Wet, wet, wet….
What a weekend some of us had down on Dartmoor at the Caddihoe Chase! The event was based near Burrator Reservoir, a place I’ve orienteered in several times, but a long time ago. It’s a stunning area – when it’s not raining! The organisers (Devon) had a problem on their hands right from the start when the /car park field was so waterlogged that it became unusable. So all competitors had to park along the road. Which for some meant quite a long walk to the assembly area. The forecast for Saturday wasn’t actually too bad, with the heavy rain and gales not due in until about 4pm. So most competitors ran in the dry (apart from underfoot, that is!)
The walk to the Start on Day 1 was a 2k through the woods, along the lake shore and then on a track up onto the moor. It was actually quite a pleasant walk and I’m glad I declined a lift in the minibus that was shuttling people if they required it. My course, Short Green, fortunately had a 1:7500 map as I dread to think how I would have coped with the 1:10000 as there were so many detailed features. Even so I still managed to overshoot control 1 (and apparently quite a few people had problems with it) but then got my head together and found 2 and 3 fairly OK. I then, foolishly, decided to cut across to 4, rather than taking the ‘chicken’ route following the wall to the path and then straight down onto the control. As a result, I went too low, and had to go back up hill to find it. But after that, it was all plain sailing. I actually thought controls 6-9 were too easy (Orange standard) but I’m not complaining! So the end result was that I came 2nd on W65, only 1m 42secs behind Jane Archer, one of the top orienteers in my class. But as she is not from the SW region, I managed to become the SWOA Long Distance W65 Champion! My first, and probably last, championship success for many a year.
The other WSX results were:
Esk 1st W10; Rebecca 4th W45; Jolyon 3rd M45; Jason 7th M45; Rob 6th M55 ; Tim 11th M60.
Sunday dawned grey and damp, the tail end of the storms of the day/night before. The hill tops were shrouded in mist and it didn’t look too enticing. Start times were based on one’s time from Day 1 added to 10:00am. I happened to be 4 seconds behind Keith Henderson from WIM, who was also on Short Green, but obviously not in W65! For the first few controls I was keeping in touch with him, but tryingto make my own decisions, rather than just tail him (which is tempting! – particularly as he is a very good orienteer). At control 5, I managed to find the boulder before him (and Sue Hands who had caught me up) and set off at a pace to try and shake them off. Control 9 had been removed from the course as the route to it from 8 was deemed too dangerous because of the flooding. I chose what, I now realise, was a stupid route alongside the wall on the moor side, which was tricky underfoot. Sensible competitors went east from 8 to the path and then hacked along it. MUCH quicker! As a result, I saw Keith heading off to 11 as I approached 10. But I also saw Jane Archer just ahead of me. So I’d caught her up! I struggled to keep pace with her but after we went into the woods towards 13, I never saw her again – I had actually overtaken her! But looking at the splits, it seems she must have run right past 12 and didn’t realise it until she was near 13. So when I went to download, I was thinking “I’ve done it! The Caddihoe Trophy is mine!”. But…..those dreaded words “You’ve missed control 4” Noooo! It can’t be. But when I looked at the map, I could see what I’d done, veering right to control 5 and not seeing 4. How annoying is that? Looking at the splits later, even if I had done control 4, I would still have beaten Jane by about 3 minutes or more, I reckon. And I would’ve come 2nd overall on Short Green, out of 26. My only consolation was it made me realise that I COULD be up there with the best if I put my mind to it.
Here are the maps from both days: (click to enlarge maps)
Esk had to have a clean run on the 2nd day to gain the W10 Caddihoe Trophy – and she did! So great congratulations to her. The courses were very tough and she did well to complete them at all. Overall, Jolyon came 3rd on M45, Rob 7th and Rebecca 2nd.
Whilst we were getting a bit damp on Dartmoor, Lyra was taking part in the Junior Inter Regional Championships in Yorkshire, representing SWOA. On the individual day, on Cowms Rocks, she got a Silver Medal on W14 (she’s W12!). In the relay event, her team were in 3rd place after her leg, but the girl who followed apparently lost her map in the bog! So they ended up in 9th place. But overall SWOA came a very creditable 4th out of the 12 regions.
So… onto our event at Holmsley next weekend. Fortunately, the entries have picked up substantially since Sunday morning and we now have 109. So looking good. Let’s hope for good weather and we should pick up more EOD’s.
And the newly renamed South West Orienteering League (formerly the Galoppen League) kicks off with an event on Dartmoor – oh joy!! There’s now a direct link to the League on our website, under the Leagues tab – here it is.