HOC FIXTURES PROCEDURES been updated:
1. Rick Roberts is now Fixtures Secretary, responsible for registering all club events via the British Orienteering website. This provides insurance cover.
2. Permissions are now obtained by a team of Landlord Liaison Officers (LLOs). Their names and the HOC venues for which they are responsible are listed here.
3. Organisers should update Rick as more details become available about their event. The British Orienteering website provides invaluable free publicity.
Bert Pardoe Trophy - handicaps at Dec 2016.
List of past and present trophy winners updated Jan 2012
HOC 2009 Calendar illustrating the hard works that goes into running a National event (when they were called National events). Dates/days next repeat in 2026.
The Compleat Mad Hoc (the Webmaster and any past or present Ad Hoc editors deny all responsibility for the content therein).
16 Jan 2016 2015 Club Champs Class Winners
16 Jan 2016 HOC Kit HOC have a variety of club kit available, here tastefully modelled by Sebastian and Arthur Mitchell. Sizes in stock:
|Thermal baselayer £14
Unisex L/XL, 2XL
|HOC top £20
Mens Small, Med, Large, XL
Ladies 10, 12 14, 16
Mens Small, Med, Large, XL
Ladies Small, Med, Large; Childrens Large
Mens Small, Med, Large, XL
Ladies XS, Small; Childrens 9/11 years
Unisex S, L
06 Jun 2012
Harlequins League Trophies
Robert Vickers writes:
I thought I had better do something to let Harlequins know about two recent additions to the Club's portfolio of Trophies.
The Harlequins League is a fairly recent innovation, and Adrian Bailey has very kindly provided two very unusual trophies - one for the Champion Man and one for the Champion Lady. He chose Harlequin patterned ceramic cat ornaments, from the very collectable "Cardew Design Cats" range. I have no idea how Adrian managed to come up with such an inspired and appropriate choice!
The "Scared Cat" was first presented a year or so ago, but the "Stretching Cat" for the Champion Lady only became available earlier this year. (Before anybody comments, I have to add a disclaimer that there are absolutely no hidden implications in the word "Cat" here!) However, unique as these trophies may be, they presented very challenging problems about how to mount them for engraving and presentation, and to minimize the risk of accidental damage to such fairly fragile objects.
Cue our master craftsman Mike Baggott. All you have to do is hint that there is a challenging problem looking for a solution, and Mike is on the job. Mike has come up trumps with elegant plinths for both these trophies, and even a robust carrying case for the Ladies Trophy. This one will now be on its way (rather belatedly, I fear) to its first winner, Alison Wilkinson. I shall probably be looking for a volunteer to take it to the Harvester, where Alison's brother James should be able to collect it for her. The Men's Trophy is currently held by John Embrey.
14 May 2012 British Classic Distance Championships 2012
This year it was the turn of the North West Orienteering Association (NWOA) to host the British Championship Classic Distance race, an event somewhat overshadowed by a row over a change in the eligibility rules. The eastern and central parts of the Lake District have some first class technical terrain, much of it within easy reach of the motorway system and having good spacious parking (Graythwaite, Bigland and High Dam come to mind). Probably because of these advantages these areas have hosted many a major event in recent times and to my mind have been overused in the last decade.
The organisers of BOC 2012 seem to have concurred as they courageously decided to hold the British in Eskdale, which is at least an extra hours drive away from the M6 on the western side of the National park. Dalegarth is a low hillside backing on to higher moorland and lies to the south and south east of the River Esk, close to the delightful hamlet of Eskdale Green. The only flat fields in the valley close to the terrain were required for Assembly. In the past, parking has been at Ravenglass on the coast and the Ravenglass and Eskdale Light Railway used to transport the runners. This time, I presume that a major promotion on the railway (Postman Pat) on a Bank holiday weekend, ruled out that option. The organisers thus had to solve the problem: how to get 1700 people efficiently into the valley from Ravenglass without blocking the roads which would undermine the bussing arrangements or snarling up the local traffic which would upset the villagers whose cooperation would be essential if the venue were to be used in the future?
