Monday, 6th December 2021

Tamar Triple

watch this space

Event 1 Fernworthy Comments

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Planner's Comments

It was a pleasure to be back at Fernworthy after so many years and think that nobody was disappointed by the area.

Right from the start we knew that we were constraint by the archaeological sites and the Nightjars nesting in the rough open areas. What remained still offered plenty of scope for some good route choices particularly in the middle section of the forest where the valleys radiate south. So until a month before the event all was proceeding well. Unfortunately at that point we were notified by the Forest Ranger that a pair of Goshawks were establishing a nest in the middle section of the forest and that a large section of the area was to be out of bounds.

As a result six of the courses had to be altered to a lesser or greater extend. Principally this effected the first two controls on the three longer courses which meant the initial legs offered less route choice than was originally intended, I hope this did not detract from competitors enjoyment of the courses.

Also as a result of these late changes control codes 56 and 86 were placed close together so I apologise to the competitor who miss-punched at control 86.

One thing that has become obvious from this event is that it becoming increasingly difficult to hold events in this type of area at this time of year. Later in the year none of these restrictions, except those regarding the archaeological sites, are applicable.

In my role as surveyor I would like to thank Rod Postlethwaite for his help with the survey and Erik Peckett for preparing the final map.

Finally my thanks to Chris Branford for his help and advice in his role as Controller.

Tom Lillicrap (DEVON)

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Controller's Comments

Tom Lillicrap is one of the most organised planners I have ever worked with. His organisation and planning were immaculate. When told only 3 weeks before the event that we had Goshawks which entailed a rather large exclusion area (and that shooting them was not an option!) - without any fuss in 3 days he managed to plan new courses, tag the extra controls and have everything ready for me to visit and check all the changes. I wish all planner's were like that.

The area is physically hard but excellent orienteering terrain and good use was made of it to provide excellent technical courses for all age groups.

Chris Branford (WIM)

Event 2 Inny Foot Comments

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Planner's Comments

Inny Foot

Firstly I must apologise for the two errors one in relation to control 132 which should have had the control on the south side but was placed on the S.E. side.

The second error was the vegetation boundary near control 148 which was out of position. The previous version of the map had the boundary in this position and I failed to notice that this had changed due to the extension to the felled area by 30m.

I mapped all 24 of the new huge 3m high vegetation mounds and was amazed that they were all aligned at 120 degrees. Why and how was this done? Was the machine driver given instructions to do this, and if so how did he achieve it. Perhaps he had Sat Nav on his machine to set them out as some agricultural tractors have.

Some competitors thought the courses were on the long side but the lengths were calculated in accordance with the guidelines with an elite competitor taking 30-35 minutes. The results show this was only slightly exceeded.

Finally my thanks to Nicholas Maxwell for his help and guidance throughout the planning process.

Peter Morton (KERNO)

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Controller's Comments

Thanks to the KERNO team for the efficient organisation. There were some early delays in the car parking owing to the localised heavy rain but congratulations to Peter Heywood in getting people in; the Devon Show was not so fortunate.

At 9:30am rivers were flowing down the tracks in the forest but by the time the event started the rain had largely passed by for the day. At least one unmapped pond was created by the deluge that morning which caused confusion for some competitors near one control.

Peter Morton based his course lengths on the elite running speeds achieved at previous events and I think the course results indicate he got them in the right ballpark.

Most people enjoyed their courses. As always there are some things we could have done better.

The W12's had problems on their orange standard course but the M12's generally did not. I accept it was a 'harder' orange course and we should have made it an 'easier' orange course particularly as there are no short course options with a middle distance event.

Peter wanted to make use of the easy running open area with the carefully aligned three metre woodpiles. We had complaints about control 148 and control 132 explained in the planner comments.

Both the above controls were visible in this open area so I trust the delays faced by most competitors were small.

To those whose enjoyment of the event was spoilt please accept my apologies.

Finally thanks to Peter Morton for introducing me to this interesting woodland.

Nicholas Maxwell (Devon)

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Organiser's Comments

A big thank you to all the Kerno helpers today - particularly the ones who came to the rescue on helping people get into the squelchy car park.

We had a couple of complaints:

Control 132: The description said the control was on the south side of the heap of brashings but it was on the east side

Control 148: The nearby veg boundary on the map didn’t match what was on the ground, which misled some competitors

I discussed these with other orienteers and with the controller. The consensus was that the complaints were probably valid but weren’t sufficiently serious to consider taking any action such as disregarding the particular controls in the results.

I was very pleased to present certificates to some of the winners of the South West Middle Distance Orienteering Championships 2014.

Peter Heywood (Kerno)

Event 3 Tavistock Urban Comments

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Planner's Comments

Following the Springtime in Shropshire example of their urban event in Ludlow [I've run there twice now] I suggested to the TT2014 team that we incorporate an urban event in TT2014. They agreed, but where? Okehampton or Tavistock? They thought Okehampton might be a bit of a climb up to the camp - so Tavistock it was.

