Monday, 17th January 2022

Tamar Triple

Event Coordinator's Report

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Event Coordinators's Report

The first Tamar Triple took place in 1994, and it has been biennial ever since. So this was the tenth event. It has been a very positive joint venture between DEVON and KERNO throughout the period.

The event format was the most ambitious we have undertaken, comprising Sprint on Day1, dual-scale Middle Distance on Day2, and Classic Distance on Day3. At the outset, I had fondly imagined that we might have the same class/course combinations all three days, but unfortunately BOF proscribes very different horses for courses, I mean different types of event. As the first two days were South-West Championship events, it seemed appropriate to present these in age-class format, whilst Day3 could run purely under colour standards.

Significant problems also arose shortly before the event on both Day1 and Day2, and the officials had to pull out the stops to find solutions. So, on your behalf I would like to thank most warmly the organisers, planners, and controllers. Roger Hargreaves from KERNO was double-billing, as Controller on Day1 and joint organiser on Day3.

I would also like to specifically mention the contributions of Christine Vince of KERNO in start time allocation and coordinating Enquiries on all three days, Graham Dugdale and Barry Olds in managing the computing operation, and James Hargreaves in managing the website.

See you all in 2014 (in greater numbers we hope).

Alan Simpson, DEVON OC

Day 1 Comments

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Planner's Comments

The past 6 years have been one of continuous change on the Exeter University Campus. As well as the usual horticultural changes which goes with one of the best Campus sites in the Country there was the on going regeneration of the site. Two more to go. La Frowda (in the east) will be finished in September and the one around the Sports Centre in 18 months. I believe that some of the Staff of the University were surprised when the contractor turned up last week - early.

Each time something finished I felt the need to bring the map up to date and revise the courses to take advantage of the new sites. I was not able to incorporate all the new building into the courses - after all the Queen only opened the Forum Project (the area, for those that know the campus, between the Northcote Theatre, The Great Hall and the Library) at the beginning of May. My nerves could not stand waiting for it to finished.

Sorry about the wedding in Reed Hall especially if you were affected. Had I been told I could easily have changed the courses to avoid the potential upset. You will have noted for example the deliberate making the tennis courts OOB so as not interrupt the tennis players

I had a number of comments from some of you. If you would pen me a short note I would like to consider them at leisure. For example one or two found difficulty in reading the detail on the map I would particularly like to know if they have had their eyes tested recently! I am also aware of the effect on laser printed maps of brown contours running over black buildings. The ISSOM specifications say they should be drawn over the black so that you can see the shape of the ground. This could be more important in completely built up town areas where there are no open areas? Perhaps these need further consideration.

My and Our thanks to: Roger Hargreaves, who doubled as Organiser for day 3 and as Controller for the Sprint, for his helpful support and comments about the map and the planning. He is an expert at devising control descriptions; Andy Reynolds the Organiser and his team for the calm way he dealt with the arrival of the Contractors and the Wedding incident; To the Staff at Exeter University who supported the whole event; My grateful thanks to you who came and took part. Without you our efforts would have been wasted.

Erik Peckett (DEVON)

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Controller's Comments

I was looking forward to a return visit to the campus to see what was hiding behind all the construction work that we saw in 2010. This time we visited new parts of the site – although even the students have remarked that Birks Village involved significant climb to get back to the body of the University!

I think it was that climb that contributed to the longer times than expected on courses 1 to 3. Although, in general, course winning times were of the order of 15 minutes. Those who had a chat with me after the races admitted to a certain amount of dithering on route choice decisions and time lost in route choice or brain fade.

Erik and I had long conversations about control locations, top of steps, bottom of steps – which steps! We had some fun too.

Generally everyone seemed enthused with the course except of course for the wandering control – by moving the control even more confusion was caused at the rear of Reed Hall.

Erik tells me that he has been mapping that campus, continuously, for 6 years. May he continue to do that until the building money runs out. There are plenty more control sites to look for.

