SURREY FIVE-O - CO-ORDINATOR'S REPORT Anne May, SLOW
Running an ambitious series of public races, the SURREY FIVE-O, in conjunction with the World Cup 2005 event turned out to be a huge success, judging from the many compliments we received. We had the advantage of the World Cup infrastructure - the excellent overall organisation, the very well planned race arenas, the top class maps, the excellent courses which we were able to use in the public competitions, the very lively commentary, the brilliant big screen (a first at a British orienteering event) showing action on the courses and up to date results, our café area with the very welcome food caterers.
This success was a tribute to the efforts put in by literally hundreds of volunteers, some of whom worked through the World Cup event and carried on for the Surrey Five-O races, putting in long, long days over the weekend, not to mention the thousands of hours of work done by many before the 29th April, negotiating land permission, planning and organising the events, working on event software, mapping, course planning, controlling, preparing publicity, organising signage, booking toilets, tables, chairs, begging for club tents etc. etc.
Co-ordinating the Surrey Five-O was not a very onerous task as each day was the responsibility of a Race Director, in overall charge of both the World Cup and the Surrey Five-O events and the Surrey Five-O Organiser who bore the brunt of the burden of managing the public races. I am full of admiration for Day 1: Jeremy Wilde (Race Director) and Jim Morris (Surrey Five-O Organiser); Day 2: Paul Fox (Race Director and Surrey Five-O Organiser) and Liz Turbin (Assistant Surrey Five-O Organiser); Day 3: Bryce Gibson (Race Director) and Sue Crickmore (Surrey Five-O Organiser); Andy Robinson (Race Director and Surrey Five-O Organiser, Day 4) and not least Helen Errington (Race Director and Surrey Five-O Organiser, Day 5). Without the very generous contribution of all their time and expertise we would not have had the events.
The systems team, led by Jon Darley, was awesomely efficient - any problem we encountered was a challenge to them to provide a solution, which they did every time!
In overall control of the whole event was Tim Pugh, World Cup and Surrey Five-O Event Director who succeeded in keeping the whole team motivated and on task, resulting in the best 5 days of orienteering in Great Britain for both elite and ordinary club runners.
We were particularly pleased that our sponsor, Anglo-Irish Bank, was able to provide all competitors with mementos of the event. Those shoe bags will be very useful!
Thank you all for coming and enjoying our event - it would have been nothing without you!
Day 1, Friday 29 April 2005, Sprint Race, University of Surrey, Guildford
RACE DIRECTOR'S REPORT Jeremy Wilde, GO
Be Happy . . . . . Don't Worry
"WC Day 1 Race Director" - what does he do? Chief task: to worry. I have a confession. I off-loaded huge chunks of worry. Jim Morris took the public race weight off my shoulders and Alastair Doyle took most of the rest. And when I realised that the organization of the control marshalling was to be a significant issue in this pseudo-urban environment - no worries, Barbara Lugton to the rescue!
To those three stalwarts I owe many sleepful nights - many many thanks. Also to Tim Pugh, for setting the whole thing off for us Race Directors with such an excellent allocation of central team leaders for the Start, Finish, Systems, Commentary etc. There were legions of helpers on the day, and every one of us was an important cog in our amazing machine, and we should all be proud of what we achieved.
I thought we were going to have an international incident with the missing US flag at the opening ceremony! Through somebody's initiative (I know not who, but what a good move) we managed to borrow one from the Physics faculty, via the ever-helpful UniS staff. How nice it was to have such welcoming and enthusiastic landowners in the University and Cathedral organizations.
I can't close without mentioning the fantastic quality of the courses planned by AJ. We had some problemettes during the public races, but everyone was so elated and enjoying the orienteering that these were brushed aside in an abundance of goodwill and joyfulness.
What a great job. Glad to do it again, any time.
PUBLIC RACE CO-ORDINATOR'S REPORT Jim Morris, GO
What a day! The number of people new to sprint racing who told us how much they enjoyed it and how challenging it was very gratifying.
