Here is the Chairman’s report for the WSX AGM 2023:
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT WSX AGM 2023
I would like to welcome you all to the WSX AGM. In preparation for this year I read last year’s report, where I hoped you were all looking forward to the Purbeck weekend, and here we are again, ready for our second Purbeck weekend, on our premier heathland areas of Studland and Agglestone, with a new map of Corfe Castle an addition to our Purbeck collection. I raised the prospect with Julie of a future Purbeck 5 days or JK, but given that she is instrumental in delivering these weekends, she wasn’t overly enthusiastic.
I also started my report last year thanking Ian Sayer for all his hard work, noting that a presentation would be made in the coming weeks. That didn’t happen, however it gives us an opportunity for us to make a fuss of him.
So we’d like to award Ian a special gift [a framed copy of Ian’s Christchurch map, beautifully framed with an ash frame by our resident Wareham framer] from all of us at the club, which I hope we will all sign.
And to award Ian the Chairman’s trophy to recognise his contribution to the club.
We’d also like to acknowledge Eric’s contribution to the club, with a gift of a framed map of Brownsea Island, please again if you can sign in after the AGM.
We started the season with our Purbeck weekend, which was a rounding success. I may have made the courses at Studland challenging, both physically and technically, but I received very positive comments about the area. We had about 200 competitors, so it will be interesting to see if word has got around and we will get more this year. Entries already at 45 and we are 5 weeks to go.
Julie than planned some excellent and hilly courses at Swanage, with fantastic views by the sea. This will prove an excellent location for future Purbeck weekend events, and if we can include Durlston, could rival places like Tenby for fun, seaside orienteering.
It was our turn to organise the urban event for the November Classic, and we thank Rob for organising and Ian for planning courses at Friars Cliff, with nearly 200 competitors.
Night league events were in Broadstone in October, planned by Bruno; planned by Ian; in Swanage in December, planned by Alan B and in Kings and Queens Park, planned by Brad. Many of them were full, and clearly the night league is proving very popular, with nearly 100 competitors.
Congratulations to Alan B who won the Open league, with Julie top WSX woman. Other top 10s were Jason and myself (with Esk’s help). Julie also won the Women’s handicap league, with Ian also appearing in the top 10.
This year we will be on a new map here at Meyrick Park, mapped by Jason, with the remaining events at Corfe Castle and Common, Boscombe and Studland north dunes.
Compass Sport Cup & South West League event
In collaboration with SOC we shared the CSC qualifier and SW league event. Huge thanks to Roger for organising the qualifier at Holmsley and Jason for planning. We had >330 competitors. Our SW league fixture was at Longbeech Inclosure in February. We didn’t qualify for the final, but with our new members, I am hopeful we will be more successful this winter, and it’s local at Bere Woods, so no excuse not to attend, as we are nor organising it.
This year we saw the return of the MapRun league, jointly organised by WIM. Previously this has been our salvation during Covid, but this was a mix of urban and forest events right across East and North Dorset with about 20 WSX members taking part.
So far its Crickmore 1 and 2 sharing the spoils on the open league and age graded league. Sheila is top WSX woman and new junior member Oliver Heckford is our top WSX junior. In fact Oliver has been to all 11 events and Robbie Miller has been to 9 events. This is testament to the fact that the MapRun league is worthwhile. Hopefully they will both be attending events through the winter.
In addition to the Purbeck weekend and night events (all on the website), we will have a middle distance event at Cold Harbour (Wareham Forest) in January. We have a number of new maps in various stages of development, including an urban map of Bearwood, central Bournemouth and re-mapping of the Affpuddle, Briantspuddle and Clouds Hill area.
In the last year the WSX Championships were again won by Gavin and Lyra, who both seem to be dominating, but then they have both been selected for England and VHI and JHI level, with both of them winning their respective events against the home nations. Esk had a taste of international duty, coming 4th at Interland in Belgium, with Lyra representing GB in Bulgaria, coming 9th/100 in the sprint.
The Charlie Morton trophy is for the most improved junior, and this year we are awarding it to someone who has taken up orienteering in the last year and has consistently done well at our summer Map Run event – the winner is Oliver Heckford,
The final award of the evening goes to someone who has invested a huge amount of time into the club, usually after every event, which during a busy Scottish 6 days or Coast and Islands, means every day for a two weeks. His video reels have become legendary and recently featured on the BOF website. One day when he becomes a billionaire influencer we will all be expecting a cut of the profits.
The Ian Horsey trophy goes again to Scott Elford
SW and Dorset juniors
Sadly Agnes is no longer a junior, as she has moved up to Aberdeen for University. This weekend it is the JIRCs in South Wales with Arthur (out of retirement), Lyra and Esk taking part. Lyra and Esk have also been part of successful partnerships with WIM as Dorset juniors winning medals at the British relays and British sprint relays. To encourage more juniors we are continuing our policy of free entries.
I want to thank all the committee for their continued hard work, to mention Jason who is at schools every term promoting the sport and flying the flag for Find Your Way in Dorset, for Sheila and Roger for keeping all in order with numbers and words, for Tim, Alan H and James who efficiently deliver our results and download service at every event, for Gavin for supporting me as chair and Bruno for managing fixtures, and for Julie, who makes everything happen, from permissions, entries, mapping updates, Purbeck weekend, buff orders and everything else along the way.
Great to see you all, thanks to Meyrick Park for the venue, and enjoy the nibbles.