Welcome to a new year of orienteering. I hope you have survived the excesses of Christmas and have lots of new year resolutions to get fitter and do better at orienteering. This year I hope to bring you a history of the club as told by founding member Hally Hardie. Hally is a generally well known member of the club but perhaps you can learn a thing or two about him that you didn't know in my interview with him in this issue.
Our chairman has put all your WAOC 2002 event results into a big pot and come up with a WAGAL score for you (none of the other committee members quite understand how he calculates it!). The final results are included in this issue as are some highlights from the BOF ranking list.
Have you taken part in an event where the age-less alternative to badge events has been trialled? If so your chairman would love to hear from you about your opinions on it. We'd also like to hear your opinions on the club O top and in fact anything orienteering-wise that you'd like to share with the club.
Finally don't forget the AGM on 22nd March (details near the end), start thinking about CompassSport Cup, JK and British Champs relay entries and please take a look at Junior Jabber for details of our "SMILE" events.
At the end of 2002 WAOC had 161 membership units (seniors, juniors, families, groups). This is very encouraging as it reverses a decline in membership numbers, which lasted for 5 years.
This is how the 161 membership units are made up:
|Club only members
There were 26 new members during the year and it was especially good that only 18 former members did not renew in 2002. This was despite the serious lack of orienteering in 2001 because of the Foot and Mouth epidemic. In the previous 5 years we have lost 40 - 50 members/year. Of course, we expect to lose some members each year - people move away, newcomers may decide that Orienteering is not for them after all and take up a different sport, families grow up and disperse, older members decide that it is time to hang up their o-shoes.
There is a good spread of members through the age classes, with increasing representation at M21 and W21 and an enthusiastic group of Juniors - our seed corn!
We extend a warm welcome to:
|Martin and Katrine Bailey and
(David M14 and Edward M12)
|from Comberton, Cambridge
|Rory Braggins M7
|from Hilton, Huntingdon
And finally, a special welcome to Morven Renfrew who, at not yet one year old, has her own BOF number!
We hope that you will all enjoy orienteering with us.
About 60 members have not yet paid their 2003 subscription. If this applies to you and you want to remain a member, please send your subscription to me as soon as possible. This will ensure that you do not have to pay the non-member surcharge at events and continue to receive Jabberwaoc regularly.
Fees for 2003: (includes membership of EAOA)
Seniors £7.50 Juniors £2.50 Families £9.00 Groups £5.00
Anne Duncumb (WAOC membership secretary) 5A Woollards Lane, Cambridge CB2 5LZ
During last summer several members of WAOC helped at the Lakes 5-Days event. As a thank-you from the organisers they have arranged for those that helped to have half-price runs. As they do not know who to send the money to they have sent it directly to WAOC.
To receive the refund please contact Caroline Louth (WAOC Treasurer) who will arrange for the refund to be forwarded to you.
The Thetford Thrash (our double badge weekend with CUOC) over the weekend of 25/26 January has been the most successful yet in terms of numbers attending. Compared with 2 years ago when we had 697 competitors over the 2 days, this year we had 844. A lot of effort is put in by all the officials and helpers to make this event such a success so a very big thank-you to all of you.
Continuing on the Badge event theme, many of you would have been aware of the experiment that a couple of regions have had with the juniors not having age classes at Badge events. Instead they have different range of courses that are linked to the existing colour coded courses. This experiment was brought in to try and increase the numbers of juniors attending badge events. The Events Standards Committee (ESC) discussed this at length and listed the following observations:
ESC considers that the confusion and uncertainty over what is happening needs to be resolved as soon as possible. A positive decision to adopt the system or end it needs to be taken. Based on the feedback available to date the decision must be to end the trial.
ESC therefore recommends that the trial scheme is stopped, and all badge events revert to using junior age classes. It is time to stop and think again. The Committee was unanimous on this recommendation.
Some of the key problems that the scheme was trying to address will be handled by relatively minor changes to the Badge Event Guideline that is about to be issued. In particular, this will shorten some of the junior courses found to be overlong, and will offer a more uniform provision of colour coded courses. Any changes beyond that need to be based on a more detailed analysis of what badge events are intended to be, especially with respect to new orienteers.
Even with all this advice that the trial is not working as was hoped, the BOF Council voted overwhelmingly to adopt the Ageless Junior Badge Scheme, Federation wide, in September 2003 (I do not have any further details as to why they voted this way at present). Obviously this will mean a big change in the junior courses and I would be interested to find out what the juniors think about this especially as many of them have tried the system in their travels.