And how magnificently the organising team rose to the challenges that they had set themselves by the imaginative choice of venue. Having decided to bus from Ravenglass, a method had to be found to stop any possibility of competitors choosing to ignore the instructions to use the buses and to drive into the valley. Human nature being what it is this would certainly have happened. Just a few badly parked cars on a verge could so easily have prevented the buses getting through and would have ruined the whole race, whilst indiscriminate parking in the narrow lanes of the village would have caused resentment and given villagers a poor impression of our sport. The solution, which worked brilliantly, was simplicity itself: each competitor was given a voucher on the bus which was exchanged for a bib at Assembly; and no bib, no go. Not ideal but the only practical way of ensuring that BOC 2012 went smoothly and to give the next generation of orienteers a reasonable chance of using Dalegarth in the future.
Many of us will have had experience of bussing going badly wrong. Here, everything worked like clockwork. Competitors and friends were all assigned to a particular bus time with convoys of 2 or 3 buses moving every quarter of an hour. 90% of each bus was filled in this way with the remaining seats being allocated to allow some flexibility for late or early comers. Marshals were plentiful, courteous, equipped with bus time lists and well informed. A one-way system was used until the last section into the village, with the ingoing buses being held back at a T-junction until the outgoing buses came past. Marshalls were using radios or mobiles to keep in contact with officials at the drop-off point in the village. The efficiency reminded me of the Swedish O-Ringen.
A huge marquee in the Assembly field allowed those with no club tent to change and leave clothing bags. This would have been popular had the weather been inclement. A smaller tent was used for the slick issuing of race bibs, leaving of car keys etc.
Dalegarth is an open sheep grazed and fast fell-side. With great visibility and lack of physical resistance (apart from the contours) I would rank the terrain as being of medium technical difficulty. With care it should have been possible to avoid major disasters. However, many areas were riddled with knolls, either amongst marshes or on slightly elevated plateaus or ridges. Here, very careful navigation was needed to spike controls cleanly. A few small misses and lost time could easily accumulate. In a National event in 2000, my course went further east into what I remember as being more tussocky and technically more difficult terrain. This time, steep woods dropping northwards towards the Esk were, with the exception of a small patch next to the finish, out of bounds, as was another large area of moorland that tended to channel courses into fairly narrow channels in that section of the map. Courses were also constrained by a requirement to cross marked walls at marked crossing points only.
In this respect an interesting technical point emerged. Walls that were not to be crossed were to be overprinted with the purple line symbol. On the day some of these were almost impossible to spot during the race. We had been warned about this in the final details and maps showing the uncrossable walls were on display in the start lanes, but this information is almost impossible to process once the race is underway. On one leg I had planned a safe route to the next control when I came across what I was reading as a crossable wall. However, it was high and topped with fencing so I immediately realised that this was not a wall to be crossed and had to run 200m down the wall, well off line and losing height, to where it was broken and crossable. The navigation from here was much more difficult and with added climb. Only after the race did I realise that the planner had intended a route choice leg with two possible places to cross walls, but this was impossible to spot if the purple was invisible. Rumours amongst the mapping fraternity suggested that the OCAD symbol has not reflected the IOF standard for a purple line for many years.
After a debacle on open terrain, on very much simpler ground, at the last day of the 6 Day in 2011, I started slowly. This gave me time to get into the map which served me well later. In the Midlands the "knoll" symbol is often used for a small mound, perhaps no more than 2 feet high. In the Lakes these features were often large, high, rocky, even pointed. Whereas the thin black line symbol often represents crags no more than 2 feet high, at Dalegarth cliffs so mapped seemed to be big and perhaps up to 10 feet in height.
After the clear visibility and runnability of the open fell, the last short sections of the courses, dropping towards the finish in assembly, caused many problems. First we encountered a vague area of gorse, small crags and one-contour re-entrants. Most courses then had a couple of controls in a small steep wood mapped as "white", with walls, boulders and low crags. Visibility was poor and progress impeded by undergrowth, brashings and stones. The finish was unusual and spectacular. Onto a cordoned off section of a road bridge over the Esk, up a ramp to surmount the road's retaining wall and then down another ramp onto the flat run-in to the last control and finish.
