Captain’s Blog – June/July 2008

Stragglers’ Relay Win for CHIG!

After a gap of 9 years, CHIG have finally reclaimed the Stragglers’ Relay title on 6th July at High Woods, Colchester. Despite only fielding 2 teams, putting all our experienced eggs in one basket gave This Little CHIGgy an excellent handicap headstart of 52 minutes and finished 2 minutes clear of HAVOC Snails. Congratulations to Ray Weekes, Carol and John Pearce and Tim Pribul. CHIG have now won the trophy 14 times: Tim has been in 12 of those winning teams and Carol in 10!

Full CHIG Results:

  • This Little CHIGgy (John Pearce, Carol Pearce, Tim Pribul, Ray Weekes) 1st
  • CHIGs Will Fly (Helen Hampton, Alan Brett, Philippa Pribul, Sally Pribull) 10th

Club Championships

The main event for CHIG in June was the Club Championships. Congratulations to all this year’s trophy winners:

Class 2008 Champion
Open Mark Ford
Women’s Open Alice Campbell
Veteran Men John Duffield
Veteran Women Helen Hampton
Intermediate Girls Caitlin Campbell
Junior Boys Dylan Campbell
Handicap Sally Pribul
Novice Emma Blowers

I hope everyone enjoyed the slightly different format to previous years. It certainly made planning easier having a more compact area and not having to worry so much about the emergence of summer vegetation. With hindsight, the small Out of Bounds area should have been taped (from both directions) and I hope the minority(!) who took the longer route don’t feel they were significantly disadvantaged.

If you enjoyed the “sprint” format, there are a couple more sprint races coming up in the South East. First the inaugral SE Sprint Champs (see below) and, later in the year (11th Oct), a bit closer to home, SLOW are organising a round of the NopeSport Urban League in the City of London. The start is near Liverpool St Station and the courses should provide an exciting race through narrow streets and passageways of the Square Mile and the intricate multi-level Broadgate Circle area. A great opportunity for any city-workers (and anyone else) to challenge their collegues to try orienteering!

CHIG v HAVOC, Rounds 2 and 3

We continued our winning form with an away win at Thorndon North on 8th June. Jennifer Taylor and Harold Wyber supplying maximum points on Green and Blue respectively. Round 3 was at Wanstead Park, an area we haven’t used for some time and with 17 CHIG runners against only 4 from HAVOC, another win for CHIG was inevitable. The area was made particularly challenging by some enthusiastic summer undergrowth – perhaps we should try to use Wanstead earlier in the summer next year.

Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon

My excuse for not helping to beat HAVOC at Thorndon was being in Glenfinnan, about 15 miles west of Fort William. Running with Darrell High (SO) as usual, we were competing on our third (and possibly final!) Elite course. We both flew to Edinburgh airport on Friday, (Darrell from Geneva, I from Stansted), rented a car and drove the rest of the way. The midges were out in force at the campsite after a particularly dry spell, but the sun was shining and it was good to be back in the Highlands. After our ritual three course Wilf’s evening meal we sorted out our gear and eventually settled down to sleep around 11pm without even switching on our headtorches!

On Saturday morning the Elite and A teams had a “surprise” train journey one stop west along the Mallaig line, to Lochailort (there’s often some form of mystery transport). The first day was a killer – the planner’s route being 37k with nearly 2400m of climb. The weather and the views were fantastic which made navigation fairly straightforward, once we’d decided on our route. The longest leg (and most difficult route choice) took 3 hours! In total we took over 10 hours – our longest MM day to date – finishing in 7th place, but over 2.5 hours behind the leaders. Needless to say we were pretty exhausted by the time we reached the mid-camp – a microlight landing strip next to a remote cottage. At least it was fairly flat and dry. We were still cooking when most other teams had gone to bed – our cooker maybe light, but it’s certainly not quick (and we like to think eating a lot helps recovery overnight)!

The weather had deteriorated overnight but we set off as early as possible to give ourselves the best chance of catching our flights home! We had little chance of catching 6th place who were more than an hour quicker on day 1, but there were 2 teams only a few minutes behind us, so we couldn’t take it easy. Although shorter than Saturday, we still took 7 hours to complete the course as the weather gradually returned to warm sunshine. With flights to catch we had little time to relax in the sun, so we wolfed down our Wilf’s lunch, packed up our stuff and headed back to the car. Just as we passed the prize-giving, to our surprise we heard our names being read out. We dumped our packs, had our photos taken and took a prize for 6th place. It seemed too good to be true, but in our exhausted and mildly stressed state we couldn’t offer a coherent reason why it was to early to be sure. As it turned out, it was too good to be true – the 6th place team overnight had started much later than we had and beat us comfortably into 7th overall. A slight disappointment, but as a gesture of goodwill we got to keep our prizes!

Full reports, results and links to routegadget here.

SE Sprint/Relay Champs Weekend – 30-31st Aug

Southdowns are organising a SE Championships weekend based at Sussex University (near Brighton). The weekend includes the inaugral SE Sprint Championships (combined result of 2 rounds) on Saturday afternoon with the SE Relay Championships on Sunday morning. Please put the dates in your diary – I’ll be sending a more formal call-up email for relay runners in the near future (please enter the Sprint Race yourselves).

World Masters OC, Portugal, 28th June – 5th July

Jennifer Taylor, our Chairman, traveled to Portugal recently to compete in the World Masters Orienteering Championships. In the sprint competition, Jennifer had an excellent qualifier, but unfortunately lost her way early on in the A final. Here she is in action just leaving control 10 in the final at Praia da Vieira [see gallery above].