A big hello to the 1250 or so of you who came to enjoy two days of the British Championship weekend and challenging competition in glorious sunshine – we hope you found it worth the two year wait!
The Long Championship courses mainly headed east from the central Arena field across land generously made available to us by 7 different land owners and 2 tenant farmers. It had taken several years to arrange access to this area new to orienteering. Mike Elliot (MV)'s courses were fair but challenging with considerable climb and a lot of variety of terrain. Unfortunately, Storm Eunice had made a few areas much more difficult to cross than had been expected when they were planned; as a result some very late adjustments to Dave Peel’s map had to be made to highlight the main areas of windblow. Congratulations to Graham Gristwood (FVO) and Megan Carter-Davies (MWOC), who were convincing winners in M/W21E by 7 and 5 minutes respectively.
For variety, the Relay teams headed west, taking in the Forestry England land on interesting courses set by Tony Burton (MV). Like the Long, the 620 participants had a steep climb to finish their courses, but the benefit was a field that drained well enough for us to have confidence that the event could be held successfully in March.
A big thank you is due to the Day Organisers Charles Spence (LOK) and Neil and Sue Crickmore (SO) for the Long and Relays respectively who stepped in to take on their roles at a late date. They meticulously planned all aspects of the delivery, and everything went remarkably smoothly throughout the weekend. Prizes and medals were kindly presented on each day by one of the primary landowners.
And finally, a big thank you from SEOA to SWOA for moving their BOC forward to 2021, freeing up the weekend for us to host this event after we were forced to cancel our first attempt in March 2020 due to the first Covid lockdown, less than one week before it was due to take place.
Helen Errington and Andrew Evans (Weekend Coordinators)