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Jabberwaoc - June 1998


You will see mentioned in Jabberwaoc (more than once, and why not) the successes that WAOC members and teams have had at the recent major events in both the individual and relays. Will these successes be used as a springboard to even greater success for the club?

Recently the club has not put on any training events (for various reasons) but we now have a new coach in Julia Carpenter who is currently planning her first training event (see the Training Section). We are sure that everybody can benefit from this training session and will lead to us attaining even greater success. Good luck Julia.

It might seem a long way off but the restructured CompassSport Cup regional round will be held at Brandon Park on 10 January 1999. Lets try and start the new year with a success for WAOC!

Neil & Pauline Humphries   Email: NeilHumphries@compuserve.com

The views expressed in Jabberwaoc do not necessarily represent those of the Committee Members or the Editors

Chairmans Chat (Daves Drivel)

WAOC has some successes to celebrate: Helen Gardner is now the British W12 Champion, winning W12A at the British Championships at Mytchett and Simon Gardner came 3rd in M10A. Congratulations to both. Congratulations also to Stephen Lawson, Peter Gardner and Ian Wadeson who won the Junior ad-hoc relay, and to Simon Gardner, Martin Humphries and Helen Gardner who came 3rd in the M/W12- relay. WAOC also achieved a number of top 5 places at the JK in North Wales: Congratulations to Adam Harrison (2nd, M20L), David Jones (4th, M45S), Tony Palmer (2nd, M60S), Helen Gardner (2nd, W12A), Helen Bickle (3rd, W16B), and Penny Bickle (2nd, W18B).

Also, many congratulations to Nigel Cole who planned this year's Harvester competition, a night-into-day Orienteering relay, held on 16/17 May. The event was very successful with only praise for the courses heard in the finishing tent. I think many of the competitors from far afield were pleasantly surprised at how challenging East Anglian terrain can be at night when planned so well. Well done Nigel.

On the administrative front, the WAOC committee has been considering a paper from BOF on how to promote and develop Orienteering. More on this later in Jabberwaoc.

Enjoy your summer Orienteering.



Do you have any WAOC orienteering equipment hanging around in the back of your garage gathering mould?

The club is soon going to re-inventory all the equipment so that stocks can be replenished if required. So as to ensure that club funds are not needlessly spent on purchasing equipment we already have, can all members who have organised, planned or helped with equipment please ensure that they do not have any in their possession. If you find any, please return it to Anne Braggins (WAOC equipment officer) as soon as possible.

WANTED: Planner and Organiser for Badge event.

Want to try your hand at planning or organising a Badge event? WAOC's next badge event will be on Saturday, 30 Jan 1999, and we're looking for a planner and an organiser. We only run one badge event per year so this is a rare opportunity. The event will be at Thetford Warren and will be part of a two-day event in conjunction with CUOC. If you're interested in either of these jobs, contact Tim Mulcahy NOW! We'll need to fill the posts in the next two months, so don't delay.

Captains Corner

Well its been a couple of very busy months and a very successful one for several WAOC members. Firstly there was the very challenging JK in Wales in April. The areas chosen for the 2 individual days were very tough, especially the second for those who managed to be able to run. The weather intervened to bring Christmas late with snow covered trees and plenty of ice, but this meant all the longer courses were cancelled on Day 2. Having received my course recently I think this was a blessing for me. Memories of the Shamrock ORingen came flooding back from last year and I reckon I would of been on the fells for several hours getting around that course!!!

Lots of WAOC members made the trip and those that really excelled were:

Helen Gardner 2/34 W12A
Helen Bickle 3/14 W16B
Penny Bickle 2/12 W18B
Malcolm Mann 26/175 M50L
Tony Palmer 2/15 M60S

In the relays WAOC had 13 teams spread across several classes. We had a 100% finish rate and some teams did themselves proud. The Womens Short team could not quite maintain a podium position, but came in a very creditable 6th and the Mens JK Trophy Team did well to finish 38/58.

