Results for BSOC 2007, 18 November 2007

Comments:
Coordinator, Planners , Controllers.
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Coordinator

This was a championships organised by three clubs, SARUM, WIM and WSX, and the working relationship between the three clubs throughout was brilliant and helped me considerably.

The weekend itself was certainly different. Saturday was the day when everything was in our favour. The weather was nice to us and thanks to the excellent organisation of John and Di Tilsley, at Gore Heath, and Ian Sayer, at Cold Harbour, what more could we ask for. Over 500 youngsters enjoyed the challenges of the day and reports from both events were very positive. Our thanks must go to the many members of all three clubs who made this a very successful day. At the same time Bovington was being set up and fortunately it was suggested that we should put the storm guys on the tents we were pitching - probably the best decision of the weekend. That evening about 170 decided to stay at Lytchett Minster School - certainly far more than we had initially expected - we were dry and warm but it certainly was raining outside.

Sunday did not start well and I drove out to Bovington through floods - not the start I wanted. Just after 10am when the first runners started I looked at the weather breaks in the sky and thought that it was going to clear up - that was a mistake. By 10.30am it was doing exactly the opposite. Most problems were at the South start which unfortunately was the more exposed start and lost the tent fairly early. Despite this the start team kept going and the majority of runners started almost on time. We must thank Pat Hart as day organiser for this event and again members not only of all three clubs but also others from SOC and QO who helped to ensure that over 700 youngsters successfully completed their courses despite the weather. An early decision was taken that to hold the Trail-O was impractical and later that we should not attempt to hold the prizegiving.

On reflection I feel that the event as a whole needs review, to consider whether the format is still appropriate for the championships and how best the orienteering community can financially support the event.

Finally I would like to thank all our local British Schools Championships committee - for all the support and encouragement they have given me in organising this event.

Chris Branford


Planners

The weather seemed to dominate proceedings - it started wet and then got wetter and windy - so Lynn and I would like to say a big congratulations to all competitors who took part, you are all stars! You orienteered in truly horrible conditions and still some of you managed to smile as you dibbed the finish.

The course marshals played a very important role, with the weather conditions so bad their presence offered reassurance to the wet and cold competitors. However, we felt that some of the less experienced competitors were unsuitably clothed for the conditions.

With hindsight perhaps we should have taken out the controls after the road crossing and before the tank. It seemed that these controls caused confusion, with competitors being able to see the finish, but still having at least one control to visit.

We originally planned four separate courses for G5, G6, B5, and B6, but with ten days to go the competitor numbers for these courses were low and the decision was taken to combine classes to have G5&6 and B5&6. Doing this meant that the chance of a competitor from one course straying onto the other was vastly reduced.

Some of the winning times, especially for the older competitors, were shorter than the guide times. However, this must be balanced against the longest times on the courses, which were over three times the winners time!

We would like to thank Caroline and Ian Moran, our controllers who offered us their support and expert advice throughout the planning stage.

I would also like to thank Chris Branford, who along with his role as the co-ordinator of the week end, updated the map at regular intervals.

Finally we thank Di, John, Richard, John, Jamie, Eamonn, Simon, David, and Judith for putting out, checking, and collecting controls.

Kirsty Staunton and Lynn Branford


Controllers

Planning on this area was always going to be a challenge given the requirements of multiple courses for each class, particularly the four white courses, the early part of which had to be kept independent of each other. We wondered whether the area could cope when we first looked at the map, but Lynn & Kirsty soon proved us wrong, and came up with an excellent set of courses.

The numbers attending from years 5 and 6 were slightly less than expected, so it was agreed to withdraw two of the four white courses thus reducing the number of controls, which lessened the possibility of competitors getting too confused if they were to make a wrong turning. In addition, we had concerns about the road crossing so close to the finish, but there was no way around this.

Looking at the times, with hindsight, the courses could have been a little longer, however, given the appalling weather on the day, perhaps many of you were content with the lengths.

On behalf of the competitors, could we thank all the helpers and the organisation team who made the day a success, Lynn and Kirsty who did a splendid job with their planning and Chris Branford who worked exceedingly hard, bringing everything together as event co-ordinator.

For those of you who haven't been to many orienteering events, we hope that the weather hasn't put you off, there are sunny days too!

Ian & Caroline Moran

Any queries, errors, or omissions should in the first instance be addressed to Michael Napier tel (0115) 928 9663, mobile 07771 660892,

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