrated predecessors. Anyway, please give me your feedback on the format (at events or via and do remember that it all depends on club members putting their own comments and articles into the magazine.

The new format allows me to do away with some of the repetitive bits (lists of committee members and so forth), because these can be accessed through the website. Some ingredients will remain however – the Chairman’s letter and details of training for example. Some things are new – see the What’s on the New on the Web for the Club website for example. George often puts in new links and is open to your suggestions as to more. I’ve also added in the social calendar alongside events, for orienteers like me who can only make up for a consistently mediocre performance by relying on the social satisfactions I get from the sport.

You will also have noticed that I have responded to feedback on the email I sent round a few weeks ago. I was requested not to send a heavy attachment to people’s computers that would take hours to download and then fail to complete at the last minute. I’m told I should be on broadband when I tell my horror stories of trying to download vital files that take 20 minutes or more to squeeze through the wires, but I’m not, so I was sympathetic to the plea. Instead you should have received a taster in an email to draw your attention to the Newsletter on our website, and you are now reading this ! I shall be checking out if the medium is not getting through to people, though so far as I know only one club member is not on email, and will get a steam-mailed copy.

Otherwise, the fine weather over the last couple of weeks, combined with a new job that keeps me indoors much more than I have been used to during the week, has meant that I’m really enjoying my orienteering. There’s some good stuff coming up too, looking at the Fixture list. You’ll see that I’ve put in local events (which include the fact that I’m prepared to travel west of London, as well as further flung National and Badge events. To keep your orienteering social, don’t miss out on the relays coming up – JK in a few weeks now, and the SE Relays in May

Happy days
Jennifer Taylor

Letter from the Chairman

Last week I was working in Birmingham and by some quirk of fate stayed in the same hotel as the American athletics team had also chosen in attending the World Indoor Championships. Prior to their arrival the hotel was the essence of normality but, once they were in situ, it was transformed into a fortress with armed police at all the entry points and scanning equipment installed. It did surprise me that those like myself present before their arrival were then seen as no threat, but afterwards we obviously were. So the knife I had for peeling oranges remained undetected in my room for several days. High profile sporting events now have to accept this level of security as an everyday requirement. One wonders what impact it has upon the athletes themselves – whether they find the increased hassle and protection reassuring, or whether it does affect their performances. Many, like the Americans, come from countries where heavily armed police and militia are the norm but others may find it rather intimidating. I hope our sport may remain relatively free of such encumbrances.

Over the next couple of months our club calendar is very full, with relays, socials, summer training all to the fore. Please support as many of these events as you can, greater numbers mean greater enjoyment and make it much more worthwhile for the organiser.

Elsewhere in this edition there is a tribute to Chris Brasher. At present the nominated charity by his family in memory of Chris is one associated with horse-racing. Talking to BOF office, it is hoped that there will be a permanent orienteering memorial to Chris, which may be a training centre in the Lake District. It is likely that your committee will wish to make a donation in memory of him, but will wait until there is more information available.

Finally, I would like to welcome Jennifer to the editorship of ChigChat. I hope you will give her all the support that she needs, and I look forward to reading about your experiences and news.

Happy days
Tim Pribul

TheUse of SI in Orienteering

Our future is in our hands

Have you ever thought about how the technology of orienteering is progressing? Does the thought of organising an event with SI worry you? What is it all about….?

It’s fair to say that the whole ethos of running an orienteering event has dramatically changed in a very short space of time. No more than 3 years ago the events with SPORTident (SI; or any electronic system) were seen as adventurous, the geeky option, a bit of a leap in the dark. Now events that don’t have SI – beyond local events – are very rare and are seen as backward, and the club is still in the dark ages. Whether you like it or not, SI is here to stay.

So, how have we got from one extreme to the other? And what does it mean for our humble club’s events? Well, the success of SI has to be due to the ease of running the event on the day. Results are quickly produced (both at the event and published versions). It saves the hours and hours of man-power checking every control punch. And, of course, the ease for the competitor, who can find out their time, and splits, before they even get back to the car. I’m sure we can all appreciate the massive benefits SI has brought to our sport.