It was clear a lot of you were all just using the JK as a training exercise as there were lots of excellent results at the British which was held on much gentler and more familiar terrain at Mytchett.


Another trophy winner in the individuals was younger brother Simon who came a very close 3rd only 18 seconds behind the winner!

There were several other Championship standard runs:

Peter Gardner 7/44 M14A
Neil Northrop 15/41 M16A
Richard Beard 26/171 M45L
Chris Morley 9/88 M55L
Leonie Brown 17/38 W16A
Lindsey Freeman 11/73 W45L

Well done to everyone, it just goes to show the wide range of talent that there is in the club.

The success did not stop there. There were other winners in the relays too.

The Junior Ad Hoc team of Steven Lawson, Peter Gardner and Ian Wadeson stormed in 1st by a huge 5 minute margin to win their class. The M\W12 team of Simon Gardner, Martin Humphries and Helen Gardner came in 3rd to make sure we had even more to cheer about at the prize giving!!

There were some other very good performances too with the Medium Open Team of Neil Humphries, Richard Beard and Mike Capper coming in 6th. If only Ian Jones had not mispunched (I can't talk as I did the same on the individual day!! - Julia we need some coaching on how to read the control codes or an eye test!!) then another team would have been 7th. Another mispunch by David Peregrine cost the BOF 165 team a top 5 finish as well. All round I think the British this year must of been one of the most successful WAOC performances for a long time. Lets hope we can keep on improving.

Interesting to note that the teams that did well were given names (purely by chance I have to say) of Walkers, Joggers and Puffers. You certainly proved you werent any of those!

Next came the Harvester at Thetford and again we had a 100% finish which from what I can gather is a major feat in itself. No medals on this one but I think everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A big thanks to Nigel Cole for planning and I think EAOA did a very good job putting on the event and especially organising perfect weather.

Whats coming up? Well if you missed all the big relay events there are several smaller ones in the locality during the summer. The S. E. Relays are being held at Hainault Forest and using electronic punching so that might be worth attending (CHIG have since announced that this event will not have electronic punching). Also SOS are putting on some fun relays too.

Dont forget the summer Galoppen events. These are informal and fun and good training. The first was held at Therfield Heath and proved to be very enjoyable. Usually they are slightly different in format and offer training type courses. And lastly don't forget the Chairmans Challenge at Harlton - I wonder what he's got up his sleeve this year??

Enjoy the summer

Roger & Sue Orpin.

Does Orienteering Need "Fixing"

With the advent of the UK hosting two World Cup orienteering races this year, and the showcase World Orienteering Championships in Scotland in 1999, BOF is working busily to use these opportunities to "develop and promote" orienteering.

As well as these opportunities to develop Orienteering, BOF also has external pressure to do so: one of BOF's sources of income is grants from the UK Sports Council and the English, Welsh and Scottish Sports Councils. But this money comes with strings: it is not provided simply to maintain existing levels of orienteering, but to develop orienteering, both in quantity and quality. The Sports Councils work to a vision statement: "The Pursuit of Excellence" (note that this vision statement replaces the 1980's vision of "Sport for All"). Ultimately, the Sports Councils want some return on their investments. Specifically, they want to see British competitors regularly winning medals at international events. BOF has to respond to this.

Given these opportunities and pressures, BOF has been consulting the clubs and regions to try to prioritise the (development) needs of orienteering. This has been done with the aid of a leisure consultancy who interviewed members of BOF council, representatives of other BOF committees and other interested parties to produce a "needs analysis report". This report was then forwarded to all clubs for them to identify the highest priority needs. Unfortunately, the timescales were far too short for clubs to consult their members widely on this and, in the case of WAOC, Roger & Sue Orpin and myself were delegated to produce a response on behalf of the club.

