The Redlands ReturnSun 4 Feb, 2024
Southern Championships, UKOL and SE League event
National level event
Explanation of Event levels
Local events are usually low key and in the 'localised' area, ideal for newcomers to try the sport. Training are non competitive events used for training and coaching, aimed at members of the club, but they can attract people from neighbouring clubs, and are often ideal for newcomers to try the sport. Regional events attract participants from around the local Region, National events are high quality competitions that will attract people from far away, Major events are Major Events such as a British Championships.
Terrain type: Woodland & Forest
1 pair of glasses and 1 whistle (see photos)
Photographs of the podium ceremony held on Sunday 4th Feb (prior to adjustments below) are located here
Organiser's statement on adjustments to the results
On Sunday we hung two controls the wrong way round, numbers 118 and 135. They were correctly repositioned at 11:22. Early runners on several courses were affected and we have sought to correct the results as much as possible.
I have analysed the results from several directions, looking at who was affected by the incorrectly placed controls and focusing particularly on the top 5 places in each class. In fact the BO rules specify that when manipulating results only the effect on medallists should be considered. I have decided on the following 'manipulations' to correct almost all of the injustices to those who arrived at either of those two controls before they had been put right.
First, for course 3, to remove the split going to control 135. This affects Classes M18E, M20E, M35L, M40L, W21L. In fact there is no impact on the race positions in Classes M18E, M20E and W21L. In M35L and M40L it means we have revised and now correct Southern Champions, M35L: Alex Kendall and M40L: Michael Krajewski. Adam Poole and Peter Daplyn who were provisionally awarded the championship on Sunday are moved to a very honourable second place. Furthermore in M40L Tim Beale usurps third place from Tim Scarbrough.
Second, for Class W45L, we remove the split going to control 118. This corrects the second and third places by swapping Carys Morgan (now 2nd) with Kerry Corkery (now 3rd).
I have consulted Charlie Turner the Event Controller and taken the advice of the Jury that was appointed for this event. I am sorry if any other competitors feel that they suffered from our error on Sunday and that I have not dealt with it. Please do get in touch if you need to discuss it further.
The event officials are disappointed that a number of competitors had their runs affected by the swapped controls 118/135. No decision of how to produce the results will please everyone but I can assure you that Jeremy today sought advice from many people who are very conversant with BO rules. I support Jeremy in his decision today to produce provisional results, crediting everybody on the affected courses.
My involvement with today's event began long before the Covid lockdown, when after many years of Redlands not being used, I was asked to control what I believed would be a South-East league event. Jeremy has very much been the person behind this event, having lengthy dialogue with the land owner who over a very long period needed confidence that an orienteering event could be safely held in a forest which is so heavily used by mountain bikers. It seemed that as soon as one big issue arose and was solved, it was then replaced by another and then another. Jeremy persevered where some might have given up, so it is really thanks to largely him that you ran at Redlands today.
Tom initially started mapping in about 2019 but with Covid the event fell by the wayside and by the time it was felt it could be resurrected, the map was already in need of many updates. The area had not been used since 2011 and people remembered it as being a steep and challenging forest. With this in mind, the event status somehow unknown to me, morphed into the Southern Championships. At that time we were not aware that the land owner had recorded numerous ecological sensitive areas and these were presented to Tom late in the planning stage, requiring him to significantly alter many of his initial draft courses. An equally big issue was the proliferation of MTB tracks, which have near doubled in number since Covid and Tom had to work around these to mitigate any risk. Ideally permission would have been given for the event to use the northernmost part of the forest, this being the backdrop to the range of a rifle club but as they were shooting today, it was agreed it would be out of bounds!
The small scale map for four of the courses which had elite runners, was not the preferred choice of either Tom or myself but it is in compliance with the new Competition Rules. Tom, as an M80 has had the energy of someone of much younger years, never shying at the various restrictions and changes that were thrust his way, often with very little warning. The planning task was far more complicated than he ever imagined and although the various restrictions prevented some of his initial planning ideas, which would have met the current Competition Rules, he produced some good courses for an event of this status.
Well done to Jeremy, Tom and the Guildford O Team
Charlie Turner (SLOW)
Courses for this event threaded their way through a dark web of bike paths not visible on the map. These caused safety concerns in addition to the usual sources of compromise familiar to planners in southern England using a smallish area: such as the path network, game-shooting enclosures, a rifle range and extensive ecologically-sensitive chunks of OOB. None of these, however, was the reason why some of you were faced with two misplaced control codes for about an hour, for which I have to apologise. The hope is that you enjoyed your day out in hilly Redlands despite these limitations.
