CompassSport Cup Final at Tankersley Wood
Sun 16th Oct 2016 Start Times 10:30
I found Tankersly a challenging but enjoyable area to control on. I thought I had made a high number of visits to the area (at least 6) but Colin made many more to tape and re-tape sites and to plan and re-plan his courses. As well as providing very good courses he spent a lot of time working out how to split the longer courses over two sides of the map while keeping everything in sync. The length of the area made it hard for me to check every control on the day so thanks must go to those helpers who re-checked the sites that I visited on Saturday. I’m not quite sure what the receptionist thought of me as I checked in at the Premier Inn (just off the NW corner of the map) covered in mud and wearing a head torch. Perhaps he thought I had appeared out of one of the many mine shafts.
I was glad of the torch on Sunday morning as it was pretty dark under the tree canopy and I was still using it at 10am when I finished checking. I’m thinking of wearing a small one next weekend at Newborough, it can be pretty dark in there too. I returned from the gloom to find a great arena and it proved ideal for a great competition. I heard some comments that the occasional control seemed hidden, I think this occurred because using wire and Gripples to secure controls forces them to be near bigger trees, something for planners to think about in the future. I’d especially like to thank some of the competitors on the Brown course for their gracious behaviour as we resolved a problem with one of their controls.
Thank to Melinda and all the SYO team for making me welcome and putting on such a great event. Congratulations to the winning teams. Finally thanks to Cross Country and Northern Trains who transported me to and from the event exactly on schedule and allowed me to relax on the way home rather than battling with the M1.
Orienteering is a game of contrasts – normally we have individual competition, with our rivalries down the years with competitors on our courses, both within our clubs and with other clubs; the CompassSport cup sort of turns all of that on its head and gives a great opportunity for people to get together and feel proud of belonging to a particular club and appreciate the efforts of all across all age groups. I really enjoyed watching the camaraderie of this competition and the tense ending to a long day of competition.
It’s also an amazing effort on the part of any host club – it was a real team effort in and out of the wood! First of all I want to say thank you to SYO and I will single out a few people for extra thanks.
Peter Guillaume, as assistant organiser and arena builder par excellence brought all his CompassSport cup coordination knowledge and WOC arena experience to the event, and I am sure you agree that the village effect we were trying to create in the arena was really great. The event would not have happened without Peter’s expertise.
Mark Dakin marshalled our volunteer workforce with precision and made sure that people could run and help – we had about 60+ helpers who were on site from 6 (building the arena in the dark to car headlights) to our solitary volunteer (thanks Brian) who waited for the toilet company to collect the toilets at the end of the day.
Lesley Ward handled all the queries and complexities associated with the CompassSport Cup entries with aplomb, Marcia and Paul Bradbury planned the fiddly car parking with great attention to detail and the Coopers ran the start with a great team effort.
Peter and Pauline Tryner as always provided great backup and support, making sure that boxes were programmed, the website was updated, and helped much on the equipment front.
Mike Napier worked his usual magic, and First Choice Medical Services were kept busy –all delivered exactly what was ordered.
Thanks especially to Nick Barrable and CompassSport, without whom we wouldn’t have this competition.
And I really hope you all enjoyed your visit to a bit of Sheffield’s industrial heritage.
· A pair of lined waterproof "Wynnster" trousers left near the ESOC tent
· Trespass waterproof trousers (Age 11-12)
· Pair of Innov8 orienteering shoes with blue and green socks in a “jog shop” plastic bag
· Umbrella (Wessex Garages)
· Thumb compass (plus air bubble) with pen attached
· Plain orienteering compass with red cord.
Tankersley & Hesley provide both opportunities & constraints for the Planner. I had it sorted in May & intended just to check & amend in August. Then the Council sold the land where the Start, Finish & Assembly had been planned to be. Having decided upon a new assembly location a km away from the original one, we moved the Start & finish twice to improve the customer experience. However I enjoy creating desk top courses so no problem there! Except, one having to go out in the forest & check new control sites! Except, having the double sided map for the longer courses & in effect courses on two maps (alternative a map between A3 & A2) was a recipe for mistakes & I made a few, which were fortunately noticed by Allan.
Creating long legs other than path runs is difficult due to the shape of the area & keeping runners off paths is only achievable by going “middle distance” for sections of the courses. It’s close to an urban area so I decided to gripple everything as a couple of controls going missing would play havoc with the results but the downsides of that are that it takes ages to put them out & they have to be close to a tree, often perhaps, a bit too close.
Winning times indicate that course lengths were about right & the huge spread of times could be evidence that the courses were sufficiently technical.
It isn’t usual to put on a White course for the CSC but SYO have been getting hundreds of youngsters to Saturday park events & I am pleased that, at Colin Best’s suggestion & as a result of Pauline & Pete Tryners’ efforts, that we gave a taste of a big event to lots of relative newcomers who may then be encouraged to attend Sunday events.
I am grateful to a lot of people about the help I’ve received but specifically, the following:
· Allan who controlled with composed aplomb in a highly warm & supportive manner
· Dave Peel who updated the map with my dozens of suggestions & put out half the controls
· Steve Whitehead of EBOR who stood in at the last minute for an injured SHUOC who had volunteered to put out 13 controls on Sunday morning
· Joe Taunton of NOC who awakened all the controls in Hesley & Tankersley SE
· NOC for lending us 30 controls & stakes
· Mike Lucking for going beyond the role of printer to help resolve last minute issues
· A bevy of SYO & SHUOC people who collected the 92 controls in
· The group led by Pete Tryner who sorted out all the controls, kites, gripple wires etc so that I was home by 5pm & haven’t the usual post event Monday sorting them out myself to look forward to
And of course thanks to yourselves for all the constructive comments about the courses. I now await only your routes on Routegadget so I can indulge myself in an orgy of analysis.
Tankersley Woods has a rich industrial heritage and once contained factories and railways during the war when it was heavily bombed. It now contains a wealth of detail with many bell pits, bomb craters and myriad of paths created by local people spread across mixed vegetation comprising natural oak woodland with bluebells through reclaimed spoil heaps with maturing shrubs and young trees.
The area has been worked for coal and iron, which has left complex slopes covered by the scars of hand-hewn "bell-pits" and other earth-works from the 19th century and before. These days the area is used by dog-walkers, cyclists and trail-bikers, leaving a large number of paths. In the most active biking areas the path network is very complex. The mapping of these paths is good, but small new paths can be created quickly.
There are brambles in parts of the area, but most are at ankle-length, are pretty runnable and have no bramble screen. There are some areas of thicker brambles in the far south of the map.More details about Tankersley Wood...
Safety & risk
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