WSX Chat 20th March

Posted on Wed, 20th March 2024 by Jolyon Medlock
Club News, Event Reports

Apologies for not posting a blog for a while, work seems to have got in the way of my orienteering and blog writing.

As you may have heard, we received the sad news that our long standing member, Richard Arman, passed away at the age of 95. I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Richard, even though he was a member for many decades, but I have heard many warm words from many members regarding Richard’s devotion to the sport and the club. Some of our members will be sharing some memories of Richard. There will be a celebration, so please contact Liz, if you wish to attend. Thanks to Nick Barrable for sharing this photo:

Now that winter is finally over, it’s time to reflect on the dark months of the year that have passed and look forward to the warmer days ahead, and the longer evenings. The night league was another resounding success, and was enjoyed by so many members. The highlight for me was Studland, not because I nearly won it (if it hadn’t been for that pesky Tommy Rollins), but the full moon, still wind, moonlight dunes, and general bonhomie was just perfect. The Crickmores did a wonderful job in delivering a night event at Studland, which will be hard to beat. There were many WSX awards, with Alan and James picking up 2nd and 3rd in the Men’s open league, Hannah coming 3rd in the Women’s league, Esk winning the junior women’s league, Oliver winning the junior men’s league and Sheila and Julie coming 2nd and 3rd in the Age-adjusted league. All the results can be found on the Night League page.

There was also further night orienteering at the British Night Champs in the Lake District, back in February, with Lyra and Esk (on their first real night O in a forest alone) coming 3rd and 4th in their age categories. Lyra, who has missed a lot of the winter with illness and injury, will be representing England this weekend in Belgium, running for the W20 at the Interland Cup. We wish her well.

The JK, British Long, British Relays and British Middle are coming up, all within 6 weeks. We have a few members running, including some of our newest members, the Heckfords, and one of our founding members, Andrew, taking part. It should be a great weekend. We also have a few teams in the JK and British relays. More on that in a later post.

Looking forward, we’ve been working hard to build a programme of activities, so do offer to help, plan, organise:

We have decided to run the Purbeck weekend every two years, and to avoid clashes with the Caddihoe Chase, it will be in early October 2025. Currently pencilled in are Studland and Swanage (possibly with a mixed terrain event including Durlston Country Park).

So our two regular Level C events this winter (SW League event and Dorset Delight) will be at Holmsley and Bisterne Close in October, and hopefully (new map permitting) at Affpuddle in February 2025. For Affpuddle, which actually includes a much larger area of FE and private woodland. We have permissions and car parking, so now we are looking to commission a map. The costs will be shared with WIM, so this will be a joint area, and there will be options for night orienteering from a few of the car parks. There are lots of sinkholes in some parts of the wood, and that will be fun in the dark!

This year we aim to try a few new things:

  • two additional Level D local events (small entries, chance for new planners to cut their teeth) – possibly at Blackwater (New Forest) and Wareham Forest in November and January
  • the Purbeck Mountain Challenge – a brainchild of Rob Mills and Chris Turner – essentially a long-O mountain marathon, over Purbeck (name gave it away I know), with running over Ballard Down, Rempstone, and orienteering on Studland and Agglestone.
  • Yule Poole – yep night event at Christmas time in Poole, you guessed it. This is to attempt to replace the Brighton City Race

There will also be a full programme of night events next winter, including a return to Studland, and possibly some night O in Coldharbour and a chance to test Julie’s new Bournemouth town and chines map.

However, over the summer we have the Summer Series and Summer MapRun series. There will be six of each, forming two separate leagues and a combined league. This is joint with WIM. For the MapRuns, you will have a calendar month to run them, so plenty of time. For the Summer Series, these are evening socials (i.e. run, go to pub, chat, have BBQ etc.).

Hope this has got you all excited. Check the events page and update your diaries.

See you all at the JK

Orienteering Club