But most orienteers are unaware of the backend of the procedures, and/or see the whole process as a minefield, or plain scary. It is often left to those people au fait with computers to set up and run the event, and to be responsible for posting the result on the web. As a small club we can ill afford to allow this situation to continue. Our computer-literate younger generations will not stick around for long as they head off into the big wide world of university and careers. It is also true that capable organisers and planners are shying away from these job(s) because of the implications of using SI technology, so we sometimes struggle to find organisers and planners for our events, despite a wealth of experience within the club. We cannot expect those planners and organisers of our successful SI events to do the same job every time! If we are not careful we may soon be unable to put on events to the standard to which we have become accustomed.


…help is at hand! I recently attended an SI course, hosted by HH, which took people of all computer illiteracies through the hardware and the software packages which an average colour coded event would use (a badge event being the same idea, but bigger!). What most of the attendees on the course realised was that the SI system is actually incredibly easy to use, especially “on the day”. Setting up an event might require a little more work than non-SI events of the past, but a bit more preparation beforehand making for an easier event day – surely that is a worthwhile trade off? Certainly, I prefer sitting at home in the warm and dry doing extra preparation, instead of being in a wet and cold field checking cards – don’t you? The software packages are written for orienteering, by orienteers, so no funny Microsoft quirks to contend with and in a language we all understand. Once you are into the swing of things, setting up a colour coded only takes a few hours (the course lasted 3hours, and covered the whole spectrum of setting up an event). There is even software for score events (relays, apparently are still a bit tricky, but not impossible). If you think that hardware and software will be upgraded in the future, you are probably right, but this should not be used as an excuse not to learn how to do the basics now, or you may find yourself having to run before you can walk.

So, when a repeat course is offered, the club should expect to go en mass. Anybody who is considering planning or organising (or controlling) any event in the future (and I don’t just mean our next event) should expect to go, and everybody else should go along to see that the technology doesn’t bite!

Happy SI’ing
Helen Pearce

Chris Brasher pictured with Diana Pritchard (W35B champ), Carol Pearce (W35A champ) and Anne May (SLOW, 2nd W35A) at the 1984 Southern Championships on Leith Hill, sponsored by Piat Wines

Chris Brasher pictured with Diana Pritchard (W35B champ), Carol Pearce (W35A champ) and Anne May (SLOW, 2nd W35A) at the 1984 Southern Championships on Leith Hill, sponsored by Piat Wines

In Memoriam – Chris Brasher

There have been, and will continue to be, many tributes to Chris Brasher, especially in our own circle, of his outstanding contribution to orienteering. There will also be many anecdotes and I thought I would record his influence and contact with our own club.

His inspiration in 1964/65 in establishing the southern pocket of orienteering captured the imagination of those like Michael Brandon, who were the very earliest UK participants in the sport. Michael, as we know, brought the sport to Chigwell in 1966 and within two years we held our first open event from High Beech in Epping Forest. Chris, together with his lifelong friend, John Disley, attended, finishing in 5th and 2nd positions respectively on the Senior Men course. After competing, Michael and I received much positive feedback and encouragement from Chris, something that we much appreciated in those early days.

He attended other events of ours, but in 1974 we asked him to be controller of the Southern Junior Championships, which we were holding on Epping East. The experience of spending time in Epping Forest, prior to the event, with Chris, was extremely valuable for me. He had a reputation of setting tough and testing courses, as anyone, for example, who had experienced the Karimor Mountain Marathon in the Rhinogs would confirm. But here, at the opposite end of the spectrum with juniors in mind, he set some rigorous standards for their safety. He insisted that, although the event was open between 10 and 3, none of the competitors should be in the forest for a period longer than 2 and a quarter hours. They had to return, whatever stage of the course they had completed within that time. He also asked for specific safety and warning notices to be displayed as a result of his controlling experiences in the forest. Epping was very wet preceding this event, and I remember him taking off from a very greasy, wet fallen log and literally flying through the air, with arms and legs flailing, but gracefully landing on two feet and turning to look at the incriminating tree. “We can’t have that happening to them on the day,” he said.

