Podium Position for SYO at the Compass Sport Cup Final
Forty eight members made the very long journey to Virtuous Lady in Devon for the final of this year’s Compass Sport Cup final and were rewarded with an excellent 3rd place.
Due to the epic distance involved SYO subsidised the cost of the coach. Most of the team took advantage of this and signed up to “Jacky’s Coach Tours”. The initial plan was to get some training in on the way down on the Saturday at an event in the Quantocks but unfortunately the fast approaching Storm Brian led to its cancellation at the last minute. Every cloud has a silver lining though and this meant a departure time 3 hours later at a very reasonable 10am. Following a leisurely drive down we eventually arrived at the youth hostel in Okehampton in the late afternoon and despite the torrential rain and gale force winds a few hardy souls went for a run / walk on Dartmoor before it got dark. A delicious 3 course meal (leek & stilton soup, roast beef and sticky toffee pudding) was served at 7pm and everyone agreed that it was far superior to any other youth hostel meal ever sampled. Some of the childfree amongst the team then adjourned to the pub while the rest relaxed at the hostel.
The following morning saw the team up bright and early for an 8.30am departure. By 9.30am we were parked in our fab parking spot adjacent to the arena where we could smugly watch people traipsing across the moor from the main parking area – it’s not often the coaches get the superior parking arrangements! There was a certain reluctance from much of the team to leave the warm, cosy coach so we instructed the juniors to put the SYO tent up whilst the rest of us stayed put! However, it was eventually deemed necessary to move and we joined the juniors in the tent where face painting in team colours was in full swing (even the SYO chair was spotted sporting the SYO logo on his cheek!)
The assembly field offered a lovely vista over the area and the spectator control meant we could cheer on fellow team mates as they entered the final loop of their courses. The weather remained reasonably bright for most of the day and the courses were surprisingly tricky with plenty of headless chickens on view in the areas of gorse and plentiful paths. Like last year, SYO’s main competitors were BOK and FVO. Whilst we fielded a very similar sized team to FVO, BOK had almost double the amount of runners and as a result they swept away with the competition scoring 2363 points to take the cup, which they last won in 2013. SYO scored 2296 finishing in third behind FVO on 2324 but surprisingly this was actually closer than the result last year when we were on home turf. This is very encouraging for the future as we were actually without a lot of our top runners and just shows how well the club is developing in strength and depth.
Congratulations to everyone who competed. It really was a stirling team effort with those who didn’t score contributing by pushing down the scores of others. Well done in particular to those who did score: Nick B, Bill E, Martin, Peter G, Euan, Alex E, Lucy, Isobel R, Sam C, Colin S, Dom, Nic, Pete T, Ian, Freya, Pauline T, Ryan, Clive, Henry, Isabelle H, Amanda, Bill H, Paul B, Tony and Tim W. Fabulous to see the strength of our juniors and also great to see lots of people scoring for the first time at a compass sport cup competition.
The coach journey home was long but far more relaxing than driving and we passed the time by eating our prize winning chocolates. We were also treated to a surprisingly tuneful sing song by the juniors from the back of the bus!
Many thanks to Jacky for organising the coach and booking the hostel and Tim T for co-ordinating the entries. Next year we are hosting the heat at Canklow on 11th March and the final is at Beaudesert in the West Midlands on 21st October 2018. Please put the dates in your diaries; with the all our best runners out we really could lift the cup again!