Raking the Moon in Broad Daylight

Raking the Moon in Broad Daylight

Sarum Orienteers’ annual Moonraker Relay Trophy event took place on a baking hot day in the beautiful open landscape of Dinton Park by kind permission of The National Trust. The event was organised by Liz Yeadon and the courses were planned by Charlotte Thornton, both of Sarum. As ever we had tremendous help from local NT Ranger Paul who enthusiastically welcomed us the Dinton Park and went out of his way to make us welcome.

For the Moonraker Trophy race, teams of three had to complete four different courses, each with a different set of challenges, with all courses having to be completed twice and with no runner running the same course more than once. That takes some thinking about at temperatures over 30o.

The open spaces of Dinton Park are rather more complex than at first sight and the baking heat added to the challenges, especially running up the hill behind the house.


With the added diversion of a herd of very inquisitive and frisky cattle there were plenty of navigational puzzles for the runners to solve.



All smiles. Sarum All 4 Fun start their winning run.

The main competing teams came from local rivals Wimborne (WIM), Wessex (WSX), North Wilts (NWO) with Quantock Orienteers (QO) travelling furthest to join in the fight against the hosting club, Sarum.

Andy collects the Moonraker Trophy for Sarum All 4 Fun
Rob takes runnersup trophy for WSX Raiders

At the end of the day, after taking into account the age group handicap, Sarum All 4 Fun (Paul Lane, Andy Southby and Dave Mullins) came home home in a time of 84:46 to reclaim the Moonraker Trophy with WSX Raiders (86:32) and Status QO (88:04) taking second and third places respectively.

A junior relay race involved teams of three with each runner completing a single course. Sarum Green Dragons won in 31:21 ahead of Sarum Green Finches (37:08) and QOTed (48:21).

Junior Runners Up; Sarum Green Finches

It was super to see so many juniors from our after-school club coming along to test their skills – and speed – at a full blown outdoor event. We have the makings of a strong junior squad if we can keep up this level of involvement.

Alongside the main event there was also an adult score event, one of the Wessex Region Summer Series of score events with a twist, where runners had to visit as many control sites as they could within one hour, with penalty times added for missed controls or minutes over the hour. To complicate things runners had to complete all the odd numbered controls before the evens (or vise versa ); after the change between odd and even, it was not permitted to revert.  A close finish saw Pete Skinsley from British Army OC collect all controls (240 points) in 45:35 ahead of Jim Graham (WIM; 45:56) and Hugh Risebrow (Southampton OC; 46:14)

Pippa Skinsley (W12; WIM) won the junior solo race (22.37) ahead of Art Mitchell (M8; Sarum; 24:27).

Those leaving the event late had to encounter the inquisitive cows again and have their cars intensively licked, for free!

Thanks to Liz and Charlotte for organising and planning and for the support of so many Sarum volunteers and thanks to everyone who travelled in the heat to take part.

More photos from the day can be found here until end of August.

Full results are available here.