At the end of that day’s lengthy session in the forest he insisted on retiring to the Wake Arms for refreshment. The Wake Arms at that time was a rather run-down trunk-road pub, with little food to offer other than a set of pies of dubious age warming gently on rotating shelves in a glass cabinet. He devoured one of them with relish, accompanied by his pint. We discussed the courses at the bar whilst I watched and he ate. The courses were amended very little, but amongst his comments on the event is one I personally cherish. His report commenced with: “It was a real pleasure to control an event on such a good map.”

He also controlled our Mitre Badge event in 1977. Pete Simpson planned this at short notice and Philip Pearson was the organiser. The idea of controlling in Epping again seemed very attractive to Chris. The map was only available two weeks beforehand but Philip had to assume that all was progressing well on the planning side. However, it came to light, after the event, that Chris and Pete Simpson were in fact drawing up the courses/master maps and preparing the description sheets throughout the previous night of the event, in the Bell Motel at Bell Common. Had the rest of us known this on the morning we might have panicked. His comments in the results were, however, complimentary: “ I was full of admiration for Philip Pearson’s organisation team, all of whom worked with great precision and great cheerfulness. They are a very professional bunch. Indeed only because I was confident of them and of Pete’s skill and precision could the event really go ahead with such a desperately short time-table.” We all knew how much commitment he gave to the event as well, but he still found time to run the A course non-competitively and came 29th out of 91!

Forest Forum

The Forest Forum was set up by the Conservators to improve communications between them and organisations and associations with an interest in Epping Forest, such as us. As the club representative I have been to two meetings now, and thought I would let you know what has been said. The meetings are led by Jeremy Wisenfeld (The Superintendent), and at both he has given a power-point presentation on current and future developments. The main themes have been:

1. The establishment and extension of grazing on forest pastures. As many of you may have seen on Fairmead, Highland cattle have been introduced and they are being moved around the forest to try to consolidate the grass and heath lands.

2. The controlling of traffic volumes and speed, especially on the A104 (the New Road).

3. The creation of ‘gateways’ into the forest, as done in the New Forest.

4. The creation of link corridors to other ‘natural’ areas such as the Lea Valley.

5. The general policies of environmental planning in the South East, and Epping’s role within that. This covered the effect of an enlarged Stansted, the policies of the Dutch (for comparison), and sources of funding (including from developers!).

The meetings are very interesting, though of little direct practical use for orienteering. There is always an open debate session when such ‘chestnuts’ as litter, dog poo and ‘why can’t the forest be as it was in the old days? ’ are voiced. But through all this good ideas are exchanged in both directions. If anyone would like to go to the next meeting please let me know, as we are asked to send one representative only.

More immediately and practically there are things about to happen which need your support:

1. The Epping Forest Management Plan consultation booklet is now out, and needs responses by April 11th. I have a few spare copies of the booklet and questionnaire, but copies should be in your library or town hall etc. soon. Let me know if you are interested in reading it and responding. I will respond personally rather than on behalf of the club, so you can let your own views be counted if you have strong feelings either way about how the forest is run.

2. The Epping Forest Act was passed 125 years ago, and to celebrate, there will be:

a. An Art Exhibition in June/August (location tba.)

b. A Forest Festival on Sept. 7th on Chingford Plain. Do we want to have a stall, and will anyone volunteer to organise it?

c. A photo project exhibition at The Guildhall in October.

d. A guided horse ride through the forest (sorry I missed the details. Ring The Warren if you wish to know more).

I don’t have the details of the next meeting, but it will be in the summer in the northern part of the forest. Let me know if you need more details of any sort.

John Pearce

Past Events

(This page is looking a little thin this edition – so volunteers for reviews are urgently sought – or you may find your arm twisted ! – ed)

CompassSport Cup and Trophy

The results from our round in the CompassSport Cup and Trophy event at Redlands yesterday are now posted on the GO website.

Unfortunately we could only manage third position this year with Stragglers well out in front of the rest of us (now there’s an oxymoron). Redlands provided a tough challenge with exceptionally difficult brashings – although some competitors found this to their liking!

