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Croydon Hill

QOFL 3

Sun 11 December, 2016

Near: Dunster
Level of event: Local

Type of event: Race, Juniors

This was a lovely low key friendly event in the sunshine. Well done Julia for the smooth running of things.

Pictures on SW Photography Media's Facebook page

Results

Results and Splits
Routegadget

Credits

Julia Robertson (organiser) Rosie Wych (planner) Bill Vigar (controller & mapping) Bob Lloyd (permissions) Mike Andersen, Elaine and Heather Green (registration) Andy Rimes, Steve Robertson, Spencer Modica (SI / computers) John Trayler, Robert Green, Pete Shirvington & boys (start) Tony Hext, Steve Williams, Bob Lloyd (parking & welcome) Steve Winkley of S.W. Photography & Media (photography)

John Fisher

John Fisher

An orienteer's view: John Fisher

After an unwanted 'year out' I was walking more easily with fewer rests, and felt up to trying my usual Green at Triscombe. I know the area very well, and seriously doubted I'd complete the course, but wanted to try. In the event I DID get round. By tight navigating and prior knowledge of ground conditions I even beat a few. and as I couldn't get to QOFL2, the QOFL3 at Croydon Wood beckoned.

I've orienteered there before, but also walked the paths and set routes through it for students- and then bounced around trying to locate the ones who were late or lost! But that was the past..

A wise owl watches

A wise owl watches
Credit: Steve Winkley

It started promisingly. I had to get back by 2pm, so I left early. Thick mist in Taunton Deane, but once past Crowcombe it cleared to a bright morning. I saw four deer on the way up from Dunster to the forest. Got an early start, commenting that I wasn't sure how it would go. Memories of crossing to the hill fort in the North on previous courses were still fresh. Would there be a lot of climbing?

First leg. Take time to be sure of map orientation and scale. Skirt round the thicket and compass through nice flat open forest. Flag exactly where it should be and not visible from any great distance.

Move smartly away, set compass to take me to the track. Cross it and compass into a rather overgrown bit. Not my favourite. Spot the stream and choose a crossing point- flag now visible for next control. Next leg seems to follow a little stream- but slowed by all the heaps of slippery brashings. Across ride and accurately a few yards to next control.

John's route (part 1)

John's route (part 1)
Credit: Routegadget2

Since the 'open' forest areas seem rather hard in my present state, I decide on the rather longer option of following track to the junction, turning left, then forking right. Works well. Past the darker green band, cut in. Spot on..

Quickly back to the ride. Opt to loop round on the hard dry track and compass down valley side to the track. Mistake- steeper than I expected, and lots of tangle underfoot, and the last bit dropped down steeply to the track- the kind of thing I have to be very careful on. Jog down track and slowly up earth bank to control. Back to the track and a longer, slow walk uphill to the junction.

Control 6 nicely placed- easy to walk past on the track, but exactly where it should be. Back to junction and down track to 7. Another route's control prominently ahead- but I turned in at the correct place, disturbed only by the giant ant hill.

Now I know there's a long uphill. I decide going back up to the upper track and taking it steady will pay off. I'll be interested to see on RouteGadget whether others went the more direct way.. The attack point for 8 is clear, and I punch quickly and carry on to the track. I'm tiring, and the footing has been much more demanding as I follow the track downhill. After scrambling through two fallen trees across the track I decide to cut down the slope directly- exactly the kind of thing I now find taxing. Ho hum. But a well placed control 9, visible only from close, rewards me. But I hate getting back up that bit of hillside!

John's route (part 2)

John's route (part 2)
Credit: Routegadget2

Back past 8 to 10, and turn down slope. Somehow aim too far right, and waste time in the wrong thicket before finding 11 and walking slowly to the Finish. I'm 3rd of 3. It can't last! ( It didn't! Tom Hasler as a M14 was just beaten- but did very well. Didn't have my experience of running the area before!) I usually used to get round in about 150% of the winner's time- this time it was nearer 200%. Just not enough slow Greens on the day… I was still very happy. Luckily I was not wearing QO livery, so the photographer didn't notice me...

Thoughts on the day? Aren't we lucky to have so many in our small Club who will plan and set-up and man something that gives so much pleasure? I've planned the odd JOG and know how much time and effort even the small events take- but boy, they give so much to us all. And two hours later, after a bath and food, I'm off to a magnificent concert in St Mary's. 'Lark Ascending', Eroica. My daughter playing 'cello.

A great day. QO's members are a great bunch. Have a great Orienteering NewYear, everybody.

John Fisher

Editor's notes:

Thanks John, hope it's the first of many more QOFLs for you.

John also explains his injury and more in his Background of Orienteer article

John finishes & heads for download

John finishes & heads for download
Credit: Steve Winkley

Did you know the area has a permanent course?

Pre Event Info

Directions / Parking

Parking on forest roads.
Nearest towns: Minehead and Dunster, signed from A396 , 1km west of Dunster
Nearest post code for the area is TA24 6TD
(Please note: Nearest toilets at public carpark in Dunster)

Terrain Description

Woodland, with an extensive network of forest roads and paths and some steep sided valleys

Dog restrictions

Dogs allowed

Contacts / Officials

Organiser: Julia Robertson 01823 430071

Planner: Rosie Wych

Controller: Bill Vigar

Photo Gallery

Graham Hartley

Graham Hartley
Credit: Steve Winkley

Sunlit Forest

Sunlit Forest
Credit: Steve Winkley

Mike Andersen & Matilda

Mike Andersen & Matilda
Credit: Steve Winkley

Tony Hext

Tony Hext
Credit: Steve Winkley

Flurry In A Hurry

Flurry In A Hurry
Credit: Steve Winkley

Ailani

Ailani
Credit: Steve Winkley

Bill, Elaine, Spencer & John T at the Start

Bill, Elaine, Spencer & John T at the Start
Credit: Steve Winkley

Nutcombe, nr Croydon Hill

Nutcombe, nr Croydon Hill
Credit: Simon Beck

Important Event Information

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