Compass Sport Cup Final
Sun 22nd Oct 2017
Info updated: 06th Nov
Type of event: National-(A)
Type of terrain: Moorland, Woodland
CompassSport Cup Results
Analysis of the splits after the event has revealed a tie for both the Men's and Women's golden boot. Congratulations to the winners - we will let you decide how to share around the respective trophies!
The fastest men with a time of 14 seconds were:
Murray Strain INT, Jamie Parkinson DEVON, Brendan Healy SBOC
The fastest ladies with a time of 17 secs were;
Ffion Jones SO, Rachel Hendrie FVO, Annie Pickering WIM
Thanks everyone for coming - we hope you enjoyed your visit to West Devon. Congratulations to BOK (Cup winners) and INT (Trophy winners). Have a look at some of Mark Lockett's photos taken during the event - can you see anyone you recognise?
Virtuous Lady is a very diverse area. From the steep wooded slopes, old mine workings and rock features in the west to the flat plateau with its many paths and thickets in the centre and the old airfield in the east with its small intricate area of woodland.
The original intention had been to use the area of woodland north of the River Walkham for the long courses; this would have meant crossing the river at Double Waters in the west and returning over Grenofen Bridge in the centre. Unfortunately, part of the bridge at Double Waters has been washed away. In fine weather, however, it is still possible to get to the undamaged part and cross. In bad weather the river bed floods and it is impossible to cross. Therefore, after some thought, it was decided not to take the risk and this has turned out to be a very wise decision.
We did, however, continue to use the slope down to the River Tavy with its many rock features for the long courses. Unexpectedly permission to use the slope was refused in early September which meant that the Brown course had to be changed to use more of the flat plateau area. This resulted in the Brown course being slightly shorter than was originally intended.
My main concern from the beginning was to plan courses that avoided the bracken as much as possible, while keeping the interest. From the absence of comments about the bracken from competitors after the event I think I achieved my intention. If competitors had visited the area in late September they would have found a very different area with tall green bracken, the dieback during October was impressive.
At first sight the network of paths and thickets on the plateau appears to provide easy orienteering, however, as competitors found this introduces its own complexity and it is not easy to relocate once contact is lost.
The extension in the east provided an interesting challenge, in the intricate woodland, for the final section after the spectator control.
My thanks to Steve Perrelle and Mike Wimpenny for assisting putting out controls on Friday and Saturday. And also to Mike for his gardening work clearing bracken from paths and control sites.
Thanks to Erik Peckett for preparing the extended map and to DEVON and KERNO members who checked the map and updated the bracken screen in September.
Finally my thanks to Roger Hargreaves, assisted by Steve Beech, for his welcome advice and suggestions during the planning of the event.
Tom Lillicrap Devon
As Nicholas Maxwell wrote the first venue was higher on Dartmoor and further from home. Virtuous Lady was much nearer home and the absence of heather was appreciated!
The first decisions focussed on course lengths, river crossings, slopes and rock faces. Once those were resolved Tom’s courses evolved very well. The bracken growth was a concern and a team of mappers was created to update the bracken density through September. Only 4/5 weeks later the change from dense green to thinning brown was impressive and opened views of further, ethereal, paths.
I asked an experienced competitor to walk over the non - CompassSport - competitive White and Yellow courses. We realised there was a potential problem with the clarity of the extensive path network. The map was updated to show the wide grass avenues as 100% yellow background to the path symbol or simply a yellow stripe on the 75% yellow background.
Those of you who plan/control/organise events will realise that placing over 80 controls using normal aluminium stakes is an epic undertaking and Tom had excellent help from Steve Perelle and Mike Wimpenny. I soon realised that checking the same controls over a fairly tight time window on Saturday was a task too far for me so that I asked Steve Beech to assist the controlling. He undertook to check the controls on the west and northern slopes – he has my thanks. And finally Tom, Mike, Steve and I awoke all the SI units early on Sunday.
The approach of storm Brian also played a part. The plan to set up various parts of the event infrastructure had to be delayed until Sunday morning. Efforts to put up the orange fencing on Saturday afternoon failed as the wind acting against the plastic actually bent the metal stakes. Most of the detail planning for IT etc had to be redrafted - it’s a credit to that team that all went well. Without the input from members of both clubs early on Sunday morning the organisation might have faltered – it didn’t – and as is often the case our thanks must go to the volunteers.
