This Avon School’s League event was offered in a slightly different format but, possibly because the venue was in the Forest of Dean and not within the Bristol catchment area, the turn out from schools was mildly disappointing. However, the event was given excellent support by the orienteering community in general, intrigued no doubt to be able to run on the New Beechenhurst terrain at a ‘Middle’ distance with the emphasis on technical controls. Judging by the comments from several seasoned competitors, the courses contained plenty to challenge and intrigue, and overall, there were lots of informal plaudits for the Planner.
As Organiser the main pre-event challenge was to decide on a suitable assembly and parking area which would allow the Planner the full range of possible controls on the map. The result was the choice of the track junction on the edge of the mapped area above the felled section now designated as a nature reserve. It meant accessing the parking via a longish drive in and a longish drive out. Some early arrivals doubted that the exit route could take the volume of traffic without becoming too difficult for the average car. But, having previously test driven the route and having further tested the surface under a suspicious looking puddle with a fork for the benefit of the sceptical onlookers, I stopped short of taking bets on the outcome. (I also had insider knowledge of the track from the FC Ranger). The real issue on the exit route was the potential hazard at the exit point itself onto the highway. I want to use this opportunity to thank all you drivers both for your patience and understanding regarding our instructions but also for taking the appropriate care to avoid an accident. It was a big relief to know that you all got away safely and without incident.
On the central business of delivering the event, the BOK’s squad system again worked very well and the volunteer helpers produced another efficient day for you. My warm thanks and appreciation go to all the BOK helpers and Team Leaders, who turned out in good numbers for this event, which in the club’s calendar was the fourth in about 5 weeks, and enough to put a strain on the best of volunteer groups. I would also like to mention Roger Coe and Tom Mills of NGOC, who, typical of our many friends in the neighbouring clubs, provided much appreciated practical help and advice.
With regard to the key content of the event, namely the orienteering experience which the courses provide, full credit and thanks are due to the Planner and Controller. I have already referred to some informal feedback on their efforts, but we were fortunate to have one of BOK’s very experienced Controllers, Trevor Griffiths, and one or the club’s elite standard runners, Ben Maliphant, as Planner. Ben made full use of the terrain and many are already looking forward to the next time he takes on this role. At this point mention deserves to be made of another ‘course’ on offer on Sunday. For BOK’s new String Course Coordinator, Ruth Landrigan, this event marked her debut with a course layout which drew many unelicited compliments from children and parents alike.
Finally my sincere thanks go to all you competitors who tackled the courses, the muddy tracks and the boar affected terrain with great spirit and skill. You also left the area completely litter free and took everything you came with away with you, apart from one tiny item - see below! We look forward to seeing all you again at BOK events in the future.
Two small keys on a single ring, of the type used for a cupboard, small padlock, an outside postbox or similar. One key has a rounded head and the other a square head. They were found approx half way down the parking track. Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to claim them.