A great Orienteering day! Good weather; Epping Forest in the springtime; and a healthy turnout, ensuring plenty of competition across ages and abilities. From the feedback I got, many of you felt likewise. Well done to all 153 competitors, and especially to those first-timers today.
It was good to see a large variety of clubs represented among the entries including, as well as the usual neighbouring clubs, several unfamiliar to me: PenOc, OD, BAOC, plus folks from further afield – NOR, SUFFOC, WSX, TVOC, MV, BOF, and BKO. And a good turnout of those not (yet!) club affiliated- here’s hoping today encourages them to continue their interest in our sport.
Thanks notably go to: Tony, for re-surveying, setting courses offering a challenge in a tight area, and patiently answering my queries; Janet for controlling, and valued feedback throughout; seasoned club experts the Rays and Tim for keeping me honest; Paul and Simon Errington for the equipment and SI kit respectively; the Superintendent of Epping Forest, for allowing us to use the beautiful Forest once again; and last, but certainly not least, all CHIG members on the day who helped out at the event.
I hope that everyone enjoyed their runs on Epping SE. While not the most technically difficult part of Epping Forest it does present its own challenges. It has some open runnable parts and I tried to avoid the worst of the rougher areas.
I would like to thank Janet for her constructive and efficient controlling.
Planning was, in some respects, very easy, living very close to the area (yes, that was my house used for download!), as I didn’t need to make long, specific visits to the area. However, the wet weather of the recent weeks meant that the area was much wetter than anticipated. It resulted in a late switch to one of the controls on Yellow and White to avoid the pond that had developed at a path junction. Some controls in depressions had to be sited a little away from the intended sites – which were knee deep in water and mud.
It was great to see a good turn out on what proved to be a fine day for orienteering. Tony made the best of the compact area and I did hear quite a number of encouraging comments from competitors. It is unfortunate that most of the depressions used as control sites had become ponds so the flags had to be sited on the edges and, as a consequence, were more easily seen on the approach. I was a little concerned for competitors on the Yellow course as a couple of the paths were waterlogged. But, all those who went on the that course got round safely. Tony mentioned about re-routing the course which was a very good decision as the originally planned path junction was knee-deep in water! It is a pity there were so few juniors, I assume many people were still on Easter holidays or getting ready for the return to school.
I did hear one or two comments about the lack of signing on the route from the car park. Perhaps I should have suggested having a map showing the route? Otherwise the organisation was very ably led by Iain.