SW League (2 of 9)
Sixteen members enjoyed the wild, windy and wide open spaces of Haytor on Sunday and some stunning vistas in Devon OC's annual Galoppen.
The weather was changeable, as the pictures illustrate!
A strong wind very early on promised to blow in the forecast afternoon rain quicker than anticipated. And so it did. The 'feels like' temperature was supposed to be minus 4 C but fortunately there was no horizontal hail like at the JK in 2016!
There were several strong performances. Brian Fletcher moved up into second in the Blue league after pushing the top two very hard at Haytor. If the 2016 champion can regain his crown it will be some achievement as several excellent runners look to be in the mix this year. One is Wessex OC's Jolyon Medlock, who felt the full force of the weather on Haytor - read his review here.
Pete Shirvington headed a trio of us doing Brown and with a time of 80 minutes was only two minutes behind the perennial force Clive Hallett (Bristol OC), albeit a temporarily faltering one. Check out 11th-placed Clive's splits to see how even the best can have an off day.
Overall winner Ben Chesters of Devon OC is already out in front in the league, with two wins out of two. On Sunday he finished five minutes ahead of those in 2nd and 3rd, Pete Ward of North Glos OC and Devon's M16 Flurry Grierson. All three being familar faces at our QOFL series, with the latter two having filled the top two spots on Blue last season.
Bill Vigar was 4th on Short Green, only 8 minutes behind the winner, 40 years his junior. Tony Hext breezed round Green in an hour. On Blue, Sheila Braine recovered from a slow start to finish strongly as she regains form after some injury niggles.
Ben had laid Clive Hallett's three decade long hegemony to rest in 2014 and has dominated the Galoppens ever since. Talk now turned to who in turn might emerge to challenge Ben, perhaps one of Steve Perelle's Torquay Grammar School Boys? But though some were seen moving impressively across the open moor they have become familiar with, none got close to winning.
Half those attending from QO are regular JOG goers. The Lewises, veterans of the recent Scottish 6 Days campaign, made a good showing again.
- Jeff Pakes
Graham a-Blaise in Bristol
Winner of the Bristol summer series Graham Hartley carried on where he left off at Bristol OK's regional event at Blaise Castle, finishing runner-up in a field of 26 on the Green course.