Roger Hargreaves (KERNO)

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Organiser's Comments

Following a protest from a competitor, which was upheld by the event's jury, the results for a number of the courses on the first race have been amended to remove the legs going into and out of control 220. This control had been moved by a member of the public, leading to a number of competitors losing time looking for it.

This control was situated next to Reed Hall where a wedding was being held. The wedding party objected to orienteers running past their celebrations, and I received a complaint from the manager of the Hall. I apologised and said that we would warn competitors to avoid running through the area. Unbeknown to me, they must have taken matters into their own hands, because returning competitors started to complain that control 220 was not in the right place. The Controller immediately went to the site, found that it had been moved, and returned it to it’s correct position.

Apart from that mis-hap, everything went smoothly..... apart from the fact that just as the maps were being printed, we had discovered an extensive line of barriers erected around the Sports Building in preparation for building work. This meant that the route to the afternoon start, the route between the car park and download, and the finish itself, would be off-limits.

This led to a last minute re-think. With the only way to the start being through the Sports Building, the planner was able to negotiate with the staff for us to set up start lanes in the corridors, and take competitors out of a fire escape door to the start triangle. We also had to take competitors on a long route around the building site from the car park to the assembly, avoiding any controls along the way, and move the finish slightly. The novel start set-up seemed to work well, although I was probably not the only one to be glad to have a traditional start out in the open for the second race. My great thanks to Roger Green for amending his carefully thought out start layout to cater for this change.

We had hoped to have a nice grassy assembly area next to the car park, but as it proved impossible to source any portaloos at such short notice, I decided that we had to bring everything back to the Sports Building, where we did at least have access to toilets and a room for downloading. It could have been worse!

Both problems show how difficult it is liaising with an organisation as large and diverse as Exeter University. The planner and I had numerous conversations with staff in various departments, up to the Director of Estates, but no one thought to tell us that a wedding was taking place that day, or that building work had been brought forward by 2 weeks. We did, however, find the staff very accommodating, and very keen to assist us, especially at the Sports Building. Without them, we would not have had an event.

We hope that you enjoyed running on the campus. My thanks go to all the helpers, and to Erik and Roger. I know that Erik had to make many changes to his map and courses to deal with the University being in constant state of change.

Andy Reynolds (DEVON)

Day 2 Comments

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Planner's Comments

Roger Hargreaves asked me if I wanted to be involved in the Tamar Triple, and as a Kerno club member living in Devon he gave me the option of planning day two or organising day one. Once I knew there was an opportunity to use the 1:2500 map I jumped at the chance to plan on it, although I was a little bit worried about being able to fit a classic length course on it. So when the next email arrived asking whether I could make it the SW Middle distance champs that seemed to fit perfectly. So the initially problem seemed to me how to plan on two different scales on the same page. At this point I have to thank Erik Peckett for his advice and support. Roger Hargreaves, due to his other commitments over the weekend stepped in and offered to play around with the maps, and came up with pretty much what you saw on the day, thank you Roger.

The start originally, was on the open area west of the road and all courses were planned and sites tagged. Then the archeologist arrived on site and late on things had be changed. Moving the start into the forest meant that space was tight for some courses especially the Light Green, and we had to work hard to fit this course in and did best we could in the circumstances. As it turned out about 10 days before the event the archeologists were pulled off site and all traces of them disappeared!

My aim for the full technical courses was to have as much as possible on the Wheal Florence and for competitors to arrive at the change of maps having raced hard, the open moor offers little in the way of technical orienteering so it was more a case of softening you up for the amazing Wheal Florence. When I first set out tag on this area I was apprehensive to say the least, wondering if I would be able to interpret the map and tag the right site!! But I soon realised what an amazing piece of work the map is, and I am sure you will join me in thanking Jim Prowting for his efforts in producing it. I think the change of scale worked well and I enjoyed spending time at the finish watching competitors in the terrain, getting feedback and hearing of coping strategies employed! Thankfully all the controls were in the right place, and all still there after a blustery night on the moor. If you have any further feedback then please free to email me at marklucylockett[at] or find me on

Finally a few words of thanks, Nicholas Maxwell and Alan Simpson for being super organisers, keeping people informed of changes and goings on. Roger and Erik for OCAD and map advice and layout. Lew Bean for his help on the mapping side. Bill Vigar for all his help and guidance, I hope I haven't been to much of a pain Bill! And lastly the incredible Torquay Boys Grammar School, who when asked how many controls could they collect said "how many have you got out there?" and promptly collected them all in! Stars the lot of them.

