By Mike Pedley, East Pennine Orienteering Club (EPOC)
Euromeeting 2019 / XXXI Suunto Games in Estonia
This year's two day Euromeeting was held alongside the Suunto Games, Estonia's largest annual orienteering event. It provides an opportunity for international competition to some on the fringes of the GB elite group and to juniors moving into the senior ranks.
The women's event was won by Latvia's Sandra Grosberga from Finland's Amy Nymalm. Cat Taylor (SYO), there to gain experience of terrain similar to European Orienteering Championships 2020 (EOC 2020), was 24th and Fay Walsh (EUOC) 34th of the 38 starters.
The mens race attracted a larger field of 72 runners and was won overall by Olli Ojanaho (Finland) who overhauled local favourite and Day 1 winner, Timo Sild, in the rain drenched Day 2 chasing start. Duncan Birtwistle (OD) was first in 31st place (24th on Day 2) with Josh Dudley (MAROC) 36th, Josh Beech (EBOR) 45th and Alasdair Pedley (EUOC), still M20, in 46th.
Full results can be found here.
Photo credit: Mike Pedley, East Pennine Orienteering Club (EPOC)
By Sal Chaffey and Ranald Macdonald, Derwent Valley Orienteers
British Middle Distance Championships
Sunday 15 September 2019
Organiser Sal Chaffey from Derwent Valley Orienteers, comments:
Our day for “the Middles” was a foggy one, amidst days of blue autumnal skies. This was certainly true on the Friday, when a small team met at Piece Farm to place the eight temporary stiles on the moor, and on Saturday when the marquee arrived and we set up the arena, cheered by news of Derwent Valley Orienteers' medals at the British Sprint Championships in Loughborough. Again, the Monday and Tuesday after the event provided excellent drying days for the soggy assortment of kites and kit!
However, on Sunday morning you couldn’t see the portaloos from the marquee – it was like being on another planet and I was relieved when the first non-DVO competitors emerged from the mists as I knew that others would surely follow.
Above photo on left: The Arena on Saturday. Piece Farm (on the left), Lantern Pike (on the right).
Above photo on right: The first brave spectators set up tents in the mists of Sunday morning!
And they did. Some 877 competed on the day, 859 of those on Championship courses.
We had about 80 helpers from DVO, most of whom undertook an array of different jobs as the day progressed – thank you all! Thank you to Viv Macdonald who liaised with the DVO Teams and dealt with road signs, making my job so much easier. Mike Godfree handled entries.
Thanks also to the Prize-giving Team of Val Johnson and the Duckworth and O’Donnell families who enabled the Hallam family from Piece Farm to be involved.
Unclaimed medals and maps will be available at DVO’s Regional event at Longshaw on Saturday 26 October. Longshaw is a beautiful National Trust area just 10 miles SW of Sheffield, and the event is part of the East Midlands League.
It’s been great to be part of an event of this scale, and it certainly makes you appreciate the efforts put on behind the scenes by other clubs and by staff at British Orienteering. We are privileged to be part of a sport in which there’s always room to learn, and where age is no barrier in participation, as borne out by our competitors, who ranged from 8 to 88!
Planner Ranald Macdonald, Derwent Valley Orienteers, comments:
Scheduling the British Middles in the first half of September is always going to limit the areas a club like DVO can use because the undergrowth is at its worst. However, we do have a couple of upland areas that are more suitable. The first we looked at was deemed unsuitable for the level of event and we have subsequently had significant access issues with that area. We had only used Chinley Churn a few times since its initial mapping in 2015 and, whilst it also has limitations, it seemed worthy of consideration.
The area comprises tiered quarry workings and steep scree/boulder fields on the eastern side, marshy moorland on the top and then fields sloping down to the west and the assembly area on Piece Farm. The area is divided up by uncrossable walls and fences meaning that we had to construct eight stiles to provide reasonable straight line routes or to avoid stiles on public rights of way that could be busy on an early autumn Sunday as it’s a very popular walking area.