So from summer through autumn to December the map developed - it was a huge area. January & February were the months when the field work should have taken place - not in the weather we had then. March finished off the surveying and the planning could begin.

What were the limits of the map going to be? Kelly College was on the wider map but was too far north. The viaduct and sports college had to be on - as was the cricket ground. That lent itself to a double sided A3 1:5000 map with an overlap. I should thank Erik Peckett for the use of his 1:2500 map of the sports college - although the symbol sizes at the two scales make it interesting when you try to fit them in on the smaller scale map!

Planning constraints? The river, canal and old branch line run roughly from the NE to the south and crossing points are limited. Equally the other branch line - only seen on the eastern map "half" limits E-W crossings. We were uncertain about entering the sports college grounds - permissions seemed to take ages but with 3 weeks to go we could go in. Want to read more about railway lines in Tavistock - see Wikipedia. Who knows the railway might come here again!

Interesting sites on the eastern half were fewer than I wanted but having chosen the best I was happy with the circuitous routes that were possible to and between them. I did have a control for courses A & B that was on the overlap. In hindsight might have been better to keep it but for those two courses control numbers were rising rapidly and I didn't want to exceed 30.

The western half of the full map was easier although the linking roads had varying amounts of traffic and guided some potential routes. The subway was vital to the junior courses and apart from crossing the entrances to the parking at the schools they had traffic free runs. I was aiming for winning times of 40 to 50 minutes. A & B seemed to take longer. Junior courses were much quicker as was UVW.

I must thank Paul Glanville who lives in the town and facilitated the use of the three schools and the event HQ up the stairs at the end of the Wharf Theatre. T hanks too to Andy Reynolds who controlled, advised and suggested improvements in his usual friendly manner. Alison Reynolds and Elsie Hargreaves provided back up and support throughout the entire process. The Town Council and the Borough Council were both helpful to the event and the local CPSO kept watch.

Roger Hargreaves (KERNO)

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Controller's Comments

Having been the driving force for staging the event, mapping the area, and planning the courses, Roger had things well in order, so my job was mainly simply to cast a second pair of eyes (and legs). My thanks to Alison (and Elsie) for their assistance in checking, putting out and collecting controls as well as Tim and Matt.

Roger’s courses were challenging and well-received in general. He made the best of the town’s network of paths. In fact, I think there is plenty of scope for future events. He largely avoided the town centre, partly because of traffic, and partly because the historic market area is locked up at 5pm, but there are many hidden away lanes that we didn’t use.

Only a couple of real issues arose that do raise general concerns with urban events:

Firstly, a member of the public came to complain that we had placed a control in their private car park. I went there to placate them, explained that we had thought that any signs applied only to cars, and had placed the control furthest from any houses. I offered to move it away from their parking space, but she and her neighbours had got themselves into quite a flap by the time I arrived, so I decided just to move the control outside the entrance to the car park, and re-direct remaining competitors. No one gained or lost any amount of time on that control. The episode did highlight the difficulty of knowing what is private/public in an urban environment. That particular estate has a good network of paths, but it isn’t always clear what is public/private.

Secondly, and more seriously, I was later made aware that there had very nearly been a nasty accident when a competitor failed to look up from their map on crossing a road, and was narrowly saved by a marshall just before being mown down by a car. I have witnessed one or two, thankfully less serious, near misses with traffic in other urban events where runners have run across in front of vehicles without looking up from their maps. Competitors do need to remember what is important, and not endanger themselves or the whole urban ‘O’ format.

Overall, though, a successful event, thanks to Roger and Tim.

Andy Reynolds (Devon)

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Organiser's Comments

My thanks to all my helpers who made this a great event as a first in the pretty market town of Tavistock . An evening event incorporating fairly long runs with well planned out controls around Tavistock park, housing estates and general area including a trip up to the old railway track on the viaduct with some good views over the town for anyone with the time to stop and take in the views!! We had a large number of runners who I hope had a good run . A late finish for the helpers made up of much of the Devon Orienteering Club alongside Kerno team members .

I think Roger Hargreaves did a great job in his planning of this event and Andy Reynolds in controlling.

All in all my thank you to everyone helping and running to make this a great night out in Tavistock .

Tim Gent (Devon)

Event 4 Cookworthy Comments

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Organiser's Comments

Sunshine at last meant more pleasant conditions for this event, although a week of dry weather beforehand might have helped with the going underfoot.

Many thanks go to all the Kerno helpers, particularly Beryl Smith, Gavin Henderson, Ali White and Barry Olds who all helped without having a run. (Barry offers his humble apologies for the failure to produce splits results at download towards the end of the event. At least we managed to get results up on the website each evening.)

From what I hear, Arthur's courses took you to some good areas of the forest. I look forward to seeing them at a future event.

Thanks also to the traders who made the long trip down to the West Country.

All in all a fine end to this year's Tamar Triple - Plus.

Steve Beech (KERNO)