Unlocked Up Puttenham Middle Distance 06/12/2020

Thanks for coming along, hope you all enjoyed your run today. Thanks to the Hampton Estate for permission to use the Common; a rare breed of orienteering-friendly landowner!

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Planner comments:

I hope you enjoyed your runs at Puttenham. After many iterations, I think we ended up with arrangements that minimised the potential conflict between the public and the orienteers and also between competitors. This was largely due to suggestions from Alan and Jeremy, and I am very grateful to both of them, who were an absolute pleasure to work with. We were making changes to the courses 6 days before the event, which potentially could have led to serious problems, but “Purple Pen”, the fantastic software package, was my saviour. Heartfelt thanks to the many competitors who have said that they enjoyed their course. It makes it all worthwhile! Many thanks also to Team GO and others who assisted me in so many ways. It was quite uplifting to have so many offers of help. Puttenham was a great area to spend time on and I really enjoyed the task!

Pete Nicholls (GO)

Controller comments:

I hope you all enjoyed yourselves, at what for some was the first “real” orienteering in many months. Pete’s courses required relatively very little input from me, and had a good flow around the area so that most people were moving in the same direction.

We made a few changes to try and make things more covid-safe:

– moved the start and finish locations, to minimise contact with the public; you will have seen that the main car park is very popular

– start in an area with good visibility, and enough space for 2 starts

– download queue away from the main public path

– removed one control that would have meant people passing in both directions on a very narrow pathway.

There are a few things we didn’t get quite right:

– signposting to the start and from the finish for early starters, so a few ended up at the wrong place, or met people coming in the opposite direction on a narrow path. Corrected during the event.

– we deliberately put the Clear / Check / Start boxes all on stakes, to reduce contact, but unfortunately a few people (perhaps those unused to SI) didn’t successfully punch the Start. For at least some, this may have been because they hadn’t successfully Cleared, and with no hand-held Check and a minimal Start team we didn’t pick this up. Luckily all those affected returned to download, as otherwise we would have had no record from the Clear/Check/Start boxes that they were in the forest – needs more thought for future events.

Alan Wallis (SN)

Organiser comments:
Thank you everyone – competitors, helpers, Controller and the all-important Planner. A glitch or two here and there, as Alan has noted above, but I hope in the end we all had a good day. The car park team were worked especially hard but they kept on smiling!
Jeremy Wilde (GO)