Wendover Woods Regional event and SCOL4

Level C

10th November 2019

Results update – Monday 9am:  Following the issues with the positioning of control 124, results have now been amended to make that control optional, and to exclude the splits for the legs either side of that control.  Apologies for the problems with that control.

Organiser's Comments

I hope you all enjoyed your day out at Wendover. Firstly I have to thank the TVOC stalwarts outside of the main organisation team that you see listed in the final details for their invaluable advice; Alun Jones, Jon Wheatcroft and Martin Ricketts to name but a few as this was my first event as organiser.

With recent weather the parking field was always the major hurdle leading up to the event. The landowner assured me that everything would be fine on numerous occasions and all that was needed was a bit of sun; I think he will be happy to not hear from me any time soon! Turns out he was correct and I'm glad the weather came through on the day.

Speaking of the parking; on Friday everything looked fine. The field was a little soggy in places but mostly quite firm. Saturday afternoon required another visit to the site; and the weather was not what was ordered. The persistent rain had made the field impassable in a lot of places. At this point my outlook had completely changed and the event was quite close to being cancelled. But with some assurance from Nev who, as well as being a stand-in controller was also leading the team of car park volunteers, we decided we could proceed if vehicles stuck to the firm wheel tracks. Hence the late notice regarding access.

I was in the forest as the first vehicles arrived and enjoying it. When you find some flat ground Wendover can be quite fast and I was managing to get through runnable forest on a bike. I was pleasantly surprised on my return to assembly to see vehicles had arrived with very minor issues, including Tom and his catering wagon. A big thanks to the early car parking marshals who got an early warm up pushing vehicles to keep them going. Thanks to them I think everyone got in without issues. The sun dried out the field excellently over the day, most people were able to leave via the section of field that was previously a marsh. A few needed a little assistance; thanks to anyone who pushed a stuck vehicle today. In the end the hardest car to get going belonged to control collector Jonny, it wasn't stuck but needed a bump start due to faulty electrics!

Everything else went smoothly on the organisational side for which I can only thank the army of volunteers required to make these events happen. I would encourage anyone to offer their hand at running (or helping at) an event, to reduce pressure on the core volunteers who do a lot of work for each and every event. I'm sure this is true outside of TVOC for those of you from other clubs. Thanks also to HH for deciding to use our event for their club championships, I hope it was a success and congratulations to the new champions.

Finally a few items of lost property:
1 plastic control description holder -> not sure this is worth the cost of getting back to the owner.
1 thumb compass -> email me about distinctive features to claim (elastic colour, make/model)
1 Royal Navy orienteering jacket -> 99.99% sure I know who this belongs to.

Planner's Comments

Wendover Woods is a technical and physically challenging area, and courses were planned on the short side accordingly (route choice could limit climb). Forestry England did not want the finish on a narrow path potentially hindering other users. This, and the fact that the road was OOB, limited the location of the finish (initial plans had put it near the road crossing). The main issue was to then funnel the competitors back to it but not to encourage following of those on different courses. 

Shorter courses tried to make best use of the flatter areas, or a mainly downhill run whilst still providing the navigational challenge.  The recent wet weather hampered this by limiting the opportunity to contour as the best route choice, and all slopes were therefore more challenging.

A distraction of both the planner and controller, for which they can only apologise and hope it did not overly affect your day, meant 124 was placed on an incorrect veg boundary, putting it some 40m out of position. This affected 2 courses, and those legs were immediately voided, but as this was only noted near course closure it was not repositioned.

I thank all those that attended and enjoyed the woods on a sunny day.