The report identified 136 different needs, grouped into 14 categories. Clubs were asked to nominate the three most important needs from each category. It would take far too much space to list all 136 needs here, but here is a sample: "Maintain balanced male/female ratio", "Broaden orienteering's profile e.g. increase participation from minority and socially disadvantaged groups", "Reduce age profile of orienteering", "Regulate access to terrain against level of competence/achievement", "Support and encourage clubs to become more young people friendly'", "Enhance appreciation of/support for elite orienteers by the grassroots", "Increase club capacity to cater for increase in participation."

Although all these identified needs were presented positively, many are likely to be controversial and most carry some form of risk: that's the point of development - it means changing the existing situation, and that introduces risk. There is a danger in forcing the growth of Orienteering. The sport has developed slowly in the UK over the last 20 years and it is true that Orienteering is still a minority sport: There's very rarely any mention of it in newspapers, let alone on television; it's not in the Olympics. In short, most people do not know what Orienteering is about, or even that Britain has some World Championship calibre competitors.

But what would happen if BOF succeeded in significantly raising the profile of Orienteering, increasing media exposure and attracting many more people to the sport? This is where I feel there has been insufficient debate. For example, one of BOF's stated objectives is to use the next two years to significantly increase participation in orienteering. But Mark Thomson (ex)NOC, writing in CompassSport, raises a valid question: "What are we going to do with all these new converts?". Expanding on his comments, it seems to me that most O-events in the South-East are already "full". WAOC has very limited orienteering venues. SMOC has just lost access to Dunstable Downs due to the fears of conservationist groups. We already have a limit of 200 participants imposed on us at Maulden, Rowney is heavily over-used and our other venues are even smaller. Could we cope with 50% or even 20% more members regularly orienteering? And raising the profile might backfire: landowners might reason: "more people = more damage".

Even the big events are close to capacity. The JK in Dolgellau was brilliantly organised, and the event itself could probably have coped with more competitors, but the area as a whole couldn't: we didn't get our accommodation sorted out until February and, as a result, the nearest available accommodation was over 50 miles away in Welshpool. Would pre-selection have to be imposed for the JK and similar events? How about lots more smaller events? Where? Even small woodlands are pretty scarce in East Anglia, and would people consider lots of local events held on small areas to be an adequate substitute to the current number and size of events? Unlikely.

Before we rush headlong into trying to significantly increase the numbers of people Orienteering, perhaps we first need to consider "what are the constraints on developing orienteering?"

Comments please?



Thank you to all those who returned their training forms or indicated to me verbally that they are interested in training. There seems to be a lot of interest in training events on a local area, although not all of you can make Saturdays. I will try to vary the days of events to suit as many people as possible. Seminars and armchair exercises were perhaps slightly less popular possibly because I did not explain what this might mean. I don't believe we have to go running round a forest to improve our orienteering. Much can be learned by analysing our past events or by hearing the experiences of other orienteers. Happy Herts have had Yvette Hague talk to them about orienteering at the international level. They have also had Steve Bird talk to them about nutrition and how what you eat can affect your performance. Perhaps we could do something similar in WAOC?

Something you can do yourself is measuring your split times between controls on a course which can be very revealing about where you made errors and how much time they cost you. It is amazing how much time you can spend staring at a map when you are unsure of your position. Comparing your split times and route choices with others down the pub after an event can be very useful and if you have web access don't forget Ian Davidson's split times database at http://www.pcug.co.uk/~iandav/. If you are interested in meeting in a pub for post event analysis and/or just a social chat with other orienteers let me know.

And now for details of the 1st training event:

Where: Ampthill Park (Grid Ref: TL024382)
When: 27 June with starts from 2:30pm

Note: At the time of going to press this date is provisional. Please check with Julia to confirm the event is still on before travelling.

The type of event will be a brown only course, a map memory course and a control hanging course of which you may do all or one. Courses will typically be 2-3km long. The control hanging course will be a pairs event and will be a fun competition but the other events will be untimed.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Julia   Email: julia@cpd.ntc.nokia.com

WAOC Championship Galoppen (WAGAL)

The West Anglian Championship Galoppen is now shaping up nicely. After two events (Mildenhall and Rowney), the leader tables look like this.