The day, like all the others, was a triumph of team work between many different clubs. In particular thanks to Neil Crickmore, Roger Lott and Jon Darley and their teams who allowed us to use the World Cup start, finish and download/ results computers respectively. But there were so many others involved. How about Bill Greep who made and did all the signing (for all the days). And Barbara Lugton whose team guarded all the controls sites. And Deborah Simmons who chased round with the BBC. And Andy Jones who planned both the WC and public race courses to critical acclaim. And many more, like Andrew Leaney, who spent hours on various parts of the day and Jeremy Wilde who co-ordinated the whole thing. Not to mention the University staff who helped so much too. Thank you all so much.
This put my role totally in the shade. This was a mammoth undertaking over five days. Whether any of the main protagonists will have the strength to do anything like it again I don't know. But the British Championships are in the south east next year on a brand new GO area so ..here goes again!! But your enjoyment which was so palpable may just get us going again.
PLANNER'S REPORT FOR DAYS 1 AND 4 Andy Jones, SLOW
I wanted the sprint races to be exciting and spectacular for competitors and spectators alike. Choice of start/finish area was key. I liked the contemporary architecture around the piazza at the University of Surrey. The arena at Battersea gave good views outwards and a proper tartan track sprint to the finish line. I wanted spectators to have good opportunities to see the racing and both start/finish areas allowed this.
I wanted the courses to be technically demanding. This was easy to achieve at the University, where the varied layout of the buildings was very difficult at speed. It was harder to achieve at Battersea. The courses had as many twists and turns as possible and tricky bits in the woods alternating with fast running sections. I hope that the courses kept you on your toes.
My heartfelt thanks to my Controller Simon Errington for his tireless attention to detail and his skills with OCAD 9; to Barbara Lugton and Paul Nixon and their superbly organised teams of control-placers-cum-marshals; to all my club mates, friends and family who helped make the events such a success; to Simone Niggli for signing my t-shirt; and to the competitors who made all the months of effort worthwhile with their commitment to the racing and their inspiring athleticism.
CONTROLLER'S REPORT FOR DAYS 1 AND 4 Simon Errington, HH
Not everybody gets the chance to organise, plan and control a World Cup race. Andy Jones and I were lucky enough to get two, with the Surrey 5-O thrown in as an added bonus. After numerous site visits, hours on the phone, seemingly endless emails and some major last-minute changes and problems we are still talking to each other, and I think we really quite enjoyed it. That may not always have been apparent in the days and weeks leading up to the events and I tested Andy to the limit with my continual requests for one more tweak to the courses. The numerous Event Directors and Organisers from the two races also faced many problems, with amazing numbers of people feeling they wanted some sort of input to what would normally be a simple organiser's decision. I think they managed to put on two sprint races that showed exactly how exciting the format can be, both in terms of technical difficulty and spectator appeal, and all comments I have heard have been very positive.
From a Controller's point of view I spent nearly all of my time worrying about two things: did we have the best possible courses, and were they fair. This inevitably concentrated on the World Cup first. We had endless debates about the detail of the maps, how to deal with out of bounds areas, where we could cross roads, who could go in the area before they had run, how to arrange the start and finish, how long the courses should be, and the general philosophy of sprint orienteering.
The 5-O then added further complications such as planning a white course at the University of Surrey, and dealing with 200 YOF competitors many of whom had only ever run one course before. Manpower was stretched to the limit on both days, but somehow it all held together. The control marshalling on both days was particularly important, and seemed to work very smoothly. We simply couldn't marshal all controls for the 5-O races and a few controls moved temporarily at Guildford, but things could have been much worse. Apologies if you were affected by this.