I had never planned a championship/level A event before and was really only third or fourth choice as other potential planners were too busy in their work or were injured. The whole exercise was therefore a very steep learning curve for me, though greatly assisted by the ever-patient Chris Burden (AIRE), my Controller.
The Finish was largely determined by the area chosen for Assembly and car parking. It provided a good arena with visible final controls across the skyline and downhill to the Finish.
Finally, some thank yous:
Photo credits: Steve Rush (BOK)
Final results can be found here.
Results, as well as WinSplits and Routegadget, are here.
Organiser: Sal Chaffey assisted by Viv Macdonald, both DVO
Planner: Ranald Macdonald assisted by Dave Chaffey, both DVO
Controller: Chris Burden, Aire
Mapper: Richard Parkin, DVO
British Orienteering would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the Organiser Sal Chaffey and all event officials, to Derwent Valley Orienteers and surrounding clubs for all their hard work and behind the scenes activities in making this a great British Middle Championships.
By Bob Haskins, Leicestershire Orienteering Club (LEI)
Saturday 14 September 2019 turned out to be a warm and sunny early Autumn day. It couldn’t have been better for holding the British Sprint Championships at Loughborough University.
There were 800 entrants who were able to enjoy a day of fast, and at times complex, sprint orienteering. The Event Centre was at one of the University’s main facilities buildings, thanks to holding the event out of term time, and had plenty of capacity for enquiries, starts and results displays, and download. Loughborough University is the premier sporting campus in the UK, and the University authorities were very accommodating, as they had been when the event was held here previously in 2013. It is also the largest single campus site in the country and we still have about one third of the campus which has not been used for a Championship event. It is also a quickly changing environment, and our mapper, Peter Hornsby was making changes up until just a few days prior to the event.
As the available area is so large, it enables the heats and finals to be on adjoining areas, but with no overlap. This makes life more difficult for the
Planner, Iain Phillips, of course, who effectively plans two separate large events for use on one day with 40+ separate courses and 150+ control sites. However, this makes for a much more interesting event for the competitors, with the most complex areas being used for the Finals.
From an organisational point of view, having good facilities makes putting on the event a bit less challenging. There is a 630-space multi-storey car park available, so no muddy fields for us. The arena area seemed to work well and it was possible to look down over the finish run-in from the grass banks or the hard standing next to the event centre.
The biggest challenge of the Sprints is the timetable for the day. We started all the morning heats over one hour, setting off 20 competitors at a time in full minutes. This was thanks to our 18-member start team and some pre-event practices and much thinking. The big pressure then comes to process the heats into the start lists for the Finals, and we were very thankful that this was contracted out by us to SIEntries. The printout I have of the finals start lists shows a time of 12:38 pm, ready for the first finals starts at 1:30 pm. The Finals were over a larger window, and therefore a bit more relaxed.
The Open class Final was also a World Ranking Event which necessitated a variation from normal practice, in that all the three finals were the same course. Only an A Finalist could be British Champion, but any of the finalists could win the WE race. As it turned out it was the British Champions who won this race as well. For the first time at the British Sprints, there were also separate class medals for M/W 18 and 20. We also altered the usual ordering of the Finals, so that we had a stream of A Final winners coming in at regular intervals, culminating in the Open Class finalists at the end of the afternoon with most competitors back and watching this exciting finale and listening to the excellent commentary.
Kris Jones started strongly in the morning sprint qualifying race, winning his heat by over a minute. He followed this up with a superb run in the afternoon final, winning in 12.27 over 3km, 47 seconds clear of Peter Hodkinson in 2nd place and Jonny Crickmore in 3rd.
Megan Carter-Davies also won both her heat and final, finishing the final in 11.44 for 2.3km, ahead of Alice Leake (2nd) and Cecile Andersen (3rd).
Photo credits: Bob Haskins (LEI)
Full results are available here.
Congratulations go to all the British champions!
British Orienteering would like to thank Bob Haskins (LEI) and all members from the organising clubs for an excellent day of Sprint racing.
It was back to Tesserete for the Men’s and Women’s Relays, the penultimate races of this years European Championships.