As the competition progressed it became apparent that the majority of competitors had appreciated the courses although there were one or more very muddy individuals. Congratulations to the winning clubs and I hope all the other clubs enjoyed the event.
Finally, as it is quite unusual for a Controller to be from one of the promoting clubs; I should point out that the Competition Rules Coordinator approved my appointment.
Roger Hargreaves KERNO
The event was two years in the planning but I think from your comments it came out well on the day. The weather certainly did! The area has the advantage of solid parking and given the rain we needed it - on Saturday half the car park adjacent to the finish was under water. The pools there today were a bonus for some of the children but perhaps not the parents. Pushing cars both on and off a parking field at High Dam remains seared in my memory from many years ago.
We did try to use part of high Dartmoor with mining features - Golden Dagger - an area not used for many years for this event. We were frustrated by access permission and whilst we could have parked the cars there it would have been quite exposed at Assembly to say the least. So today, I think low Dartmoor was the better option with the opportunity for all to look at high Dartmoor from a distance. A brave few did the pre booked training event at Burrator on Saturday. Thankfully the heavy and persistent rain forecast in the afternoon did not arrive until much later on.
Many thanks to the many who made the trip to the South West. We know it is a long way as we often trek up the M5 to reach areas further afield. The wind was very strong on the Saturday and we took the decision to move the download tent to the shelter of a tree and move the commentary from a tent to campervan. I had spent a lot of time trying to avoid competitors crossing wires and the result of this new arrangement was that the wires moved from the western to the eastern side of the run in and the final control was moved away from thicket. It also led to the rather muddy approach to enquiries. My apologies to the competitors who were confused by the movement of the control to the run in fence 7 metres away from the thicket.
Today would not have been possible without many people from both organising clubs contributing their skills whether it be the IT side, safe erection of a marquee, or participating in all the normal and unusual jobs eg manning the road closure. My thanks to all helpers from both clubs and to Roger Hargreaves for his invaluable input as controller. Also to Ian and Helen Marsden for their specialist skills on amplification and radio controls; Chris Poole and Andy Monro commentating especially through the exciting final stages; to our food and equipment traders for the long journey to support their event; and not least to Nick Barrable for his support of this event.
If you enjoyed your time in Devon then the Devon/ Cornwall team are putting on three events at spring Bank holiday 2018. Two days at Braunton - complex sand dunes with and nearby surf with an urban at Exeter university - further details here. We hope to welcome you again.
Lost property - I have one pair of pink gloves. Well done to everyone else for taking your stuff away!
Nicholas Maxwell, Devon
Pre Event Information
The area was first used for orienteering in 1975. In the Image Gallery below is a rather faded copy of that map, at a scale of six inches to a mile!
Nearest town: Yelverton
Colour Coded Courses - Entry on the Day
There are colour coded courses for White, Yellow and Light Green only, the cost of which is £7 for seniors and £3 for juniors. You can enter for these courses on the day and pay at registration/enquiries. There is no provision for noncompetitive runs in the Compass Sport Cup and Trophy competition. Normal Dibber hire is £1.
Explanation of colour courses
- White are very easy with all controls on paths. They are mainly used by 6-10 year olds and family groups.
- Yellow use simple linear features like paths, walls and streams. They are mainly used by under 12’s and family groups.
- Orange progress to basic use of the compass and route choice. They are ideal for novice adults or experienced youngsters.
- Light Green are ideal for improvers as the navigational difficulty begins to increase and uses simple contours and point features.
- Green are used mostly by experienced under 18’s and adults wanting a short but challenging course with a very hard navigational difficulty.
- Blue are a longer, more physically demanding course in comparison to the green. The distances are more varied between controls and the course attracts experienced orienteers.
- Brown & Black are very physically demanding and have a very hard navigational difficulty. They are for experienced orienteers only.
- Score means visiting as many controls as possible in any order in a specific time, like 45mins.
Contacts / Officials
Organiser: Nicholas Maxwell ()
Planner: Tom Lillicrap
Controller: Roger Hargreaves
Safety and Risk
A comprehensive risk assessment will have been carried out by the organiser, but participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety during the event.
Photography: Devon OC has an agreed policy on the taking of photographs at events, based on national guidance. This provides a sensible balance between the benefits and risks associated with the taking and use of images. If you are unsure about acceptable practice, please speak to the event organiser.
Read our photography policy.
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