Harlequins' chances of British Championship glory took a cruel blow when Andy Hemsted (M60) sustained a muscle niggle following his impressive victory for England in the Interland International held in Belgium. What I believe was a heavy fall at a recent summer evening event exacerbated the problem and limited Andy's participation to a fast walk. However, HOC did get a couple of places on the podium with HOC's best result coming from Alison Sloman who won the silver medal on W75, whilst Brian Hughes was third M65. Other good Harlequin performances on the Championship courses came from Alex Mitchell (4th M10A), Colin Spears (6th M75) and Jason Howell (7th M40).
26 Apr 2012 JK 2012
For all but the young elite, winning the JK (or the Scottish 6 Day?) must be the apogee of an orienteer's career. Victory at the British championships may carry more weight, but this is based upon performance in just one race, while the JK requires consistency over two days in contrasting terrain. Further, being a holiday event, there is more competition from overseas visitors at the JK.
When the JK is held in prime terrain in Tayside, Scotland, navigational skills and physical strength are being tested more than running speed. The first of two Classic Distance events was held at Dunalastair between Lochs Rannoch and Tummel. Many Harlequins will have run there in the 6-Day of 1997. In 2012, Russ reminded me that in 1997 I had made one of my very worst errors, two 180 degree errors within minutes of each other which left me totally bemused on a relatively simple hill. Then, substantial parts of the courses were concentrated on a featureless boggy hillside with strength sapping bog myrtle, vague open and wooded marshes and patches of woodland where very high bracken hiding small boulders gave early starters an almost impossible task. When the dust settled, it was generally felt that Dunalastair in August was not such a good idea.
Fortunately in 2012 new parking was found well to the west which gave access to far superior terrain at a much more suitable time of the year. The only down side was that the Assembly and Finish were in the opposite direction from the car park to the Starts. Consequently, with bitter winds, very few tents were erected up the hill near to the finish. Presumably the organisers had not expected this as those who had not collected race bibs at the urban race the previous day had an unnecessary trudge up the hill to collect. With the benefit of hindsight collection in the huge car parking field where the traders were based would have been better.
The western parts of Dunalastair consist of a wonderful mix of wooded hillsides with interesting rock and contour detail, patches of "green" vegetation and strength sapping marshes, and some rough open hills and hillsides. Regrettably, M65 courses rarely have long legs but the terrain at Dunalastair gave scope for some meaningful route choice challenges over relatively short distances.
Despite the forecasts, the weather kept dry for the second Classic distance race on Craig a Barns. Apparently, this was the first venue specifically mapped for orienteering in Scotland. This classic terrain has been used several times since for major events. Craig a Barns consists of a hill rising steeply to the north from the Tay and the A9, with some imposing and huge crags beloved by climbers on its southern flanks. The last 200m of the walk to the start was the steepest I have experienced at an O event. Eventually the slopes level out at a broad, huge and high plateau intersected by re-entrants, some lined with smaller crags and others filled with marshes and backed by rows of small hillocks. Much of the map is green with considerably less visibility than Dunalstair. Apart for a few ruined walls and a couple of small paths, there are no line features.
An excellent assembly area permitted tents to be pitched along the 100m run in from the forest. The descent from the last few controls to the field was tricky, as courses had to avoid the major cliffs and swathes of rhododendron clothing the hillside. Though still great, Craig a Barns is perhaps past its best, severe gales during the last winter having caused substantial wind-blow in the woods which added to already onerous physical and navigational challenges.
This was a JK where winners were true champions. While congratulations are due to any one who got around Craig a Barns, particular plaudits to Harlequins' two victors, Andy Hemsted on M60 and Colin Spears on M75. Also getting onto the podium were Brian Hughes (second, M65) and Alison Sloman (second, W75).