The forests which would meet the competitors were open and fast beech woods, with little in the way of vegetation to impede the runnability. This meant that the runners would have to cope with an extremely high running pace throughout the race, which would mean the risk of over running and making a mistake was extremely high.
The Women’s relay kicked off proceeding, with Jess Tullie of GBR1 (supported by Cat Taylor and Hollie Orr) and Jo Shepherd for GBR2 (followed by Charlotte Watson and Alice Leake) leading off for the Brits. The pace was high right from the start, with Switzerland’s Judith Wyder for their first team taking the lead and never relinquishing it. Behind, the chasers could only scramble for positions in the pack, with the Fins and Swedes leading the charge, but Jess and Jo well placed.
Onto the second Leg and the Swiss first teams lead began to come under pressure from one of their own runners. The second team runner Simone Aebersold slowly began to close down on her teammate Elena Roos, catching her by the second TV split at the “Tower of Spirits”, before turning what had begun as a 30-second deficit into a minutes lead by the changeover. Behind a chasing pack of Russia, Sweden and Finland had formed but could do nothing to impact on the pace of Aebersold. Cat Taylor for GBR1 was slowly moving through the places from 14th and would change over in 8th place just ahead of Ida Bobach of Denmark, sending out Hollie Orr and Maja Alm together, 3 and a half minutes down on the lead.
Sarina Jenzer of SUI2 would feel the pressure from behind almost immediately, with her teammate Julia Gross slicing her lead in half by the first radio. To the TV control at the “Tower of Spirits”, it was Sui1 ahead of the chasers, with SUI2 falling back but still holding onto second and Sweden’s Karolin Olsson closing the gap to the lead. Olsson would soon create a gap to her fellow chasers, but not enough to make any major inroads into the lead of Gross until she made a mistake on the third to last control. This allowed Denmark’s Alm, who had been running the quickest out of everyone in the forest and had bridged the minute or so gap to the chasing pack back into the hunt for the silver medal. Both women entered the finishing straight together, but it was Sweden who would have the better sprint finish and take the silver, with Denmark settling for bronze. Sadly, Alm’s relentless pace was too much for Orr, who would bring the team home in a commendable 7th place.
Onto the men’s race, and with the favourable terrain, the race was wide open for a fantastic British result. Kris Jones would start first for GBR1 (followed by Peter Hodkinson and Ralph Street) with Hector Haines - making his debut this week - running for GBR2 (supported by Sasha Chepelin and Ali McLeod). The pace from the start was ferocious, with the Swiss teams wanting to romp away with another gold and the Swedish (who have had a sub-par championships for their men’s team) looking to put their championships back on track.
There was much changing in the lead throughout the first Leg, but Kris remained in the top-three throughout, even breaking away with Florian Howald of Switzerland 2 at the arena passage, before they were closed down; but Kris didn’t falter, coming in in the lead of a quartet of runners.
It was a lead, but a small one. Peter Hodkinson was under pressure in a pack which included several world champions, including Matthias Kyburz, Fabian Hertner and Magne Daehli. Peter kept his cool, did his own navigation and by the time of the long, ungaffled leg back to the arena he was in the pack and holding on. Sadly the elastic snapped after the arena passage and Pete would lose a minute from an additional small mistake but had done a fantastic job at keeping GBR in touch for a bronze.
Out on last Leg and Ralph Street was being hunted down by some of the best last leg runners in the world. A couple of small errors at the start of the Leg meant that Ralph was on the back foot, with Czech, France and Russia hunting him down. It was France who would sneak ahead, with Fredric Tranchand breaking away from the chase and clear into bronze. Small mistakes from all the runners would creep into their runs, with Ralph entering the long Leg back to the arena in fourth place. By the run through though the Czechs have snuck ahead and by the finish, it was as precious, with Ralph finishing in 5th, just behind Vojtech Kral of Czech in 4th.
1) Switzerland 1 1:45:56
2) Sweden 1 +2:11
3) Denmark 1 +2:13
Cecilie Friberg Klysner
1) Norway 1 1:55:40
2) Switzerland 1 +0:30
3) France 1 +3:07