Thanks to Mark for co-ordinating the entries and to all of you who turned out for the club but our appreciation must especially go to those of you who ‘ran up’ to gain those extra points and therefore put yourselves through even more rigours than anticipated.

Tim Pribul


We have a new member: ROBIN MARSTON (M27) from ROTHERHAM. Welcome Robin!

Want your name in lights? Write for ChigChat (or become a new Chig member).

Mapping News

The club has now got OCAD 8 for its mapping and planning. This may be used by anyone in the club, providing we do not have two maps being made at once. But the main advantage of OCAD 8 is that it has a course planning option. This allows planners to put all potential controls onto the map, and then sort out course lengths and control descriptions etc. It is a real time saver for planners, and helps in the sending of the overprinting. Although I have yet to use it in depth, Jeff Green has and either of us can give you a quick tuition session, before you begin planning.

John Pearce

Training Corner (Summer Training)

The clocks change this weekend, and it’ll soon be summer (I am an eternal optimist!), so it is time to start dreaming of long summer evenings running round our favourite forests…

The aim for this year’s series is to practise techniques that will help us orienteer faster, building on last year’s work of accuracy. This doesn’t mean we all have to run round these exercises at 5mins/K(!), but that we are looking for ways in which legs/races can be done quicker, while not slacking on the accuracy, for each individual. A happy medium of technical accuracy and speed will make for a successful orienteer.

Here are the dates of Wednesday evening trainings, for your diary:

Date Area Aim
21 May Epping South Route Choice
28 May Hainault Concentration
4 June Epping NW Competition
11 June Latton Woods Relocation
18 June Harlow TP Competition
25 June Knighton Map Memory
2 July Pishiobury Gooseberry Fool

N.B. Club champs is on the 14/06, in Hainault

I am open to volunteers to plan several evenings, so if you’re interested – give me a call!

“I had to use every orienteering technique in the forest, and get it right at speed!”

Yvette Baker, after winning Gold in the short race WOC1999 (paraphrased)

Run Well!

Helen Pearce

What’s New on the Web

Well – this version of ChigChat for a start, and the following links:
( The web site for Epping Forest )
( Epping Forest Conservators’ quarterly newsletter – Forest Focus )

John Duffield

Letters to the Editor

Dear Sir/Madam

I have recently read an article in the excellent CHIGCHAT (no. 147, Jan 2003) about baths, and felt it was my duty to clarify a few points, which may be misleading to other readers:

The “ideal temperature for your body….” is quoted as being 43ºC. Unfortunately, if one’s body was indeed at 43ºC, one would be dead. What the author probably meant was that the ideal temperature of the bathwater is 43ºC.

The average human-being’s heart beat is indeed around 75 beats per minute (bpm), however, in the orienteering fraternity it is highly likely that the average heart beat is closer to 60bpm – thus a heart rate rise to 115bpm is quite substantial! By regularly being active, we train our heart muscle to work efficiently, which reduces our heart rate and blood pressure. A post-race orienteer should be looking to raise a 60bpm heart rate to around 100bpm.

Similarly, a drop in blood pressure may not be as such a good thing for an orienteer as for an “average” person. Indeed, if like me you suffer from low blood pressure, a further drop in pressure could be dangerous. This could lead to insufficient blood (and thus oxygen) getting to the brain, which could cause one to faint. The author of the article suggests that it is impossible to drown intentionally. Unfortunately, if you have fainted, there is no “intention” involved, since one is unconscious!

There are further dangers associated with hot baths, including dehydration and reduced oxygen getting to the blood (when air is saturated with water, free oxygen levels are reduced, and high temperatures reduces the lungs ability to expand efficiently). Aromatherapy oils are fine if that’s what one want to use, but only in small doses. The oil in the air will coat your lungs, and further reduce one’s oxygen uptake.

However, all of these are avoidable! If the bath water is at the correct temperature, it should feel hot, but not scolding (it shouldn’t steam!). Aromatherapy should be kept to Radox, or similar. If breathing becomes laboured, one should force several deep breaths until it become easier and be ready to move to cooler climes. The person partaking of the bath must be ready to either get out of the bath or pour cool water over their head if their heart-beat races or they feel sleepy or light-headed in any way.

