Orienteering at Epsom Downs and Ambersham Common
Published on 09/11/17
Over the half term break, members of the Claremont Fan Court School orienteering squad took part in two events. The first was at Epsom Downs, where, despite blue skies and bright sunshine, a biting north wind made for very chilly conditions on the exposed open hillsides. The two senior boys both attempted the technically challenging Green course, with its long fast legs across open areas punctuated by series of very short legs with well-hidden controls in dense undergrowth. Robert G came 37th in 91:18 and was just pipped by Alex O, who was 36th in 89:54. The best run was that of Jack P, who was 2nd on the Orange course in 44:47. As members of Mole Valley Orienteering Club, all three boys assisted in the organisation of the event by taping routes from the car park, setting up the start and dismantling it at the end.
The following week two members of the squad travelled down to Ambersham Common, between Petworth and Midhurst in West Sussex, for the ‘Ambersham Dash’, a middle distance event run by Guildford Orienteers. Both boys ran the Short Green course. Alex O navigated carefully and ran steadily, and was rewarded with 6th place in 79:18. Nathan J started well and was actually ahead of Alex by control 9, but then had the unhappy experience of losing contact with the map completely and wandering so far off course that it took him the best part of an hour to relocate. He did eventually make it to the finish, in a time of 140:35, but was disqualified for missing several controls. This sort of occurrence happens to most orienteers at least once in their careers, so Nathan is not alone, and it is a useful reminder of the need to stay focused and alert to the features on the map at all times.