Mark Lockett (KERNO)

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Organiser's Comments

The unexpected challenge for this event was the arrival, in April, of archaeologists on the open area you walked through to reach the start. Is this a first? They had trenches and pits and were planning to move east of the road. We reached a compromise on where they would go before the event and where the courses would go. Then unexpectedly in mid May they filled in everything and departed save for one yellow jacketed specialist who you might have seen operating in Wheal Florence on the day of the event.

Unless the world price of tungsten nosedives that may have been the last event to be held on Wheal Florence. Something to tell the grandchildren.

The event itself ran smoothly on the day and I must pass on my thanks to the full team from DEVON and KERNO who made that all possible.

We showed solidarity with the queen by holding the event in rainy conditions but thankfully not too heavy to stop social interaction. The shelter by the caterers certainly helped.

I have a pair of blue cycling gloves probably belonging to the competitor who cycled to the event. Please contact me if you would like them back.

Nicholas Maxwell

Day 3 Comments

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Planner's Comments

Many of you will remember the mud fest at the 2010 JK when Cookworthy was last used. I was hoping for a much dryer spell of weather for the Tamar Triple and my prayers were largely answered although it did rain when I was placing controls on Sunday. I have always thought Cookworthy is one of our best SW forests and from most of your favourable comments in the finish field I think many of you will now share my opinion.

Finish times were shorter than expected (except on Orange) but the course lengths were based on winning times for JK 2010, when underfoot conditions must have slowed running speeds. Shame we did not have many runners for the junior courses but this seems to be a national problem.

My thanks to Richard for his helpful comments and fine attention to detail and to Roger & Elsie who put in a huge effort into producing a great day.

Peter Morton (KERNO)

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Controller's Comments

I gather there are some who don't like Cookworthy - I don't know why, because I think the gently undulating moss covered terrain makes excellent orienteering territory. It is notoriously wet under foot however, and Sunday's rain meant the going was very soft, particularly around control 225 which where the rain turned previously damp ground into porridge.

Peter planned excellent courses taking you through some of the best parts of the forest. As a result there was little for me as Controller to contribute. I confess I had a concern that courses were on the long side, but the results indicate I should not have been concerned. It was a shame there were few takers for the white and yellow courses, as Peter created routes in the middle of the forest - much more interesting than the usual all-path routes.

I was pleased to see very few mis-punched, and hope this indicates that most of you had a good run.

Richard Sansbury

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Organiser's Comments

The damp weather that affected the Sunday races also caught us out as we put out the road signs on Sunday evening. Remarkably the drizzle stopped and we put out all the ancillary signs for start, assembly etc. in relatively dry conditions.

An early start saw all the tents erected and other "dressing" in place. Thanks to all the KERNO helpers who volunteered their help on the day. In particular, non-runner Beryl Smith who assisted in enquiries and of course Christine Vince who had been working in the background in the weeks before the event sorting out all the times for Fabian etc.

On the competition itself everything seemed to go smoothly except our heart rates went up when two competitors were reported in trouble on the Orange course. Fortunately they emerged from the forest shortly after reports had been lodged. Many people told us they were pleased to have come and enjoyed the day.

Due to the Day 1 protest and the inclement weather on Sunday both prize-givings for the two Championship events were held overseen by SWOA Chairman John Dyson and SWOA Secretary Arthur Vince – in sunshine.

We were last out of the forest and you wouldn't know 150+ people had been there.

Oooops, nearly forgot, there was a midge problem!

Elsie and Roger Hargreaves (KERNO)