On both days we were faced with very tight timescales between the end of the World Cup and the start of the 5-O races. I still don't know quite how we managed this, but start lanes and maps magically appeared, extra controls and taped routes were put out, and the finish and download expanded to cope. The 30 minutes I had set aside to check everything at Battersea disappeared dealing with a formal World Cup complaint, but still things somehow hung together. I have a vague memory of Paul Nixon arriving in the stadium with two failed SI units just as the first YOF competitors set off, but clearly this got sorted out, just like all the other minor emergencies over the weekend. I'm sure everybody else will be saying much the same in their comments, but this event relied on a huge number of people to get on and do their bit, no matter how big or small. My thanks and congratulations to everybody who was involved. And finally thanks to competitors for turning up and supporting the sprint race format. Friday night in Guildford and Bank Holiday Monday in Battersea were not the easiest times or places to hold events, as many people pointed out. Those who came helped create a fantastic atmosphere and hopefully had a memorable time.
Day 2, Saturday 30 April 2005, Middle Distance Race, Old Windmill Hill
RACE DIRECTOR'S AND ORGANISER'S REPORT Paul Fox, SN
As Organiser, you can't control the weather, you just cross your fingers and hope. We got lucky, and the event atmosphere in the afternoon was great. By the time the Five-O competitors started it felt like I had already organised an event and a half, after a whole day's work setting up the World Cup arena layout, and a very early start on the Saturday.
At least we were able to let you use the World Cup start and finish, and the conversion from relay arena to conventional event went smoothly. Apologies for the 30-minute start delay but we could not put out all the controls nor allow any competitors into the forest until the international race and prize giving was complete. They didn't run quite as fast as we expected and there were a couple of protests to be resolved before we could play the national anthems and say go to the Five-O.
A massive thank you to Liz Turbin from BKO who organised most of the manpower for the 5-O as SN had been fully stretched supporting the World Cup race, and to all the central teams who looked after EOD and computer/commentary/technical aspects throughout the weekend. Thanks also to Colin, Calvin, Jane, Ross, Mark, James, Liz, Alan, Paul and others who worked tirelessly on Friday and the early hours of Saturday to get everything ready, and to Gill who put up with a lot in the weeks leading up to the event and could tell you what it did to my life!
Thanks to all of you for coming and creating a crowd for the climax of the World Cup relay, and for leaving so little behind when you left. Our hosts at Deepcut Barracks had nothing to complain about and the sports field was left as we found it by 10.00 on Sunday when the last of the kit was collected.
Would I do it all again? Maybe ...... but not for a while!
PLANNER'S REPORT Steve McKinley, SN
Planning 14 courses, covering 1000 people on an area only 1km x 0.75km was always going to bea bit of a challenge,and coupled with 39 courses for the world cup event meant I ended up having over 75 control sites on Old Windmill Hill. So if you saw an extra control site or two on yourtravels back and forth across the area I wouldn't be surprised. I tried on nearly every course (bar the juniors) to fully combine mixtures of route choice legs, changes in direction and shorter "technical" control spiking.
Thanks to my large team of control hangers and marshals whose efforts helped the quick turn around between World Cup and Surrey 5-O, but more importantly ensured that every control was collected in, sorted and loaded in the back of the car by 7:40pm.
CONTROLLER'S REPORT Roger Baker, TVOC
Public races were on Old Windmill Hill - the rest of Mytchett was denied us.
When someone is planning courses for both a world cup competition and for Joe Public it is entirely understandable that his focus will be on the former. However Stevešs intimate knowledge of the area allowed him to create a full set of suitable and interesting courses in double quick time.
Electronic punching is wonderful in that it enables a small area like Old Windmill Hill [under 1sq.km.] to host a major event. In the time-frame available some of the usual planning guidelines about flow lines into and out of control sites had to go, but with so many other competitors being in onešs field of view most of the time, perhaps this does not matter.
I spent a happy hour on a spur in an area near four 'contour controls' which was also crossed in different directions by many courses. Speed and techniques varied considerably, but although there were often up to twenty orienteers in the area, very few were following; nearly all were obviously enjoying the challenge of interpreting the map for themselves. That is how it should be.
The organisation in the arena was superb though it was unfortunate that the announcement of the delayed start, forced on us by the proximity of World Cup stage to the Start area, was not heard by everyone. We must also apologise to those foreign competitors on the junior courses who were faced with English control descriptions rather than pictorial ones.
