Brian Fails to Dampen Spirits
Concerns that Brian’s violent actions might disrupt the week proved unwarranted in the end. This is Storm Brian, of course, not our esteemed Chairman. By Sunday the winds and rain had abated considerably and it was probably just the slippery mud that caused most grief, especially on the steeper wooded slopes of the longer courses.
Over 600 orienteers, including 43 Sarum members, travelled to Virtuous Lady on the edge of Dartmoor to compete in the national final of the Compass Sport Cup and Trophy competitions. Sarum were competing for the Trophy, awarded to small clubs against 11 other clubs from all over Britain who had each qualified in regional elimination competitions earlier in the year. The Club has previously won this competition and has been on the podium in many years. A good turn out of club members ensured that the team would be competitive but the unavailability of some of our top runners and a shortage of runners in the junior classes meant that gaining honours was always going to be difficult. In the end Sarum (1208 points) were pipped for third place by just four points by Swansea Bay OC with local rivals Wimborne only another 7 points above in second place. Trophy holders Interlopers from Edinburgh retained their title by 41 points. Oh well, we should be able to build on that next year and if we can get a full strength squad out we could well get our hands back on the Trophy.
Bristol Orienteering Club won the Cup competition for large clubs with 2363 points ahead of Forth Valley (2324) and South Yorkshire (2296).
Best Sarum result came from Paul Lane who scored a maximum 100 points by winning the Men’s Blue course. Dan Gallagher and Ian Peirce scored 97 points each, Chris Huthwaite 96 with Toby Huthwaite, Peter Hambleton and Rob Ashton all scoring 94 points and, for the juniors, Lucy Wilkinson scored 90 points. The later stages of the competition saw Sarum, Wimborne and Swansea Bay continually changing position. A late good run by Alice Butt (93 points) was just not quite enough to bring Sarum onto the podium. The counting scores for Sarum are in the Table below but everyone who ran contributed to a great club effort, so everyone should feel good about taking part. Full results are available on the Devon website here.
Sarum had its usual happy get together, this time in the Sarum Village of two tents. The wind meant that we had to fly our windsock at half mast to prevent a catastrophic break – but it fluttered proudly as ever.
Although we didn’t make the official prize giving, Team Captain Charlotte made sure that we didn’t go home empty handed with her usual goody bag of sweets and savouries for winners of unexpected performances. Ricky was not able to present the Golden Shoe himself but this was shared by Sharon Galagher and Janet Thirkell for individual persistence. Perhaps there should have been a Golden Shoelace award for what might have been a spectacular sight; William White forgot to bring his O-kit. We were spared the vision of a scantily clad William thanks to Dad Mark who organised a last minute replenishment of the necessary clothing.
Thanks to Devon and Kerno for hosting the Compass Sport Finals. It’s good to see how well neighbouring Clubs can work together to put on big events like this. It’s a shame that the finish control was moved from its position on a thicket, as per the map and control descriptions, unbeknown to the Planner and Controller but, hey, it was the same for everyone.