25 Feb 2012CompassSport Cup
HOC members made their way to a snowy Brereton Spurs in Cannock Chase on 19 Feb to run in the qualifier. And we qualified again, along with OD and Walton Chasers. Results are here.
The final will be on Sep 30 at the Scottish Borders; a map of the area is here and Routegadget for a previous event on the area is here. As it's a long trip we're looking into organising overnight accommodation and travel. If you fancy a warm-up (but please don't overdo it!) there's an urban event in Carlisle the previous day.
04 Feb 2012 Annual Prizegiving Dinner
A good gathering of HOC members (including some new faces) assembled at the Orchard Cafe on 03 Feb by Nunnery Woods for the annual prizegiving dinner. The food and drink was excellent and the venue even provided a small play area for children of all ages (see below). Thanks to Kerstin for organising the event.
More photos can be seen here
17 Sep 2011
In case you missed it the first time...
Controllers, Planners, Organisers and all Orienteers welcome.
If interested in attending, please respond by email to Gill or Brian (see Contacts List)
24 May 2011
Through an excellent seres of activities and games provided by BOF, Gill Clerici and Brian Hughes will be cascading current thinking on raising awareness of safety issues at events. You will not be lectured to, but even the most experienced should benefit.
Controllers, Planners, Organisers and all Orienteers welcome.
If interested in attending, please respond by email to Gill or Brian (see Contacts List)
18 May 2011
HOC successes at the 2011 British Champs
JK and British Nights champion Tessa Hill's outstanding year continues with a win on W21E. Other HOC winners were Andy Hemsted M60L, Alison Sloman W75, Tom MacKenzie M20L and Heather Hartmann W21V, plus the M60 relay team of Mike Baggott, Brian Hughes and Andy Hemsted (left).
Other top ten finishers:
Dan Hartmann 3rd M21S, Andy Monro 6th M40L, Jason Howell 8th M40L, Andy Batchelor 7th M40S, Alex Morgan 10th M45L, Lester Hartmann 4th M50S, Mike Farrington 4th M55S, Bob Scott 4th M60S, Colin Spears 5th M70L, Lindsay McMillan 5th W21L, Kath McMillan 7th W21L, Judith Evans 8th W55L, Lynden Hartmann 3rd W55S, Gill Clerici 10th W55S and Suzette Spears 2nd W70S.
The M40 relay team (Alex Morgan, Jason Howell, Andy Monro) came 4th.
02 May 2011
HOC successes at the 2011 JK
Congratulations to W21 Elite winner Tessa Hill (left), whose winning margin was nearly four minutes over the two individual days. Other HOC podium places were won by Kath McMillan (2nd W21L) (below), Alison Sloman (2nd W75) and Sebastian Mitchell (3rd White). Oh yes - and Dan Hartmann's SHUOC relay team were 2nd Men's Short by 4 seconds.
09 Mar 2011
Congratulations to Brian Hughes, who became Welsh M60 Champion at the Gower event on Sunday 06 Mar, and also received the Welsh League trophy for his age class.
Congratulations also to M21 Welsh champion Jonathan Rhys.
23 Jan 2011
NEW BOF RISK ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES FOR LOCAL EVENTS
New rules were published on the BOF website in Jan 2011. In future, Risk Assessment forms must be mentored and countersigned by either a) a coach or b) a controller or c) by a person with BOF Health and Safety accreditation. To help, HOC Event Series Coordinators (Barry Houghton, Mike Farrington, John Embrey, Adrian Bailey, Barry McGowan) have already been provided with a list of HOC coaches and controllers. Organisers should consult this to find a person qualified to check the Health and Safety aspects of their local event and sign the Risk Assessment.
The BOF Accreditation is likely to take the form of online training and testing. When this becomes available (summer?), HOC will be encouraging all active Orienteers to participate. Only in this way can HOC take some of this extra burden off the shoulders of Coordinators and Organisers and ensure that the club can continue to offer a good number of local (level D) events.