Day 3, Sunday 1 May 2005, Long Distance Race, Winterfold, Pitch Hill & Holmbury Hill
RACE DIRECTORS' REPORT Bryce and Janet Gibson, BKO
It was very rewarding to see that so many people came to watch the World Cup long races, enjoy all the special facilities provided and compete themselves in the afternoon.
Our thanks go to all the other main officials, including Tim Denton and David Rosen, World Cup Planner and Controller. In particular we have to thank Sue Crickmore for the magnificent job she did as Organiser of the Surrey 5-O events and for providing the teams of helpers who worked together with the main officials to bring both the World Cup Long Races and the 5-O Long Races to a successful conclusion.
We also appreciated the invaluable help, support and hospitality of Leslie and Margaret Jones, and Peter Hilton with his team from Peaslake School.
ORGANISER'S REPORT Sue Crickmore, SO
With the first World Cup runner off at 09:30 and the last National runner back at 19:32, this had to be one of the longest days of individual orienteering ever held. Coupled with 2 sets of planners, 2 controllers, a race director, several central teams and an organiser, the opportunity for things going wrong was immense. As organiser I was responsible for arranging the manpower for the entire day and arrangements for the public races and, as these included the FCC long final, the UK Cup, Trail Challenge races, Southern Championships, National Event, colour coded and a string course, there was a lot to do!
Working with the Race Directors, Bryce and Janet Gibson, was an education in organising an orienteering event, as they dealt with great thoroughness with all the outside agencies, central teams, car parking and the equipment requirements. My team leaders for the public races did a superb job in running their areas on the day and the members of Southdowns, Mole Valley and Saxons turned up and helped in large numbers. Particular thanks to my assistant, Ian Ditchfield, and to those people from other clubs who also volunteered their services. We were blessed with gorgeous weather and it was pleasing to see so many people making good use of the refreshment area throughout the day. In fact, the Peaslake food outlet was about the last thing to close down for the day.
Due to the length of the day and the number of events happening we did not award Southern Championship trophies on the day. Congratulations to all the winners and could all those people who still have trophies from last year please either try to get them to the winner or to me.
PLANNER'S REPORT Tony Burton & Sandra Vogel, MV
We planned the courses to spread you across the area as much as possible while ensuring you shared at least one leg with the World Cup. If you ran Courses 1-12, 15 or 16 then check out how your split times on these legs compared with the world's best. The Men's Future Champions Cup final and Women's World Cup were virtually identical offering some particularly interesting comparisons.
Integrating the planning with the World Cup presented its own logistical challenges for us and also gave you a slightly different challenge to usual as competitors, with the emphasis on route choice and speed through the forest rather than detailed navigation into the control. Kites were hung high and you were encouraged to go straight. Course lengths made no concessions to the fact many of you had already run twice and Matthias Niggli went just one minute under the target time on M21L around which all the other course lengths were based.
The demands of a 5 day event were heavy on a large number of volunteers and we've never worked with such a tired set of people, many of whom were only halfway through their Five-O stint at the National Event. We ourselves had a particularly long day - up at 4am and back at home after 10pm having spent much of the previous day on the area too. It was all a very enjoyable experience though, and on competition day we had the usual planner's delight of being in the forest as it woke up in the morning, as well as the more unusual one (for a May event) of revisiting it as it was bedding down for the night.
Special thanks must go to indefatigable Day Organiser Sue Crickmore, to Race Directors Bryce and Janet Gibsonand to David Morgan who stepped in late in the day to control the event from Yorkshire. Assistant Controller Vince Joyce went well beyond the call of duty and covered more of the forest than the World Cup long course, tirelessly placing, replacing and collecting controls across one of the largest maps in the region. With the able support of Graham Sutton and Mark Rowe in putting out and collecting controls the courses were ready no less than 6 hours before the first start and the forest was clear within an hour of courses closing. Finally, it was an honour to work with Tim Denton and get a rare insight into the challenge of world class planning.