Simon Gardner

Peter Towers






Elizabeth Verdegem

J Bateman






James Verdegem

Martin Humphries







Helen Gardner

Daisy Wheelhouse






Peter Gardner

D Staines







Stephanie Gash

Jenny Pennington






Nick Brown

D Hall







Blanka Sengerova

Leonie Brown






Steven Lawson

Ian Wadeson







Penny Bickle




Adam Harrison









Andrew Howard

Jon Garner

Graham Watson

Ian Carter











Helen Christopher

Julia Carpenter






Neil Humphries

Steve Williams

Dave Wotton









Catherine Sowerby




Roger Orpin


Mike Gardner

Bob Hill











Nicola Gardner

Linda Gash

Olivia Brown








Tony Wilson

Bruce Marshall

Peter Howsam

Chris Bell

Richard Beard













Maria Marshall

Jane Howsam

Cath Pennington

Hazel Bickle

Janis Ryall

Maureen Weldon














Malcolm Mann

Roger Horton

John Batten

Richard Harrison











Ruth Saxl

Mary Batten






Hally Hardie

Chris Morley







Satu Peregrine

Hilary Andrews






Colin Curtis





Meg Bright

Ursula Oxburgh






Les Andrews








I've shown the first two in each class plus anyone else with more than 1000 points with the number of events run. For those with access to the Internet, our web-site contains the full galoppen table.

Incidentally, one or two people have commented that the Galoppen table does not include results for those aged less than 10. I hadn't really thought about the issue when I proposed this club galoppen, but decided to follow current BOF thinking that discourages league tables etc. for very young competitors. Most junior competitors do not compete individually, so only a handful are affected. There is an additional problem in that we may have to merge classes in order to determine club trophies, so it may turn out to be a disappointment to an M6, say, who wins all his events and still doesn't become Club Champion. If anyone, particularly parents of competitive youngsters, would like to comment on this situation, the editor of Jabberwaoc would be delighted to hear from you!

Finally, please note that the Wednesday evening "Summer Galoppen" is a completely different beast: points scored in those events do not contribute to the championship galoppen.

The next Championship Galoppen event is the colour-coded event on 4 October at Ampthill Park.


You must be JKing

This is an account of our first ever experience of the "JK" or, more properly "Jake A" event. Apparently this takes place every year, this being the 31st, and is named in honour of Jake Ailstorm, who was a pioneer of introducing Scandinavian culture to the British Isles, principally the concept of eternal winter and being snowbound 6 months of the year. During a balmy English February, spending Easter in North Wales seemed an attractive proposition, but we discovered the popularity of the event had already made accommodation very scarce.

So it was that we found ourselves camping in an almost deserted field a few miles from Dolgellau on Good Friday, a site which offered no hot water, but really cold water which was going to be ideal for treating the inevitable sprains etc. which were to ensue.

From our limited previous experience of multi-day O events (the Scottish 6-days) we knew that the major problems were likely to be sunburn, dehydration, and overheating, and that the club tent would offer essential protection from the direct sun. This thought consoled us considerably as we lay in our own tent with our teeth chattering on the morning of the training event, rubbing our two children together to try and generate some heat.

A word about the training event. For the Scottish 6-Days, my gambit had been: don't orienteer for the 6 months prior to the event, turn up fresh from the journey on day 1, and suffer a debilitating leg injury early in the course. This generally provides more than sufficient justification for appearing some way off the bottom of the results listings. This time it was going to be different - we had been able to get to plenty of colour-coded and badge events in the weeks leading up to Easter, and we had sussed that the training day would be essential in getting to grips with all those things not generally found on East Anglian orienteering maps, such as contours, slopes, hills, boulders, sheep, and so on, and in remembering how not to fall over/down them.