Brian Hughes (Fixtures secretary)
16 Sep 2010
The new HOC tops are here
The Chairman writes:
After a bit of a long wait the new HOC tops are here and some picked them up at the (oh so) Long (O) Mynd last Sunday.
The rest of those that were ordered will be available to collect at the West Midland Relays this Sunday.
Please bring cash or cheque to cover your orders based on £36.00 per top. Please make cheques payable to Harlequins Orienteering Club.
For those that may not be at Hartlebury Common on Sunday, please email Judith Evans on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange alternative delivery.
We ordered a few extras in various sizes and these will be available at Hartlebury on a first
come/first served basis.
08 May 2010
Success for HOC at BOC
Congratulations to HOC's M60 relay team at last weekend's British Champs. John Pearson, Brian Hughes and Andy Hemsted stormed the field with three out of the four fastest runs in this class, to win by over 10 minutes. Other HOC relay success included 5th place in the M40 relay (Alex Morgan, Jason Howell and Andy Monro) and 2nd in the Men's Short for Dan Hartmann's SHUOC team.
Individual podium finishes include Duncan Leeson 1st M20L, Dan Hartmann (running for SHUOC) 3rd M21S, Andy Hemsted 1st M60L, Rosemary Hartmann 3rd W18S, Heather Hartmann 3rd W20S, Marian White 2nd W50S, Lynden Hartmann 1st W55S and Suzette Spears 1st W70S.
17 Apr 2010
New HOC Tops: we have to place an order for a minimum quantity to get them at the best unit price.
If you haven't put your order in already, please download the
order form and get your order to Lester or Judith Evans
by 25 Apr.
11 Apr 2010
Barry on the Box (briefly)
HOC's Treasurer and Winter Evening Event coordinator Barry Houghton went up to the Pentland Hills for the British Night Championships (amongst other things). A BBC camera crew were in attendance as they do things properly up there and were obviously impressed enough by his punching technique to keep him in the edit. You can see the whole Adventure Show programme on iPlayer. The orienteering coverage starts at 40-ish minutes in and the really important bit is around 51:38.
06 Apr 2010 2010 JK
Congratulations to all those Harlequins who braved the mud of Cookworthy Forest at this year's JK, especially to champions Duncan Leeson M20S, Andy Hemsted M60L and Suzette Spears W70S. Also getting places on the podium were Dan Hartmann (running as SHUOC) 2nd M21S, Geoff Sara 3rd M70S, Lynden Hartmann 3rd W55S and Penny Hemsted 3rd W65S, plus HOC's M165+ relay team of Andy Hemsted, Brian Hughes and John Embrey.
Brian Hughes narrowly missed the podium with a 4th place on M60L. Other top ten finishers include Alex Mitchell M10B, Ant Clerici M55S, Rosey Hartmann W18S, Tessa Hill W21E, Lindsay McMillan W21S, Kerstin Mitchell W40S, Carol Farrington W50S, Babs Ford W55S and Alison Sloman W70L
09 Feb 2010 2010 Helpers List
We're compiling a new helpers list, and would like to give you the chance to express your preference for a particular team. Copies of the preference form were handed out at the prizegiving dinner, but if you weren't there or were but missed out, they can be found here. Fill in and return to Alex Morgan before the end of next week or we'll have to decide for you.
Also at the prizegiving, World Masters M60 champion Andy Hemsted received honorary life membership of HOC.
23 Jan 2010 New HOC Top
Matthew Evans has produced three proposals for a new design of HOC top. It's now up to the membership to vote on which one they prefer. The Chairman would like to be able to announce the favoured design at the annual Prizegiving Dinner on 05 Feb, which is quite soon but time enough (for most people!) to make a decision. Click on the thumbnail or here to view the full-size poster and make your vote count.
And the winner, announced at the prizegiving dinner, is... #1!
