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Inter Regional Orienteering Championships

Lake District 27th & 28th September 2014

A large group of Devon Juniors recently represented the south-west at the Inter Regional Orienteering Championships in The Lake District. Students from Colyton Grammar School, The Kings School and Sidmouth College were part of the SW Junior Orienteering Squad. You can read more of their impressive report here together with some great photographs....

Meg Somers and Dom Walker, from Payhembury and Flurry Greirson from Ottery St Mary ran in the W14 & M14 category respectively, Dulcie Greirson from Ottery and Emily Keenan from Sidmouth ran in the W16 category, Jonty Eaton Hart from Payhembury ran in the M16 category and Ellie Stone from Colyton and Grey Greirson from Ottery were in the W18/M18 age category. Frankie Perran-Smart (W14) and James Dean (M16) from Torquay also from Devon Orienteering Club were part of the squad.

This is the major competition in the SW Regional Squad calendar. Each region takes it in turn hosting the event, The Lakes was going to be a technical challenge for some who have not orienteered in this area before. 

Day one, Saturday, was the individual race on Graythwaite, a fantastic orienteering area – the Lakeland Orienteering Club would say one of the very best in England. The terrain is technical throughout, with good variety. It is also tough and physical, so physical fitness was tested as well as technical ability. All courses visited the western slope with wonderful runnable orienteering. All courses also visited the challenging central area of forest. This is low visibility conifer plantation, hiding complex rock and marsh terrain. The M/W18 and M16 courses also visited the eastern slopes with some great terrain, but also extremely rough in places. Bracken was a bit of an issue slowing progress on some who chose open areas as a route choice.

Orienteering requires you to navigate your way around a course in the quickest possible time with the aid of the orienteering map with your course marked on it and a compass. There are various technical levels, which means that they are graded with a degree of difficulty to locate the features the control points are on.  It is a challenging adventurous sport that requires you to think and run (in the right direction!)

Meg achieved 8th on her course, which was very good at her first event like this, completing the 3km course and 145m of climb in 40.43 minutes, Frankie took 54.19 minutes & was 20th.  Flurry had an excellent run coming 6th on the 3.7km course with 190m of climb in 40.27minutes and Dom, who was orienteering in the Lakes for the first time, was 33rd with a time of 94.44mins on the same course.

Dulcie and Emily were both on the W16 course doing 3.6km with 155km of climb with a more technical challenge than the M/W14s.  Emily was 11th in 54.56mins and Dulcie 17th in 63.44mins.  Jonty was on the M16 course which was 4.5km with 215km of climb and he came 23rd in 78.59 mins.

Ellie had made the journey with the Welsh squad as she is now studying in Carmarthen. She was 19th on her course of 4.7km with 255m of climb. Grey was 17th on the 5.9km course with 360m of climb in 76.12mins.

Everyone stayed overnight at Ulverston Victoria High School, on the sports hall floor!

Sunday was the Relay day at Roanhead near Barrow which is an area of technical sand dunes. The organisers had cleverly set up the start, handover point and finish on the inside of a massive sand dune crescent. The crescent sand dune could be climbed to view the mass of dunes and marshes beyond in the competition area. A few controls were visible from here making the relay competition an excellent spectator event as well.

The SW and most other regions had 4 teams. The race starts with a mass start of the W16 followed by the M16.  All courses are gaffled, which means that although the courses are all the same length they will have some controls the same and some different to the others in the race.  It makes it very exciting but also means there is more chance of runners mis-punching by going to an incorrect control. There is one person from each age group in a team. Emily, Millie (from Bristol Orienteering Club-BOK) and Ellie were 12th overall. Another SW team came 5th and the other two had a mis-punch among the team. Meg, Frankie and Dulcie (who was running up as a W18) had very good legs for their team. The boys' relay of Jonty, Joseph from BOK and Grey also were 12th overall. Another SW team finished 7th, and James, Dom and Fraser (from Wimborne OC) finished 20th. The other team, with Flurry on the middle leg, had a mis-punch on the last leg, without which they would have finished 8th! That is the nature of the sport and why it is so important to check control description numbers!

If you would like to try this exciting adventure sport Devon Orienteering Club hold coaching sessions in East Devon on a Friday evening in various locations and events on some Saturdays and Sundays, many in East Devon. Take a look at the web site http://www.devonorienteering.co.uk. You can come as a family; junior school aged to be accompanied by a parent. If you have any questions contact Tess Stone on 01297 553421 email:

  

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