If you have any comments or feedback then please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com .
CONTROLLER'S REPORT David Morgan, EPOC
I had been involved almost from the outset (at a distance) with the World Cup based on being the then BOF Vice-Chair, but it was a surprise when Tim Pugh phoned and asked me to control Winterfold. A controller living 200 miles away from the area?
It turned out to be an interesting job, especially when I learned that all the harder courses would share at least one leg with the WC Courses. I spent three glorious days in March wandering round the woods - and fell in love with the area. A few e-mails (actually quite a lot - where would we be without broadband and OCAD?) and a quick visit to the event centre in Guildford where I actually met Tony and Sandra, the planners, and Vince Joyce who had agreed to act as local assistant.
So, checking and agreeing the courses was quite easy - the weekend ended up absolutely k********ing. Multiple events, large areas and lots of controls meant that the forest equipment was stretched to the limit. The planners were only able to start placing stakes and kites at about 09:30 on the Saturday. This did not give me time to check all the sites myself - many thanks to Juliet, my wife, for checking most of the eastern ones for me.
It was Sunday however that was hectic: a team of 8 of us met at 05:30 to share out over 100 SI boxes so they could be out for 07:30 when the WC pre-runners started. Then it was back to the Peaslake School bacon butty stall to watch the WC unfold. 12 hours later the last National Event runner finished - we checked every single person out of the forest - and we could get all the controls back. At 21:30, 16 hours after we had started, the last stakes, kites and boxes were in the correct cars for the next day - and we do this for fun!
Seriously, I hope that you all enjoyed your courses. I think that Tony and Sandra working round Tim Denton's WC courses really got the best out of a super area. Bryce and Sue were absolutely on top of the organisation and I really enjoyed working with many new friends from SEOA. Especial thanks go to Vince Joyce who never seemed to tire and my wife Juliet, who covered far more distance checking controls, putting out boxes and collecting them back in that she had bargained for.
Finally, many thanks to all of you for your comments about how much you had enjoyed your runs.
Day 4, Monday 2 May 2005, Sprint Race, Battersea Park
RACE DIRECTOR AND ORGANISER'S REPORT Andy Robinson, SLOW
"Is this the real life or is this just Battersea?" or perhaps
"It's orienteering, Jim, but not as we know it."
Even if you're not into old hit singles or even older TV programmes, I think you'll agree that the World Cup Sprint race final served up something completely different.
As indeed it had to. The IOF approved the Leibnitz Convention in 2000 and that led directly to this World Cup round being close to London. When I got wind of that the first thought to enter my head was Battersea Park. A year or so later it was approved to be on the schedule and we knew the job was to present orienteering to the public so that it made an impact.
Only time will tell if we succeeded, but the early signs are good. The atmosphere inside the stadium will stay with us for a long time. The internet is filling up with photos of people vaulting fences; my favourite is the one of Jenny Whitehead in mid-jump - to be used in any future sprint race publicity.
Now, Battersea may have a few shortcomings on the technical side for the orienteering purist. So special congratulations are then due to Andy and Simon for coming up with the one possible technical course there - courses 1 to 6 were just minor variations of the same thing; course 7 the abridged version and 8 onwards were for younger juniors. It was so technical in fact that the Swedish coach sought me out the next day to say he thought the technicality was fine.
Traditionally organiser's reports consist of a long list of thanks to all and sundry. Anyone who has organised an event knows why; when it's done and dusted you just want to thank all those who put in the hard work to make it happen. Now that must be around 150 people at Battersea. So, I thank them all. Here are a few contributions that made the difference:
- Alan and Simon for moving the start line to the terrace
- Chris R for the Young Orienteers Festival - entirely her inspiration and it made so much of the atmosphere at the arena
- David May for the boulders in the stadium (well, the thinking behind it anyway; Mike Murray actually made them). You should have heard some of the wackier ideas we had been tossing around before it got scaled down to 8 boulders.
- and David May again for getting the World Cup here in the first place and giving us the opportunity of showing what orienteering can be like.
