I hope you enjoyed the excellent facilities at Sawley village hall with convenient adjacent parking and catering by the local ladies. The rain held off for most of you but there were some heavy showers towards the end of the day.
Conditions were much drier than anticipated as there had been no rain to speak of for 2 weeks so tracks that could have been a little muddy were not. Having the start in the centre of the map always gives more of a navigational challenge, I noticed quite a lot of hesitation as riders received their maps. Many riders chose to go south first, attracted by the closeness of controls; in fact the NE quadrant scored most points with 160, SE 115 and the other 2 quadrants 120 each. It is true that controls in the north were further apart but generally had faster routes between them.
Sadly vandals took a fancy to 2 controls – 38 was at a road junction, the SI box was stolen & the wire cut; 51 in the middle of nowhere completely disappeared, I will have a scout around this week to see if I can find any bits. This is one of the side effects of making the controls easily visible to riders, they are also often spotted by the public. 57 stopped working after 9 riders had passed through, presumably the battery gave out. If you have not informed Steve that you visited any of these 3 controls please let him know and he will adjust your score. Nobody visited control 32, a pity as there was a spot prize on it! There was one error in the map where the circle for 56 was drawn at the wrong bridleway junction (a parallel error as it is known in orienteering circles), I apologise for this oversight and hope that this did not cost you too much time.
Congratulations to the first 3 men: Graham Tibbot scored 405, Andrew Windrum 373 & Conrad Ellison 351; top ladies were Sue Booth on 269 followed by mixed pair Tony & Angela Brand-Parker.
Finally thank you to the control collectors Adrian Parker, Simon Coiley, John Rawden, Ray Morriss, David Lloyd, Andy & Corinne Parsons (only 1 of them under 50, where are the fit young riders at the end of the event?) You may not see much of me during the winter as I am having my ankle fused early November and will be in pot for a while. Hopefully it will then give me less trouble than it does now.
Enjoyed that, thanks
Needed to be quite ruthless about how much of that area could be done in 3 hours!
Nice area, good routes, user-friendly map, mostly dry weather, excellent HQ and food, happy riders. All adds up to a good day out.
Dave — hope the ankle op goes well and we see you fit and well soon.
I enjoyed this a lot – the area was big, but I had a good ride and the nice autumn weather helped. I liked the use of gripples too, and heard others commenting that it was easier than when the wire is through the ‘dibber hole’. However, have to wonder whether the thinner wire meant it was easier for #51 and #38 to disappear (#51 being quite odd given the location). 5 minute penalty though due to sheep!
A good challenging course. Whilst I wanted to ride through the deer park it seemed better to go towards the 30 pointer to the east then make sure there was time to get the two adjacent 30 pointers on the west side of the map to ensure a good score. (and Andy W went that way so it must have been a good choice) The controls were well placed so that it made it difficult to choose which ones to ignore, but with the nature of the event being that you need to keep scoring regularly I tried not to miss anything until the last hour when it became obvious there was only time to cherry pick the highest scoring areas. In the end I was glad it wasn’t 4 hours as I missed the heavy rain, but my shoes didn’t miss out as I’d left them outside the village hall….