Monday, 17th January 2022

Tamar Triple

Event 1 Exeter University Urban comments

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Planner's Comments

Firstly I'd like to thank Erik Peckett for the map on which to start planning. That's not to say that changes weren't needed - indeed so much activity took place on site that more corrections were added and discarded [construction completed] that the mapping was a fluid and continuing process. Thanks too to Tom Lillicrap for a second pair of surveying eyes.

Thanks too, to the helpful controlling by Bryan Smith - we had useful debates about the finer points of the courses!

The University staff were tremendously helpful - we could go almost anywhere and we were only asked to "close" one gate.

I found the whole site very interesting with much contrast in different areas and with significant climb. I tried to follow David May's principles for urban planning with short legs having multiple options while longer legs had to involve some head scratching and concentration. From comments received it seems that some of those objectives were reached.

Lastly, to Chris Moncaster [organiser in absentia] and Steve Beech who took on the load of day organiser thanks for the work that went into all the other aspects of the day. Lastly to Mrs H. who helped roll out the controls on Saturday morning and to the team from Torbay Boys Grammar School who collected controls from 6:60 pm - all was cleared by 7:30.

Addendum to Planners comments:

Perhaps those competitors whose Routegadget GPS tracks show themselves crossing an un-crossable boundary and going through a private area marked OOB SE of 212 should contact the organisers to declare themselves DSQ'd.

Roger Hargreaves (Kerno)

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Controller's Comments

Competitors were overwhelmingly positive about the quality of the orienteering challenge and background organisation provided at Exeter University and that was undoubtedly my view. On behalf of all those who took part I would therefore like to thank Steve Beech, Chris Moncaster and their team of helpers for putting the event on, as part of TT2018, Roger Hargreaves for all of his time and expertise in planning the various courses and Erik Peckett and associated mappers for their considerable work.

Roger made great use of the site’s excellent potential with courses offering significant variety and route choice. Winning times, however, were quicker than expected, in part reflecting the strength of the field. Fortunately, the expected heavy rain, which may have made some of the paths and steps quite slippery, held off until courses closed. Likewise the subsequent lightning storm.

Through runners use of GPS and RouteGadget, it appears that, on one leg of perhaps two courses, some competitors ignored a “Private” sign on a gate, went through the uncrossable boundary marked on the map for that gate and entered an associated OOB area. Whilst this could have affected this competition, the bigger issue relates to securing future use of the whole site for orienteering events. All competitors must understand their responsibilities to maintain good relationships with landowners.

I would like to add my thanks to Exeter University for agreeing to the event taking place and for providing all of their professional help and support.

Bryan Smith (Devon)

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Organiser's Comments

For an event like this, being 'organiser on the day' actually involved several days, sorting out equipment, notices etc. Luckily Chris Moncaster had already sorted out the helpers' rota and having an indoor area for registration, download etc, with the added bonus of changing rooms and showers made things a bit easier.

Knowing that there would almost certainly be traffic problems on the M5 there was an early decision to be as flexible as possible with start times, and it would seem that the vast majority of those who entered made it to Exeter for their run. (Ultrasport understandably gave up the struggle and headed straight to Braunton.)

Thanks go to all the Kerno members who came to Exeter to help, with special thanks to Scott Collier, Anne Edwards and Ali White for helping with the set-up, and Barry Olds for dealing with the SI system in his usual calm manner.

Above all we must thank Exeter University whose co-operation was all that we could have hoped for.

Steve Beech (Kerno)

Event 2 Braunton Long comments

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Planner's Comments

The decision to divide the area into two parts, one for each of the days at Braunton, was made early in the event planning process. This made the logistics of control hanging and collecting easier, and meant that everyone had the opportunity to experience as much of the dunes as possible. With the southern part to work with, and the start location dictated largely by where there was availability of suitable features for the White and Yellow courses, it was hard to resist the temptation to drop all the TD5 courses in at the deep end with a number of short legs in the technical area near the start, before launching you into a long leg (which, in the case of the green upwards, was almost the whole width of the map!).

We aimed to give all the courses as much variety as possible; in terms of terrain – ensuring that all the TD5 courses experienced the flat, almost featureless, areas, the lower level dunes with thicker vegetation reducing visbility, and the larger ridges of dunes with fine detail on them – but also in terms of leg lengths and direction. Whilst this was harder with the junior courses and the shorter adult courses, we feel we achieved this as much as possible.

