Chairman’s Chat Lyn West

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March 2004

Editors: Jenny and John Collyer Club website:


Page 2 Editorial

Page 2 Chairman’s Chat Lyn West

Page 3 Captain’s Log Martin Sellens

Page 4 Event Reports

Page 6 SOS Notice Board including:-

Page 7 Fordham Wood Jack Isbester

Page 10 SOS Gear Shop Lyn West

Page 11 High Woods Management Plan Jack Isbester

Page 13 Mountain Navigation Challenge Russell Ladkin

Page 13 SOS National Ranking Positions

Page 14 BOF Item

Page 14 Schools’ League Dave Birkett

Page 16 Fixtures Jack Isbester

Editorial Jenny and John Collyer

A number of contributors (ourselves included) still have vivid memories of the Championships at Simonside, Northumbria, and we will not stray any further into that well-covered area.

However, it has reminded us of many events where memorable things have happened, other than the much-maligned “good run”. As orienteers we travel to the parts that others do not normally reach, and our experiences give us a broad and detailed view of the countryside, both home and abroad.

One of the surprising aspects for us was the realization of how the countryside has changed over the years; forests we assumed to be long standing showing clear signs of habitation in times past – the Scottish Glens and the Highland Clearances being an obvious example.

How good then, for Stragglers to have put something back with their efforts at the Fordham tree planting.

Chairman’s Chat Lyn West

2004 seems to have got off to a good start. Your esteemed Chairman is feeling very pleased with herself. I started the year with a Championship standard run at the first National Event, something I have never before achieved and then followed it up by winning the W50 class at the Midland Night Championships at High Ash. OK so Night O does not appeal to many people and I was the only entrant. But I still had to find all the controls, no mean feat in the dark I can tell you. It is bad enough keeping track of blocks of Thetford Forest in daylight but it is far more difficult at night!

SOS seems to be having a successful year too with a comprehensive victory in the Regional Round. Not only did we have quality runners, we also had quantity. It was good to see so many Stragglers turning out for the club. No doubt Martin has more to say on the subject but if you were planning something for May 9th, forget it. You are needed at the Final.

The badge event at Roman Valley went very well. We received some very complimentary comments from the Controller. My thanks to all of you who helped. In fact I feel very positive about the club at the moment. We seem to have some new members who are getting actively involved. It is good to have some new blood to liven us old timers up. Please don’t be afraid to let any of the committee have your comments. We need your input.

By the time you read this, the British Championships will have taken place. I don’t think we have any hot favourites for the titles but a good contingent are making the trip to the North East. Then the JK at Easter promises to be a highly social event with the Youth Hostel full and plenty of other Stragglers in the area. The orienteering terrain will be challenging and I am looking forward to it. One thing is certain, Relay Day will be very vocal! And we have some competitive teams too.

Yes, 2004 is shaping up well.

Captain’s Log Martin Sellens

I am thinking of commissioning a special T-shirt emblazoned with the announcement "I survived Simonside (just)". The conditions at the British Orienteering Championships (except that it really isn't) in Northumberland last Saturday (20th March) were appalling. Gale force winds, hail showers and exposed moorland terrain meant that it was a game of two halves. Heading east was like wearing 20 league boots with the wind at your back and speeds of 3 min/km (mainly airborne) being achievable for the sure of foot and strong of ankle. On the other hand, after the turn it was battling into the teeth of the hurricane. Head down and cagoule flapping like a banshee (or do they only scream?), grit your teeth and look for routes in the lee of ridges or sheltered gullies. Thank goodness it was at least fairly mild. I'm still wondering if there were punters inside the portaloos when they were blown over, and whether Fat Pigs ever hauled their lardy ass out of the mud. Social life after the event was limited to pushing cars and mud wrestling. Orienteering. An adventure sport. Sounds accurate to me. And then there was the journey home through the motorway debris of scuppered high-sided vehicles, drifts of hail, electrical storms and the usual obstacle course of roadworks.

Meanwhile, back at the Compass sport Trophy competition, in the civilised, flat, rectilinear East Anglian forests that we know and love, Stragglers moved inexorably into the final once again. Competing against old rivals SUFFOC, CHIG, SMOC and HAVOC at Warren Woods on 14th March, we scored maximum points on two of the courses and had first scorer on all but one. Something has gone awry with the event web page at so I can't find the final scores, but suffice it to say that we won by a large margin. It was great to see so many Stragglers at the event and well done to all of us. It was a glorious victory and Stragglers who are there will regale their grandchildren, yea even to the Nth generation, with tales of Orienteering derring do on sandt tracks and midst the lofty pines. But lets not get carried away. It was only the regional heats. The final will be at Pillar Wood near Caister (North Lincs) on May 9th. The competition will be fierce and last year's winners SARUM will be difficult to beat. However, Stragglers can give them a run for their money and I will be recruiting in April to get the strongest possible team to head North and intimidate the Southern upstarts into submission. Remember, this is the "thinking sport", and I think we can win. Incidentally, if you want to find out how this competition works and to understand the byzantine new scoring system, don't ask me, log on to the aforementioned web site.

I have now entered several teams with silly names into the JK relays. You know who you are so I won't dwell on this. Anyway, I want to watch the news and take on board a glass of anti-oxidants. Similarly, I will only briefly mention the British Relay Championships, now to be held on May 3rd or thereabouts at the triple O Severn (clever pun, that) three day event in the Forest of Dean. Or should that be Tracy? Anyway, whoever. If you are going and want a run, and haven't told me already, please email to reserve your place. And finally, good luck at the East Anglian Championships this Sunday (28th March), or last Sunday depending on your position in the space time continuum.

This is your captain speaking. Over and out.

Event Reports

National Event 1 Blackheath, Surrey Jenny Collyer

I am normally pleased to do 10 min k’s so was amazed at 8.8 min k’s at this event. This reflects the nature of the terrain – the sort we dream about – mostly open woodland, some heath with low heather, no bramble, brashings, little undergrowth and fairly gentle contouring – at least on my course. This gave no excuses to slow down and the direct, straight line route was always the best. The only break in momentum was hitting a control which was not mine and having to quickly work out where I was. Championship standards were achieved by: - Andrew Malley, Joanne West, Hazel Tant, Suzie Robertson, Hilary Sellens and Jenny Collyer
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