Many of the M/W21+ orienteers will probably dismiss this 'Ageless Junior Badge Scheme' because it does not affect them, but the last sentence of the note from BOF Council states 'A comprehensive review to include all age groups will take place once the scheme has been in operation for two years'. This suggests that the scheme could be extended to include ALL age classes, not just juniors. This could have the effect of making Badge events just an extension of the Colour Coded system. If anybody has any comments, I would be interested to hear them.
There has recently been a discussion about the design of the WAOC O tops within the club committee. This was due to the fact that some female members of the club expressed their feelings that the club top with its white front and back panels is a little see-through and so they don't like to wear them without a T shirt which means they are a bit hot in the summer. Anne Duncumb has been in touch with Ultrasport and when she asked them if any heavier weight material was available, Ultrasport replied they had been experimenting with different fabrics and there are heavier ones, but they are not suitable because they rip more easily and then 'ladder'. Another complaint is that they can look like controls.
Here is the feedback from committee members which tends to be on the side of "we like it how it is". However, we would like to get feedback from non-committee members too so please let Anne know what you think and, better still if you don't like the current one, come up with an alternative design and send it to any committee member. There is no intention to change the design immediately but if a suitable alternative design was suggested we could consider a change in a time frame of about 18 months.
From Julia Wotton: "I can't say I've found them a problem although my mesh one is more see-through than my non-mesh one which is no different than a white blouse I'd wear to work. I'd have thought most women would be wearing a bra top underneath anyway. If someone gets a slight glimpse of a different colour underneath my O top it's not going to bother me. They'll get a much better view in the car park afterwards when I get changed!"
From Hally: "I'm afraid you'll get grumbles whatever the design. You may remember we had an original female version of the current design, which Lindsey amongst others hated because of the opaque rather than perforated panel. There are also quite a few general designs from the O shops with perforated panels which are bought by male and female alike.
One way around this 'problem' is, as you say, reverse polarity. But doesn't a white bra show up more readily thro' a black top than a white one? This could then be seen as a 'winter' top (for the purist) with the present white being seen as a 'summer' top - which really is as was intended at the outset (rightly or wrongly I designed the present top). And, as ever, members can wear what they wish, either of the above two or even something else entirely, which is what a lot still do anyway.
As regards the thinking that the top can be confused with a control - I think this sort of thinking (which I shared) went out about 20 years ago with the introduction by many clubs of brighter colours. If there were a general ban on brighter colours I would join in with the thinking again, but since we'll never see this reintroduced I don't see a problem myself.
It may not be recognised by many members but the current design has been the most popular by far amongst WAOC members. It would seem a pity to disrupt that popularity for the sake of a few. Judging from the way women change quite brazenly (as do the blokes) in the car parks I don't quite see what the fuss is about myself.
However, having said all this the current design is probably getting on for 10 years old, so perhaps it's due for a change."
From Ian: "I tend to agree with Hally, many clubs use reds in their designs now and if you're running towards a moving control, then frankly you're technique needs brushed up!
I don't feel I can comment on the panel argument, but I do think it is one of the best O top designs around at the moment, and even after 10 years I don't think it needs any work. (well done design artist Hally!). I'd be disappointed to see it changed. If it is so popular, then perhaps most women agree with Julia ?"
From Fred: As for bright designs, I think that the point about looking like a control is that if you have successfully found a 'difficult' control it can easily advertise to others where it is!
And Mark Collis mentioned "…perhaps something even more revealing like the 99ish vintage CUOC light blue mesh trousers!"
Whether or not a new design comes along in 18 months, we have several members wanting to purchase the existing ones and only one in stock.
The plan is to put in an order to UltraSport as soon as possible. There will be a few spares ordered, but mostly the new stock will be for specific orders. The winter tops will cost about £16 for sizes 3 - 7 and £14 for the Junior sizes 1 and 2. Summer (mesh) tops will cost £19 to £19.50.
Sizes work out like this:-
size 1 is for 31" chest; size 2 is for 33" chest and so on up to size 7 which is for 43" chest. The actual measurements are about 4" larger than this - but the actual garments do vary quite a bit!
I would like to get the order in before the end of February, so that the tops will be available at the AGM, so please let me know your requirements as soon as possible.
Please let me have your orders, email or telephone asap - send no money now, as they say! I will notify you as soon as the tops are delivered.