- Chris Wroe and Vicky for taking on Scooby-doo and Snoopy.
See Andy Jones' report under Day 1.
See Simon Errington's report under Day 1.
Day 5, Tuesday 3 May 2005, Middle Distance Race, Leith Hill
RACE DIRECTOR AND ORGANISER'S REPORT Helen Errington, HH
First of all, thank you to Mr Evelyn who kindly allowed us to use his forest. He also came and presented the prizes for the World Cup event. Also thank you to Mr Matthews for the use of the Arena field and to Mr Trower (Land Agent) for negotiating with Mr Matthews & Mr Evelyn on our behalf. Some local residents were unhappy with our presence but also some came to visit us on the day, we hope you enjoyed your visit and that we left things as we found them.
A big thank to all who helped at the event. It would be too long a piece to mention all of you by name and say thanks for the bit you did. None of the event would have been possible without the work of everyone on the day and before and afterwards. I usually manage to get round to thank most helpers on the day but this event was a bit too big for that.
So, thanks to the Arena Team. Some were there on the Monday and all night and again early on the Tuesday. They put up tents & took them down again, made cups of tea and kept asking me to keep them busy!
Thanks to the Car Park Team. You were great at getting everyone in and out - only one van was pushed out and the big screen got towed out by a Landrover. (Thanks to Jim Storrar, Countryside Ranger for his rescue services.)
Perhaps this was the first Drive-in Orienteering event - park, wind down your window and listen & watch from the comfort of your own car!
Thanks to the Road Crossing team. I do not think that anyone was squashed by a car and there seemed to be no complaints from motorists.
Thanks to John Pearce as assistant organiser and Start Team leader. I
Never even got to the start to check it was ok as John & the team had it all under control and the Surrey Five-O final event got under way very smoothly.
Thanks to the Finish team for seeming very happy, calmly chatting in the tent for the afternoon (while doing a very efficient job).
Thanks to the clear up team who reeled in cables, and got the entire arena cleared up before the last person had finished. There were some very weary Central Systems Team members who were glad to have your help.
Also thanks to those with very big cars who helped to get all the stuff up the hill. Given the rain on Wednesday I was glad the truck
Only had to make one trip down there.
Thanks to the Forest team for patrolling controls and collecting them in. Also to the planners & controller - we all enjoyed our courses despite some of us being too tired to really appreciate them.
I gather that the World Cup competitors generally thought it was a very well organised and brilliantly planned series of events. And so it should be, some of the South East's most experienced people were involved in this event. Many of the planners & organisers & controllers were doing this kind of thing before some of the current British Squad were born!
PLANNERS' REPORT Julie and Ronan Cleary, LOK
When we were asked if Leith Hill would be a suitable location for the World Cup Middle Distance Races and accompanying spectator races, we were confident that the area would be good enough - to quote a Klubb-mate "It's such a great area that all you needed to do was throw the controls in the air, and plan around where they landed" - if only it was quite so easy!
The principles behind middle distance races are mentioned in Tim's report, and it was comparatively straightforward to achieve the required components on Leith, with the changes between fast running in the open areas to total concentration in the light green areas but we did need a map that would maximise the potential of the mined areas.
Stirling Surveys produced an excellent map, by using contours and form lines instead of the gully and earth bank symbols for extra clarity and by sorting out some of the other "funnies" inherited from older maps. Without their superb work, we would not have been able to produce such challenging courses.
And "challenging" seemed to be the catchphrase of the day - although the best description we heard of the courses was "electrifying"!
We decided to use the World Cup courses as Courses 1 and 2 for the Surrey 5-O competition with a different start to avoid a second road crossing. We also incorporated as many World Cup legs as practical into the other TD5 courses (3, 4 and 5). This allowed us to give you the chance to see just what a top-class runner has to negotiate at top speed albeit using a 1:7500 scale map rather than the 1:10000 version used by the World Cup.
