The 2016 annual club champs were held in the glorious Autumnal Ecclesall Woods on Saturday 3rd December. 54 adults and older juniors set off together on a 45 minute mass score event with the aim of collecting as many controls as possible in the time limit. This year there was a secret twist in that an additional 10 point bonus was awarded for each control collected in sequential order. Kim Baxter, Martin Ward, Andy Preston, Tim Tett and Charlie Adams collected all the controls in sequential order but it was Martin Ward who emerged first from the forest in a time of 43:21.
However, once Peter Gorvett's fiendish handicapping system had been applied it was all change at the top with the overall victory (and 1st junior male) going to Sam Doyle. Louise Adams was 1st female junior, Julian Pieters 1st senior man, Louise Preston 1st senior woman, Arun Sahni 1st vet man and Pauline Wilson 1st vet woman.
Whilst the more experienced orienteers were enjoying the score course, the younger members ran a a challenging 2.4km yellow course. Conrad Reuber flew round the course in 14:41 with James Bryant 2 minutes behind. Fastest female was Charlotte Chapman in 24:32.
Post race members adjurned to the function suite at the Abbeydale Sports Club for (very!) hot showers and a delicious buffet lunch. Lunch was followed by the very brief AGM before it was time for the annual awards ceremony, which honoured our members' best achievements:
Best Relay Team: Euan Tryner, Imogen Pieters & Jamie Lightfoot
Best Individual Relay Performance: Max Mobus
Best Male Junior Performances: Euan Tryner
Best Female Junior Performances: Freya Tryner
Best Overseas Performance: Jenny Peel
Best Senior Male Performances: Andy Preston
Best Senior Female Performances: Kim Baxter
Best Veteran Male Performances: Tim Tett
Best Veteran Female Performances: Hilary Bloor
Most improved junior: Alex Elliott
Most improved senior: Bronwen Doyle
The final part of the day concentrated on thanking the club's volunteers for the hundreds of hours they dedicate to orienteering. All the major officials and coaches received a small prize and the club's mappers (Ian Cooper, Ray Waight and Tim Tett) were presented with a framed copy of their maps. Melinda Riley won 'offcial of the year' for organising a very successful compass sport cup final and Ian Cooper was awarded the trophy for the 'outstanding contribution to orienteering 'for all his mapping, planning, organising and coaching work.
Finally a special presentation was made to Colin Best for his contribution to the development of orienteering in South Yorkshire and particularly his work with schools.
Thank you to Charles Hird for planning an innovative and challenging score event that made fantastic use of such a small part of Ecclesall Woods and to Emily Pieters for organising so efficiently and finding such a great venue.