09 Jan 2010 Winter Evening Event news
Barry H says: They are back, (well at least one is anyway). Yes the WEE's start up again, a little late this season but worth the wait. The first event will be on Thursday 28th Jan at Highgate Common, but not the overgrown bramble-strewn Highgate Common you knew from the event held last Summer; this is all runnable and avoids any controls in the grot .We have exclusive use of the visitor centre carpark complete with super new toilet block and hopefully power to enable SI units to be used. Normal 1 hour score format, pre printed maps, prices £3 seniors £1 juniors. Just turn up between 6 and 7pm at the Triangle carpark, map ref SO 835895, and bring your SI dibbers. Barry Houghton on email or 01902 894890. SEE YOU ALL THERE.
Volunteers, get in quick to put on further events in this series to ensure there is a series. Planning and organising these events is simple and straightforward, and I will give whatever help I can. Please respond urgently to Barry at the above email address."
Jan 2010 Laurie Bradley New Year's Day Score Results
The rules for the event stated that once a Part 2 control had been punched, any Part 1 controls punched do not count. So we've now checked the splits with a fine-tooth comb and adjusted the scores accordingly - which fortunately (for us!) doesn't quite change the overall result (pre-adjusted scores in brackets) below:
CompassSport Cup final - we couldn't hold on to our early lead, but came a very creditable 5th. CSC Results...
...and that was without Andy Hemsted, who was busy down under winning the World Masters M60 title. Congratulations also to Colin Spears, 2nd in the M70B final. WM Results...
17 Sep 2009 It may well be the highlight of Advent - more fun than shopping, anyway. This year's HOC Club Champs takes place at Callow Hill (possibly the best orienteering terrain in Worcestershire) on Sat 19 Dec. Various age class prizes will be up for grabs, plus the prestigious Bert Pardoe handicap-adjusted trophy which all are eligible for. The event will be followed by a bring & share social at Kinlet Village Hall. All club members welcome - bring some food and a small raffle prize for the social. Event flyer | Map of social venue | Bert Pardoe handicaps
17 Sep 2009
Adrian Bailey took his turn on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square as part of Antony Gormley's One and Other art event at lunchtime on 11 Sep. Whilst he ran a series of very short courses on the plinth...
...a group of orienteers from London area clubs put on a slightly longer series of courses in the square below.
The idea is that each course forms the shape of a letter and in succession the courses should spell out a message. What's the message? Well, see Simon Errington's blog.
Watch the video of Adrian's stint and follow the "Roger's Night Shift" link to footage of an earlier plinth-based orienteer on his participants' blog.
05 Sep 2009
HOC Needs You (if you're a HOC member) to run in the CompassSport Cup final at Fineshade, near Stamford, Lincs on Sunday 18 October. Unlike the qualifiers, the final will require pre-entries, so please contact John Embrey by Friday 25 Sep. Keep an eye on the Forum for updates.
Why not make a weekend of it? - Ruth Lockley has organised some Saturday night accomodation (see the Forum) and the Cambridge City Race on the Saturday would make a useful warm-up - but don't overdo it!
Here's a reminder of how we qualified:
At Last! HOC Qualify for the CompassSport Cup Final Club Captain John Embrey writes...
Many, many thanks to everyone who turned out yesterday at Weston Heath and made it such a successful day. According to me:
Yesterday shows that we can challenge the best if we can get a full team out... I am convinced we can shock some other "big" clubs with a strong tradition in the final.
So PLEASE all put the date of Sunday 18 October in your diaries now, for the trip to Leicestershire, near Corby. Let's go and show what we can do. Once again, a BIG BIG "thank you" to everyone. Results
05 Sep 2009
Plinth-O returns to Trafalgar Square as HOC's Adrian Bailey has won an hour on the fourth plinth as part of Antony Gormley's One and Other art event on Friday 11 Sep. The details are under wraps (or maybe haven't been worked out yet) but apparently it will be orienteering-related. He's due to step from the cherrypicker at 1:00pm.
If you can't make it down to London to watch his stint, you can view the online live coverage. Find out more about Adrian's bit and follow the "Roger's Night Shift" link to footage of an earlier plinth-based orienteer on his participants' blog.
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