Another aim was to ensure that the majority of the courses were run on terrain not used since JK 2010. This was possible for all courses except the Blue upwards, who crossed the east/west fence into the area used for a Devon League event in June 2016. However, with that event being nearly 2 years ago, and as we approached that terrain from a different direction on this occasion, this was not deemed to be an issue.

We had endured some damp and chilly conditions during our planning visits to the dunes, so were delighted to be able to enjoy the dunes in far more favourable conditions during the event weekend. Consequently, our jog into the terrain during the event to observe was enjoyable. It was interesting to see how people were dealing with the technical nature of the terrain, in addition to the changes of direction and varying leg length. On the whole, it seemed as though everyone was coping well, and enjoying the challenge, which is exactly what we had hoped for and, ultimately, is probably one of the main reasons why we all go orienteering!

We were pleased to receive the many positive comments about the courses. These are always well received, and make the many hours of hard work even more worthwhile.

Thanks are due to all the helpers to made the event happen; many, or perhaps all, of whom, also helped on other days of the Tamar Triple. Thanks also to Mike for his helpful comments as controller. Finally, thanks to you, the competitors, for making the trip to Devon; we hope you enjoyed your visit.

Ben Chesters & Harry Fox (Devon)

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Organiser's Comments

Having held JK2010 on Braunton Burrows, the area had not been used since then. In 2015 I was set the challenge of re-establishing contacts with the new land managers looking after the area for Christie Devon Estates. Meetings were held and agreements made, and a smaller scale club event was held in June 2016, and apart from poor weather on the day all went well. It had always been the longer-term aim for a larger event with the Tamar Triple 2018 in our minds.

I must have got that event about right, as somehow, that set me up as organiser for the 2 days of the Tamar Triple, so discussions continued with the land managers, their warden and the tenant farmer for the assembly field, and all have been very cooperative and straightforward to deal with. Clearance was given by Natural England and the MOD who use the area regularly. The time since 2015 has been used to gradually re-map the area which is constantly changing. I was surprised to hear from the warden that the large sand dune close to the finishes on the two days moves around 30 metres a year and this winter exceeded that!

In the lead up to the event, the weather forecasts had been good with fine weather predicted, however by the Thursday before, suddenly thunder and lightning appeared in the forecasts for both of the two event days. Plans were quickly put in place for possible scenarios if lightning occurred during the event, and how messages could be relayed via the start to competitors and people already out on courses. Extra signs were made up with warnings and air horns were purchased as a means to give audible warnings, but fortunately all became unnecessary when the storm struck on Saturday night leaving us with the warm sunny weather we all enjoyed. It meant that the years of pre-planning had all been worth it and meant everyone was able to enjoy their run, relax after and meet and chat with friends.

Of course, the organisation of an event can only be successful with a good team of volunteers helping in all of the key roles, and we had a strong team of experienced club members from DEVON and KERNO all of whom played a vital part in making everything run smoothly and I would like to thank them for their involvement together with great courses from our planners and support and advice from the controllers.

Phil Beale (Devon)

Event 3 Braunton Middle Comments

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Planner's Comments

I hope you had a fantastic day, enjoying the sunshine, flowers and butterflies, and avoiding sun-burn, snakes, cattle and the incredibly hairy caterpillars. And possibly enjoying the orienteering too. Planning on Braunton Burrows was a delight with so much to choose from. The northern part has a very different feel to it than the middle section used in Day 2, with larger terrain features, making for some very attacking orienteering if you can stay on target, but just as confusing terrain if you lose touch. Which I experienced to its full extent on my first visit, after leaving my compass at home! Fortunately the coastline is pretty much north-south.

This was my first level B event as planner, and my first middle distance event. The latter produces some interesting challenges, as the relatively short course distance and the need to twist the course means that it is difficult to get you into all the areas I would have liked. But I hope you enjoyed the areas I found for you. Thank you to Rob for advising with the planning, taping and putting out controls, and Arthur for his insightful experience and support. Also a big thank you as always to the control collectors. I'm sure we'll be back at Braunton before too long, hopefully with similar weather but rather less stress in the days before about the lightning risk!

Damian Wilson (Devon)