Anne Duncumb (tel. 01223-843064, email <email@example.com>)
Hally Hardie is a founding member of WAOC and a well known figure within orienteering. In case you don't know who he is, here is a picture of him with his partner Lindsey (another well known member of the club) organising a summer galoppen event. Using the wonders of e-mail I interviewed him to find out about his orienteering life.
Julia:. How long have you been orienteering?
Hally: I first started orienteering in the UK in 1972, Wolsingham Fen to the west of the Sandringham Estate. This is now a designated nature reserve, and no orienteering is allowed there. I had two previous goes at O, one in Norway and one in Malaya, thanks to the RAF.
Julia:. What changes have you seen since those days?
Hally: Back in 1972 the sport was dominated by pioneers, who generally had passed through from athletics/cross-country to O, it being seen as where all good athletes go to graze. There were also a number of outdoor sports people such as mountaineers, rock climbers, and caravanners. The car parks at events were full of old bangers, many of which seemed unlikely to get their owners back home. 'Plastic pyjamas' and proper O-shoes were only owned by the very rich, the rest of us turning up in old track suits, anoraks (NO don't) and cross-country shoes/soccer boots, hockey boots, or anything else likely to give a bit of grip. The collection of East Anglian clubs (only just being formed) shared a pool of home made O-kit i.e. kites, signs and punches. And this kit made the round of events via the bus parcel service. No EA club had its own kit.
Now look at the, by comparison, vast sums of money put into the sport. And from my viewpoint most participants are now recreational rather than athletic competitors. Yes I know we still have our athletes, but the bulk are not. Cars in the car park reflect an affluence we would not have considered likely some 30 years ago.
Numbers of participants per event have risen from the odd 200-300 at a badge event (yes they were in existence then) to at least 2 x that locally, but more like 5 x that nationally. Most local events ran just short, medium and long courses without the grading of the current colour-coded system. Although this didn't give the average punter much idea of course difficulty you rarely heard consistent complaints about courses being too hard/easy etc. The pioneering spirit of the then competitor was one of wanting a challenge of mind and body against the terrain and elements rather than a lukewarm run in the open air. These pioneers are now reflected in the competitive bulge of the 50-70 year olds. And interestingly the distances run at badge events have increased within this age range over the last 20 years.
The Wolsingham Fen map was actually one of the earliest 3-colour maps i.e. white (the paper), black and brown. Most maps of this time were B&W. And the B&W maps were generally 'snowpaked' copies of OS 1:25,000 or 1:10,000 maps of uncertain vintage. Serious attempts at modification and mapping was through a labour intensive form of 'handcrafting', i.e. special pens on special film with Lettraset film overlays of symbols and screens, all fairly laborious stuff. The new printing processes and OCAD make mapping so terribly simple now, and a pleasure to operate. And of course we have become accustomed to seeing an updated, overprinted map for every event now. Back in the Dark Ages you tried to make any map last for as long as possible, 4 to 5 years with luck. The first WAOC map was a 3-colour effort of Brampton Wood, for which I flew the aerial photography myself, and with a bit of help from OS 1:10,000 dated 1921. The event was 13th (I think) Jan 1973. We had snow on the ground, but a lovely sunny, if very cold, day. We had hot soup, as well as squash, at the finish. And at this first, of an awful lot of events I've organised, I actually had a casualty, who was taken to Huntingdon hospital with a dislocated shoulder. Mike and Maurice Capper competed at this event. (We have the photos!).
One consistent aspect of the sport has been the traditional cup of orange juice at the finish, though at the bigger events in the early 70's you would get a cup of Guinness, yes Guinness, as they sponsored the bigger events. And as you know G. is Good for You! (That must be worth the odd free crate!) [Ed. Sorry I have no contacts in Guinness!]
Julia:. What was your greatest orienteering achievement?
Hally: My greatest personal achievement in competition was reaching 6th position, briefly, as an M35 in the Peter Dominic League. This was the start of the national league, which Peter Dominic then sponsored. The body (mine) also managed a few Championship performances. Apart from that I was the first EAOA chairman, was a founder member of WAOC, and was principally instrumental in getting RAFO into being.
Julia:. What are your orienteering goals now?
Hally:. The body is telling me to retire from running, though the head is, obstinately, currently in charge. My performances have been disappointing for quite a few years with consistent physical problems of various sorts saying 'enough is enough'. So it would be sensible to retire from the sport and concentrate on many other interests. However, Lindsey is currently very keen, and very fit (though temporally bent), and doing very well nationally (2nd in the W50L presently). So I'll attempt to help her reach her goals. We often run the same colour coded courses just to give a good post event course discussion when replacing lost fluids (in the pub).
