Finally, we have some orienteering to report on. I remarked to Julie that our WSX events seem to be timed either just before or just after national lockdowns. One can only assume the PM checked the WSX fixture list. Hopefully we will not go into another one before (or after, or during) our next event (Wareham, 18th January). It is a credit to all orienteering clubs and the many volunteers for trying to organise any events during these uncertain times and when life seems to stop and start. Since our joint SOC event at Anderwood in early November, there have been weekly Mapruns that have kept us very busy and Julie has been sending out the regular weekly league tables. This last week it has been Child Okeford and next week the Maprun series moves on to Ringwood. The latest league tables are here. It is remarkable that we now have an abundance of mapped areas and well done to all those volunteers across WIM and WSX that have spent time mapping new areas, updating old maps and fiendishly planning tricky score events by the fireside for us all to enjoy. I have to admit that I prefer off-road orienteering, but there is something very pleasurable in navigating the back streets, urban greenspace and passageways and cut throughs of villages, towns and cities we would not normally frequent.
On Sunday a small contingent of WSX travelled up to the Guildford Orienteers middle distance event at Puttenham common. Surrey is the most wooded county in England and there are endless areas of wooded commons that make for intricate orienteering. The courses were fast and furious, and the buzz of the 350+ orienteers made it feel like we were almost back to normal, for a short time at least. WSX also posted some good results, with a very good 1st place for Esk on the orange and a 3rd place for an injured Lyra on the green. Results can be found here
Moving on to Monday night, and it was the third Wessex Night League event, planned by Ian at Friars cliff in Christchurch. It was a very cold evening, but this only made it more invigorating and kept the locals off the streets. Again, Ian planned a tricky series of controls, so that although most people went anticlockwise they followed a range of different sequences which led to confusion and the missing of the odd control. I had to check my maprun app to make sure that I had visited all of the controls before I ran to the finish. The results can be found here.
The next events are on Sunday at WIM Inside Park regional event near Blandford (final details here), and on Monday at SARUM’s night event at Martin Down (flyer here) near Sixpenny Handley. Keep an eye out on the BOF website as many of the cancelled events from November are being reorganised for January. Further ahead we have our Canford Heath night event in February and our next regional event at Rushmore (amongst the bluebells) in April (11th). This event will be the Yvette Baker junior heat, so there is a plea for all our juniors to be available for this!