I hope all your readers now have enjoyable and most importantly, a safe bath time!


Concerned of Buckhurst Hill

Dates for your Diary (Social)

Friday 4th April – Dribble O and AGM

Starts 8.00 pm at the Jenners’.

Sunday 27th April – Slash and Burn

CHIG is planning a repeat of last year’s very enjoyable and practical day in the country by offering to help the Epping Forest Volunteers. The planned activities centre on removing sycamore where ant hills and ground flora are being shaded out. The ants provide food for birds, notably green woodpeckers.
Let Carol Pearce know if you will be taking part.

Parking: The Pines, off Whitehall Rd near Woodford Golf course.

Friday 9th May – Annual Dinner

At the Clocktower Restaurant, Chipping Ongar. Our guests will be Simon & Helen Errington. Please let Sally Pribul know if you are coming – its at 7:30 for 8:00pm and will cost £19.95 per head.

Jennifer Taylor

Dates for your Diary (Events)

Also see the links to the BOF official fixture list!

6th April BOK NATIONAL EVENT & World Ranking Event & UK Cup. Gare Hill, Frome. ST/773385.
6th April HAVOC Colour Coded Event & EAGAL & SWESO. Langdon Hills, Basildon. TQ/680866.
13th April DVO Badge Event & Midland Championships. Chatsworth House, Bakewell. SK/270770. CD: 24/03/03
13th April NGOC Badge Event. Caerwent, Chepstow. ST/470908. CD: 24/03/03. Entries:
13th April NOR Colour Coded Event & EAGAL & Norfolk Schools League. Lynford, Thetford. TL/817930.
19th April JK INDIVIDUAL DAY 1 (inc WRE, UK Cup & FCC). Hambledon, Henley. SU/772860.
20th April JK INDIVIDUAL DAY 2 (inc WRE, UK Cup & FCC). Star Posts, Bracknell. SU/878663.
21st April JK RELAY. Hambledon, Henley. JK Co-ordinator: Katy Stubbs, 0118 978 2132.
27th April WAOC Chasing Sprint & Limited Colour Coded Event. Bush Heath, Mildenhall. TL/725753. CD: 20/04/03
4th May SO Colour Coded Event. Angmering Park (East), Arundel. TQ/070080.
5th May MV Colour Coded Event. Norbury Park, Leatherhead. TQ/163551.
11th May SOS Colour Coded Event & ESSOL. Wivenhoe Park & Woods, Colchester. TM/030240.
11th May NOR Colour Coded Event. Blickling, Aylsham. TG/162297.
11th May TVOC Colour Coded Event. Shotover, Oxford. SP/564062.
11th May DFOK South East Relays. Shorne Country Park, Gravesend. TQ/685700.
Speak to Mark Ford about CHIG entries
17th May BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS – INDIVIDUAL. Wharncliffe, Sheffield. SK/310986. CD: 19/04/03
18th May BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS – RELAYS. Greno Woods, Sheffield. SK/310986.
Springtime in Shropshire Weekend CD: 02/05/03
24th May Day 1 Training Event. Titterstone Clee. Details TBA.
25th May WRE Day 2 Badge Event. Corndon & Stapeley, Bishops Castle. SO/302976.
26th May HOC Day 3 Badge Event. Brampton Bryan, Ludlow. SO/355712.
1st June NOR Compass Sport Cup Final. Shouldham Warren, Downham Market. TF/680105.
7th June WAOC Limited Colour Coded & SMILE Event. Ampthill Park, Ampthill. TL/025382.
8th June MDOC NATIONAL EVENT (Twin Peak Day 2) & BEOC & Northern Championships. High Dam, Newby Bridge. SD/368888. CD: 27/05/03
8th June TVOC Colour Coded Event. Grimsbury Castle, Newbury. SU/519737.
14th June DVO Harvester Trophy Relay. Longshaw, Sheffield. SK/257777. CD: 01/06/03.
15th June SAX Colour Coded Event. Trosley, Gravesend. TQ/634611.
22nd June SOS Colour Coded Event & EAGAL & ESSOL. Hatfield Forest, Bishops Stortford. TL/547203.