I hope exam revision is going well for everyone with exams, and that everyone else is enjoying a nice quiet University! Another week’s email of fun and adventure, with upcoming race details and completed race’s reports, the highlight of course being the second part of Tom’s ETOC escapades.
Brislington Urban - Sophie Gordon
Adam and I headed over to Brislington for our favourite kind of revision break: orienteering. The course featured a few interesting alleyways and underpasses (although not quite as many as Bower Ashton!), some steep roads and a nice path along the river. Adam escaped a 3-minute smoking courtesy of Owain Jones from BOK, who would have won if he hadn't missed a control, leaving Adam with a clear lead. Unfortunately I also managed to miss one, but I didn't have so far to fall down the leaderboard!
ETOC Relay and TempO - Tom Dobra
After a big improvement on the second day of the ETOC PreO, I still certainly wasn’t expecting the excitement that would following the next day at the relay (PreO + TempO as a relay team of three). Having won the toilet race after Antti Rusanen (FIN) took a wrong turning into a cleaner’s cupboard, I was stood watching the relay start some 75 minutes late. The cause of course then materialised to a huge cheer at -3 minutes with all the paras ready on the start line: the toilet truck had finally cleared the motorway! Charles Bromley Gardner (BAOC) was off on first leg for team GBR1, back in good time to hand over to me. The PreO was in the dramatic backdrop of Devin Castle with an entertaining collection of short, medium and very long range (2 km with 1.2 m large kites on the opposite hillside) problems, followed by two challenging TempO stations. An hour’s wait and John Kewley’s (MDOC) PreO result came through with us in 2nd place! We were all clean in the PreO component, placing us safely behind Finland and with a bit of a lead over Sweden. This just left JK to clear the TempO as 2nd last competitor (done in reverse order). Marit Wiksell of Sweden made one mistake on the first station, giving us a 40s advantage into the final station. Unfortunately, we were no match for the Scandinavian TempO specialist, so we slipped down to 3rd, but nonetheless European bronze medallists!
Tuesday brought in the TempO on contoured sand dunes in a pine forest. Too many mistakes, too slow and not being able to anchor myself at station 3 left me well outside qualification. As our only qualifier, JK came an incredible 18th in the final, which looked incredibly hard with no paths between the stations to anchor your location. The evening saw our relay medal ceremony and the best ETOC or WTOC banquet in quite a few years!
Sunny Sussex Weekend - Tom Dobra
On Sunday, we went to the long distance race of the Sunny Sussex orienteering weekend at Worthlodge Forest. It was a lovely runnable forest of varying character, caught just in time before the bracken grows up, with the weather holding up as promised too. Peter Dobra improved substantially on his previous green performance with a time of 64:11. I started with a lot of mistakes over the first half of the course with plenty of deployments of the run in a random direction method. For the second half, I focused a little better to win some splits and come home 5th on the black in 89:03.