Julia:. What do you do when you're not orienteering?
Hally:. I was lucky enough to be able to retire from working for a living before State retirement age, still 2 years away. It is surprising just how easy it is to do all manner of silly little things with one's time now. However, I'm intending to get heavily into woodturning, golf, and I'm also hoping to give some time to the local Birds of Prey centre, who are always looking for volunteers. I rather fancy owning a Harris Hawk, which behaves very much like a flying dog. And there's a threat to own a genuine dog now that the cat has gone on its way. I spend an inordinate amount of time mapping for O, which has its pleasurable moments, but all too often the weather and light work against you. I keep bees, which is not too onerous until the wretched things want to leave home. And this can be fairly dramatic. Going and removing swarms from other people's property can be very time consuming. This is a service we offer the general public. And I am on our local beekeepers' association committee. We also look after a selection of our local Fenstanton footpaths to ensure they are passable and fit for their purpose. I've produced a map of the parish paths, which needs updating for its next reprint and website production.
Lindsey and self are hoping to move down to Dartmoor to enjoy the open life afforded by that area. This will include Letterboxing (a very strenuous and lengthy way of going for a walk), cycling, horse riding and goodness knows what else. But if this doesn't happen then I suppose we'll just watch St. Ives become, -on-Sea. As I type this now I'm looking out onto 4" flooded fields with the waterlogged ditch lapping at the beehives at the bottom of the garden.
The solution to the December issue's puzzle is enclosed. The nearest solution was provided by Mark Collis - congratulations Mark! He wins a free entry to a WAOC colour-coded event of his choice.
The February puzzle is another map-oriented course to test your compass and pacing abilities. You are given the Start and Finish of a course in Hinchingbrooke Park (see enclosed map). You are also given the direction (in magnetic) and distance in double paces of each control from the last. You are running 40 double paces for each 100 metres on the level. However, you can achieve only 50 double paces per 100 metres for any 'up' leg, and you run 30 double paces per 100 metres on any 'down' leg. An 'up' leg is defined as any leg where you cross even one contour line going up, however minor or however often, and taking the straight line route even where you can't or wouldn't. Whereas a 'down leg' is defined as any leg where you cross a contour line going down, however minor or however often, taking the straight line route even where you can't or wouldn't. For the purposes of this puzzle, where you have any leg with both up and down contours, of any number, consider that leg to be level. This will be the case even where the leg is predominantly either up or down. Only solid line contours are being considered. Form lines dot knolls, earthwalls and earthbanks are discounted. There are 12 controls.
Your task is to define the route and produce a control description sheet of the course. The tiebreaker is to give that course a colour coding.
Section of Hinchinbrooke Park showing the Start and Finish
If you do not have a full copy of the map please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll arrange for a copy to be sent to you
Remember, the winner gets a FREE entry to a WAOC colour coded event of their choice. Please send your solutions to Hally Hardie or Julia Wotton.
Now that I have taken over editorship of the newsletter I am having even less time for organising training events. However, Ali Robertson and Kate Penny are attending a BOF club coach course this month and will be helping me provide training for you, as I hope also will Rolf Crook. Ali is also now a member of the committee. We welcome your views on what sort of training you would like. We are planning another weekend away some where for the summer.
The Boxing Day Event 2002 on Coe Fen was organised by Graham Louth. Thanks to Peter Duthie for the following information about it. It was a 45 minute score event with two variants - one with a map, the other map memory. The novel twist was that there were dummy controls which had double NEGATIVE points - punch those at your peril! It was a little wet underfoot, but nothing was inaccessible. Thanks to Maurice Hemmingway for providing these photos of the winners being awarded their chocolate medals in the pub after the event and congratulations to the winners.
The complete WAGAL plus a description of how the point are calculated can be found here.
The following people are near the top of their ranking list (these are the top 10 in WAOC). Congratulations to all these people especially to Lindsey who appears very high in both W50L and W45L ranking lists. We will now start to see Helen Gardner appearing on the ranking lists as she is running up sometimes even to W21 and doing very well! For full details of the ranking list refer to the BOF web site. There are many other people doing well in some very competitive classes but there's not room in this issue to list everyone.
There are a number of upcoming major events in the spring and, as usual, WAOC will be hoping for a good turn out in all the team events.
East Midlands/East Anglia 1st round is at Blidworth Woods near Nottingham on Sunday 16th March 2003.