Judging from the comments and the results, many of you coped admirably with the demands of the area, although some were surprised that a South-East area could provide such technical challenges, and a few seemed to try punching very quickly and not register at controls.
We had support throughout the planning process from Tim who kept a reassuring sense of composure despite the timescale pressures we experienced. As controllers ourselves, we try to do an "internal controlling" function on our planning and we do not subscribe to the view that the controllers function is to find errors. However Tim was able to provide a knowledgeable view on course shape, a particular feature or the international perspective whenever we asked.
We also appreciate the help we got from Alison High and Martin Potter who test-ran the courses for us in February, and whose comments prompted some fine-tuning making the courses unquestionably better.
We probably owe an apology to Helen who agreed to be our Event Director, and then ended up as overall World Cup Event Co-ordinator, advising the other Race Directors and sorting out countless vital aspects of the events. The "drive-in" spectator arena worked really well when it rained, and the transformation of an ordinary field to race arena was excellent. We asked Helen to take on the role for Leith because we know from experience how capable she is, and how calm she remains under pressure.
Working in the background over the weekend and taking on one of the roles we would normally undertake as planners was Mike Elliot, who programmed all the controls for every day. This led to a series of late nights and probably skipped dinners, but he was still with us in the arena on Tuesday evening as controls were collected.
Our planners' assistant was Frank Martindale (Julie's Dad!), lugging equipment around and willingly doing whatever we needed him to do in the final run-up to the event. He joined the "forest team" on Tuesday marshalling controls and waking them up for the Surrey 5-O races along with Kelvin Hoy, Martin Potter, David and Miriam Rosen, David Saunders and Charles Spence. Many of this same group were still in the arena at 7pm having collected all the controls, along with Simon Errington.
There are numerous other people who helped out during the day in vital roles as far as the course planning is concerned, such as road crossing management, start and finish co-ordination and we are grateful to them all for helping make the event such a success. And thanks also to you for competing - we know how great an area Leith Hill is, hopefully you agree with us and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Surrey Hills soon.
CONTROLLER'S REPORT Tim Pribul, CHIG
As everyone is aware, and if they weren't, by the time they reach this report I am sure they will be, this was an evolving event. For the many people involved this created problems - reduced timelines, changed or greater responsibilities, and it was not without a good deal of commitment and flexibility from all the individuals concerned that the events were able to take place. Changes inevitably increase risk, but with the technology available to us, this can be minimised. Email facilitates communication, although I fear that at some points we were in overload. OCAD provides confidence in the planning process and ease of exchange of information, although inexplicably the odd little bug or quirk still occurs which therefore necessitates the most basic of checks still to be performed.
From what I could gather, the preparations for the fifth day were less problematical than most. In the forest, Stirling Surveys had produced a much more accurate and readable interpretation of the most detailed areas on Leith Hill, which allowed Julie and Ronan to exploit their undoubted skills in designing medium courses of considerable challenge and flair. Winning times were as forecast and the responses afterwards from both the international runners and the 5-day competitors were particularly complimentary, and highlighted the need for absolute concentration, rapid change of technique and the demanding physical fitness due to the runnability of the area. The accolades and acknowledgements they received on the day were well deserved and I thank all of you who took the opportunity to take the time to personally congratulate them on their courses. On the technical side, there was some discussion on the use of line features as control sites, where the competitor approaches from the side rather than along the line of the feature. There is an opinion in Scandinavia that these sites should be avoided where the precise location of the control cannot be defined, i.e. not on a stream bend. In the UK this type of control, where there is no locating description, utilises the technique of "aiming off". After due consideration and discussion, Ronan and Julie's courses were left unamended.
In the arena, Helen's thorough organisation and the various teams ensured that the event was a fitting finale to the Surrey Five-O. Despite the rain during the morning everything proceeded as it should have done. Everyone continued with their tasks and the great atmosphere was maintained.
For this particular event our thanks go to Ronan and Julie, and to Helen, for rounding off the Surrey Five-O in such admirable style. Also we acknowledge all those who committed such an enormous amount of their time to the whole programme of events.