It turns out that Welsh O-maps do not have any pits - presumably these were all closed by a previous government. Nor are there any depressions. This is because these have all filled up with stagnant mud and are marked as seasonal marsh, or, more likely, have just filled up with stagnant mud.

Day 1 was a good day for me - well it was once Id recovered from taking a bad bearing out of the first control and wondered for some time why the right wall had been built on the wrong hill. I found myself attempting to compete on the longer legs with an orienteer from South Ribble; although we clearly had few controls in common there were common route corridors between groups of controls. This was most markedly demonstrated when, after running full pelt down an open field with several others also going flat out, I emerged onto a complex plain with dozens of stationary orienteers spread about, standing like statues poring over their maps. In the end I think I did finish ahead of my unwitting rival, and higher up the results list than I had ever done at the 6-days.

This small success led me to conclude that I would do even better if I had O-shoes without the additional brashing-induced ventilation slots on the uppers, so that my toes actually stayed inside the shoes right round the course, and so it was that, on Easter Sunday morning, the brilliant white of my new footwear matched the glare of the snow on the flysheet, and we laughed grimly at the irony of the children eating a breakfast cereal called Frosties.

By late afternoon, the dull brown of my now permanently stained O-shoes matched the mud bath that was the assembly area as I felt disappointed that my course had been rendered non-competitive due to expected severe weather, and even more disappointed that I had taken longer to complete the allowed two thirds of it than to run the complete course on the previous day. Attention now focused on the relays scheduled for the Monday.

As I poured some slush into the kettle for a breakfast cuppa on Monday morning, I wondered why my footwear remained so refreshingly wet in the evidently sub-zero surroundings. Later, at the first leg start for my relay, I was still wondering if Id ever recover feeling in my toes. The start came and about 100 orienteers thundered up a steep incline - I looked back and found I was at the back! In an all out effort to keep with the throng I set off directly for my next to last control. It was evidently not going to be a good run. As in previous days the scenery was stunning, especially in such alpine conditions, and also since I pretty well had the landscape to myself. Eventually I did spot a WAOC top and was about as surprised and pleased to have caught up with Dave Wotton as he was evidently surprised and devastated that I had caught him. I still had one more Ace up my sleeve however which ensured I finished several minutes behind him. I finished 100 out of 102 and so my sincerest thanks and apologies to my teammates Richard and Hally for not having already driven home by the time I finished. I can only do better next time!

On the Tuesday I felt absolutely shattered - we visited the Centre for Alternative Technology but although this is worth a visit, this was not the ideal venue. What we really needed was a long sit down somewhere really profligate with their energy so we could get really warm at last.

If any of you are contemplating any gardening this summer and require a quantity of good quality Welsh topsoil we can offer this free of charge. But be quick or we will have had to wash it all off.

Peter Woods

Thanks Peter. If anybody else has any experiences they wish to share with us we will be more than pleased to receive them. Eds

The Data Protection Act

Many of you are aware of the Data Protection Act (DPA), which gives people the right to discover what information is held about them on computer, and to have some control over it. As WAOC holds its membership list on computer, and processes results and entries using computers, the club is also subject to the DPA. BOF has published the following guideline to clubs (I've edited it slightly):

  1. Orienteering Clubs and Associations count as 'unincorporated members clubs' (BOF itself does not, because it is a limited company) and as such may hold personal information on computer without having to register [with the Data Protection Registrar], provided that:

    To be sure of satisfying these conditions, the Data Protection Registrar advises clubs to inform members as they join and/or make regular announcements in their newsletters about the information they are holding and the use that is being made of it, so that members have the opportunity to object, should they wish.

  2. Provided these conditions are met, the information held about members by or on behalf of clubs need not be restricted to basic membership data (name, address etc.).

  3. Clubs or Associations who find the conditions in paragraph 1 irksome, who want to hold personal information on members who object, or who want to hold or use information about non-members, will need to register.

