In Ham Hill, we have an excellent venue for our penultimate Forest League event of the season. There is still everything to play for in each league, which has been unpredictable to date!
None of those topping their leagues after the Wind Down event went on to win their course at Young Wood, meaning some of the courses have fresh leaders. With two scoring runs still available, even people who have only run once could still win in each of the seven leagues. Remember, you need to be a member of an orienteering club to score in the league.
There is a strong possibility we could see a new name on all our trophies, which are made from wood sourced our forest areas. Most of the current leaders are based locally:
- Gavin Clegg (of Bristol OK) on Blue
- Jim Mallinson on Green
- Rebecca Medlock (Wessex OC) on Short Green
- Mike Crockett on Light Green
- Andrew Page on Orange
- Hamish Braine-Clarke on Yellow
- Jacob Shirvington on White
The leading females are Robin Carter of Devon overall and Sheila Braine locally. Robin is third in the Blue handicap league.
So how's it looking on each course then?
Gavin has amassed plenty of points but might expect a strong challenge from one of those who finished ahead of him at Young Wood: Bristol's Matt Owen, the Devon youngsters Flurry Grierson and Duncan Taylor and our own Richard Sansbury. Plus Devon's Ben Chesters.
Jim Mallinson has a good lead but could still be overhauled by half a dozen runners. Those include the pair who finished ahead of Jim at Young Wood, last season's winner Graham Hartley and Ray Toomer. Two youthful runners, occasional visitors from other clubs, also have the potential to challenge but have only run once. Matt Carter sits second in his debut season and 2014 champion Tony Hext lies in third.
Completely wide open! All 10 runners have run only once and there's not much to separate them. Chris Hasler will be hoping to build on his win at Wind Down. Even though Pete Akers as event planner has to "sit out" Ham Hill, he may still have a chance. Because take-up on this relatively new course is still low, even just two good scores may clinch a series win.
The winner at Young Wood, Bristol OK's Guy Owen is nicely poised. Of the chasing pack, which includes previous winners Jenny Wood (2017) and Sarah Maynard (2014), Heather Green is best placed to take advantage of any slip up from Guy. Super veteran Mike Crockett is the early leader and newbie Martin Lewis is another outside bet.
Another course winner at Young Wood, Sam Shirvington, has emerged to challenge the current leader, Andrew Page. Just below Karen Lewis in third are a few runners with good scores from one run, which could yet serve as the foundation for a series win.
Hamish Braine-Clarke enjoyed a clear win at Young Wood to move top but about half a dozen are in contention, including Sue Toomer in 2nd, one of Sue's grandchildren Will, plus superfast Ben Perry of Devon OC and Tate Modica of QO.
Though Freddie MacPherson (another of Sue's grandchildren!) won at Young Wood, Jacob Shirvington, went top of the league. But only just! Close behind is Ethan Ryles, as he was at Young Wood, trailing Jacob by just seconds. Freddie jumps up to third and is now well placed to challenge.
click/tap photos for a larger version