The area is signed from the A614 at a new roundabout 5 km north of the A614/A60 junction, north of Nottingham. In this competition you run under colour coded courses, depending on your age. To count for the club you have to be pre-entered, so please contact the Captain if you are planning to go. I hope you can make it! No limit on numbers, everyone can contribute. Please contact me by 19th February 2003. For anyone who has helped at a club event, the club will pay your entry fee for this event. Please let me know if you have been a helper at WAOC events to claim your free entry.
The relay is on Easter Monday, 21st April 2003 at Bloom and Horton Wood near High Wycombe.
Most of you will have decided by now whether you are going to the JK. Please contact me if you'd like a relay run, indicating which course you'd prefer to be on (age category, short/long open etc). Further information can be found at http://www.jk2003.org.uk Please contact me by 1 March 2003.
The relay is on Sunday 18th May 2003 at Greno Woods, Sheffield.
Again please contact me if you'd like a relay run, indicating which course you'd prefer to be on (age category, short/long open etc). Further information can be found at http://www.thateden.co.uk/boc2003/default.php Please contact me by 1 April 2003.
It may be easiest to contact me by email: email@example.com. Otherwise, I have just moved, so my phone number has changed since the last membership list to (01603) 610270.
When you contact me it would be useful if you could let me know some entry information: your name, age class, BOF number, SI number and what you will be running. If this all sounds too complicated - it isn't, just email/phone me and I can explain. If you've never run in a relay before, they are great fun, so why not give it a try!
The AGM is to be held on the evening of 22nd March 2003 at
St. Matthew's Church Hall, St. Matthew's Street, Cambridge
from 6:00 pm.
Mulled Wine, Soft Drinks and Light Bites will be available as usual
Attending members are requested to bring a food donation
A Range of Games for all ages is being devised for your Entertainment
And there will be the usual AGM proceedings as well.
1. Apologies for absence
2. Minutes from the previous 2002 AGM
3. Chairman's report
4. Acceptance of Accounts
5. Awards / Presentations
6. Election of officers
7. Any other business
St. Matthew's Street is off East Road opposite the entrance to the Grafton
Centre car park. There is parking available either in the Grafton Centre car
park or in the streets surrounding the church. This is your opportunity to
influence the activities of your club and even put your self forward as a
committee member. We are certainly looking for an events convenor and a summer
galoppen league coordinator. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet other
members of the club in a social environment. Trophy holders please return your
trophies to Anne Duncumb or any other committee member as soon as possible.
This is an important role within the club
The Events Convenor's primary role is to ensure that there are officials (planner, organiser and controller) for all the colour coded and badge events put on by WAOC. This amounts to about 6-8 events per year.
If we do not have the 3 officials for any of our events then we will need to consider cancelling them, as they cannot be run without them.
If you would like further information about this important role then please contact Neil or any other member of the committee (contact details elsewhere in JW).
For many years Hally Hardie has been organising the Summer Galoppen League. This is a series of events on Wednesday evenings in the summer generally in parks. He would now like to pass this job on. We are not looking for someone to organise the events themselves but for someone to coordinate the league and request others to actually plan and organise the events. Please contact Hally Hardie for more details of what this entails. We will also be looking for people to actually plan and organise these informal fun events which can take any format. If you are interested, please contact any member of the committee before we contact you!
As Events Convenor of the club I am always looking for members to fill the main official positions at events. I try to fill vacancies six months in advance so that there are no last minute panics.
Here's the revised list of open events for the rest of this year. Ampthill Park is now on 7th June.
|Warden Warren (near Bedford)
|Bush Heath (Mildenhall)
|Ampthill Park (near Ampthill!)
|Bedford Park (in Bedford!)
|High Ash (Thetford Forest)
|Yvette Baker Trophy event
Each of these events is going to require an Organiser and a Planner so there's a minimum of 6 posts still to be filled. If you wish, we can consider appointing joint organisers and planners for events. Previous organisers can tell you that each position comes with support from the Events Convenor including a bumper resource pack telling you what, when and how to do it!The Ampthill and Bedford Park events would be a good start for those who feel daunted by the bigger events. We'll be using manual punches and there's only 4 shortish courses to be planned.
If you would like to volunteer for any of these positions then contact me, Bruce Marshall, Events Convenor 01223 246280
PS. Don't forget that being an official will improve your ranking for WAGAL points. Officials get a score equal to their best during the rest of the year. Well - I think it improves your score!
An up-to-date web list is available here
23rd March 2003