Sunday 29th October 2006

Malvern Hills Regional Event


Planners' Comments

This was our first go at planning a regional event so thanks must firstly go to David Holmes for his excellent guidance and thorough controlling. It was a real pleasure planning at the Malvern Hills but not without its challenges, not least the hills themselves - we tried hard to keep climb to a minimum, managing to avoid greater than 5% climb for all but the longest courses. The vegetation also proved challenging - we where shocked just how high the bracken got with control sites we'd visited earlier in the year becoming completely inaccessible. We did our best to plan around these areas and hope no one found themselves lost in chest high vegetation!!

Thanks to Alison Sloman for map corrections, Colin Spears for putting the maps onto OCAD and to Julian Green, Brian Hughes and David Holmes for their help collecting in controls. Thanks also to everyone who came and ran - we hope you enjoyed it!

Kath and Linds McMillan (HOC)

Organiser's Comments

Thank you all for coming and making the Malvern Hills event a great day out. With such lovely weather and beautiful scenery who could not have enjoyed their runs. From comments I received at the Finish, most of you liked the new style waterproof maps that were used for this event. I can assure you that they do survive getting soaking wet; mud does appear to be wiped off fairly easily but I reserve judgement on blood - perhaps the competitor who had this problem will let me know if it wiped clean afterwards.

No event is possible without a small army of helpers so my thanks go to all those many HOC members who gave of their time for this event at Car Parking, Registration & Download, Inquiries, Coach controlling, Start, Finish, First Aid and manned Clothing Dump, Junior course patrollers and not forgetting, of course, the two Planners. It all seemed to go like clockwork - so well done!

Rollo Rumford (HOC)

Controller's Comments

Prior to controlling this event I had competed on the Malverns only once about fifteen years ago, so approached the area with a blank(!) mind. An initial run-around early in the summer revealed the open tops and the weird earthworks of the British Camp area, impossible bracken covered slopes in the middle, and the interesting but steep wooded area of Midsummer Hill at the south end. The bussing enabled the planners to work from a very high start, thus keeping the height climb to within reasonable limits and providing courses with considerable variation in terms of legs where route choice was paramount intermingled with others where fine orienteering techniques came to the fore. In spite of early concerns, the weather on the day was superb, much better than we had any right to expect in late October, and even the undergrowth was beginning to subside. On the whole the courses produced sensible winning times although clearly the younger juniors found some problems unravelling the very unusual path/earthbank system they were asked to negotiate. The new waterproof maps were an innovation that perhaps wasn't thoroughly tested in the sunshine, but comments were generally positive.

My congratulations to all club members for the superb on-the-day organisation and for the support they gave to the planners in the previous weeks. The major contributions for map updates, course overlays, SI kit, map production and general organisation under the watchful eye of Rollo happened so quietly and efficiently that at times I was concerned by the apparent inactivity! I was wrong of course - Harlequins is clearly a very well-oiled machine. My especial thanks to Kath and Lindsay who were tackling an event of this size for the first time and coped well, proving very flexible in working around holidays, exams, and some of my more eccentric requests. Thanks, HOC, for inviting me to your event!

David Holmes (Quantock Orienteers)


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