  4. Although registration avoids the need to get everyone's consent before you hold their personal details, it does not necessarily mean that you can hold or use any information against people's wishes. There is a general requirement to obtain personal information fairly, and not to deceive or mislead people about the purposes for which that information is held, used or disclosed.

Ok, given all that, what information does WAOC hold on computer about its members? (This is one of those "regular announcements" mentioned above!)

Actually, not a lot, and it's rather boring. The membership list is maintained on computer and is distributed to all members annually (the next one is due out in about May). The information held on computer is exactly what you see in the membership list: name, address, age, telephone number, BOF number (if applicable) and a note to indicate committee members, BOF qualified controllers or similar. It's used for producing labels for sending out Jabberwaoc etc. and event organisers use it for recruiting helpers. Anne Duncumb occasionally produces some statistics from the membership list (e.g.. 15% of members are aged between 18 and 35).

I (Dave) also maintain a list of WAOC email addresses on computer that is used to send out emails to members. No personal information is held with the email address (except your name, if it's not obvious from your email address!). Only those people who have given me their email addresses are on this list - I don't go looking for them. You can tell if you're on the list: if you get regular broadcast emails from me you're on it; if not, not.

Entries and Results: Only events that require pre-entry (i.e. Badge events) have the entries processed by computer. In this case, the only information held about you is the information you supply on the entry form. Results are an interesting case: remember that the Act says that we can only hold information about members on computer without registering and, of course, many of the people competing in WAOC events won't be WAOC members. To avoid the need for all clubs to register with the DPA just to produce results, BOF has set up its registration to cover the processing of results by clubs for any BOF registered event. So we're covered there too! One interesting side effect of this is that BOF technically owns the copyright of all BOF registered events. The information held on computer relating to event results is what you see in the printed results. We also display the results of our events on our Internet web-site (many clubs do this).

Jabberwaoc: Jabberwaoc is produced on computer, so articles in which you are mentioned are covered by the Act. Articles from Jabberwaoc are also reproduced on our Internet web-site.

So that's it. I hope you find that reassuring. If you object to WAOC holding any of the above information about you, let me know and it'll be removed. However, as far as membership details are concerned, it might be necessary to decline your membership if you don't want your details held on computer - it would be impractical to process the membership manually.

Dave Wotton

Committee News: WAOC & EAOA


Entries for major relays will have a tear-off slip in Jabberwaoc. Members wishing to take part would then return the slip to the club captains (Roger & Sue Orpin) with the money for the entrance fee


Julia Carpenter has taken on the job of Club Coach and will be working towards the BOF coaching qualification. She is currently trying to arrange a training session (see the Training section).


The EAOA are proposing to raise the event levy by approximately 20p per competitor. This is the first increase for several years and will be voted on at the EAOA AGM at High Lodge on 14 June 1998 (see the Events section).

WOC 99

The East Anglian region has been asked to provide the helpers on one of the days of the World Orienteering Championships in Inverness next year. A co-ordinator is required for the WAOC helpers going to the WOC 99 to assist Pat Martin who is co-ordinating the regions (EAOA) helpers. Any volunteers?

Badge Event 1999.

Thetford Warren will be used for the badge event on 30 January 1999. CUOC and WAOC will pool resources and share the profits. CUOC will be using Santon Downham for their Icenian on 31 January 1999.

Land Access

English Nature have stopped SMOC from using Dunstable Downs and Bucknell Woods for orienteering. The EAOA have written to English Nature concerning the restrictions on these areas plus the limitations on Maulden Wood.

Junior Inter Regional Championships 2000

The EAOA have agreed to host the Junior Inter Regional Championships in 2000. The relays will probably be held at Rowney Warren.


What constitutes a tripod? Is there a BOF approved size? Do they have to be as big as the tripod in the BOC relays (over 3 metres!) or are the ones used in EA OK (about 1 metre or less!)? Any comments?

If anybody would like to comment on any of these issues or has any other issues that they would like to bring to the committee's attention then please contact us.

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