The event only happened due to the fortitude and skills of our organiser and controller. Having updated the map way back in the lock-down – remember that? – I’d more or less written that off to experience: mountain bikers were increasingly tearing up the surfaces of steep slopes and causing a safety problem that the landowner doesn’t have the resources to control. Jeremy kept the project alive at every twist and turn in gaining permissions and navigating the endlessly changing regulations. Charlie went far beyond the controller’s brief – “I live next door so I’ll nip in again to do some mapping, gardening, re-re-re-planning of legs to avoid the MTBs”. The final nail in what became the intended Southern Champs might have been the changes in the Rules – three different versions in as many weeks at one point – but we ploughed on. Apologies if this sounds like a mutual admiration club…
We were favoured by having the longest course tested by a World Cup winner, no less: Ralph Street let slip that, though he could have run it 10 min faster if he’d been properly in the zone, he did have to think a bit on one leg! The planning restraints resulted in a kind of long Middle rather than full-length Classic. And everyone else’s courses are tied to that; if you haven’t already done so, please upload your experience to Route Gadget.
Well it has been a blast these past three days. The major issue of the misplaced controls is dealt with separately. Otherwise the event went relatively smoothly for which I am very grateful to Team GO helpers as well as a few helpers drafted in from other clubs, but most especially to Tom our indefatigable mapper and planner who has lived and breathed this event for the past 4 months and also (only partially immersed) for the past 4 years in which we have been plotting the return to Redlands and failing each year to get through the landowner’s restrictions (Covid-19, MTB risks, film sets, ecological sensitivities). Finally the stars aligned.
Charlie our Fab Controller also stars in this production. It was actually he who sparked the event when he asked me in 2019 why we hadn’t used Redlands for so long. One of the most participative controllers I have worked with, he and Tom have been a double act in the woods since October – it seems there has been scarcely a day that one of them wasn’t there doing, the other checking. Many many thanks.
I would like to acknowledge one issue in our organisation which resulted in at least one young competitor getting the wrong map and therefore missing his M14A championship opportunity. In retrospect I see that we were not sufficiently alive to the confusion that could arise by the unusualness of this event:
- entries by Class rather than Course, and
- the timed start (further not helped by our late decision to use punching starts for the colour classes).
This led to people not necessarily knowing which numbered map to pick up, which for uncertain juniors was an issue that we did not handle perfectly. I apologise to anyone affected.
Thank you for all the positive comments you have sent about the good things on Sunday. Even some appreciation for the hilliness of the area!
A National event on an area which has not been orienteered on since 2011.
When you enter, please select the Age Class in which you wish to compete. This need not match your actual age and sex - please note the following Eligibility Criteria for the Championships if you wish to compete for the trophies and podium places.
Southern Championships Eligibility
You can enter any age class, but to be eligible for Championship trophies and podium places you must enter the age class matching your age and sex, or 'run up'. Eligibility also requires that you are a member of British Orienteering and a member of one of its southern regional associations: SCOA, SEOA or SWOA. Furthermore trophies and other prizes are only awarded to competitors in the highest category (Elite, Long or A) of each Age Class.
M class competitors can only run up to M class courses.
W class competitors may run up to W or M class courses.
Competitors in age classes from 10 to 18 may run up to an older age class.
Competitors in age classes from 35 to 90 may run up to a younger age class.
The British Orienteering Trans policy applies.
When you run up you are not competing in your 'own' age class.
Near: Dorking Lat,Lng: 51.20353,-0.34947 OS Grid Ref: TQ155462 Postcode: RH4 3JY
Map / Terrain
This area occupies a north/south sandy ridge, sloping fairly gently on the top but steeply on either side, so you can expect plenty of climb. Much of the area is commercial forestry, resulting in a full range of runnability. At this time of the year the widespread bracken presents little hindrance - for all ages. A particular feature is many small stands of western hemlock, leading to numerous patches of saplings which vary between fast run and impenetrable, indicated by undergrowth and runnability screens.
Tracks cut across steep slopes result in even steeper earth banks several metres high. These are indicated by the “comb” symbol; only the most hazardous are shown as out of bounds.
The variety of woodland and steep slopes provide interest in route-choice, but, as in most southern forests, there is an extensive network of paths. Superimposed on this are innumerable bike paths, old and new. Because of their ubiquity most of these bike paths are not mapped - most competitors will be able to distinguish them from ordinary mapped footpaths; a few are shown and marked as out of bounds. Several steep slopes have been torn up by bikers.
Courses are planned to minimise danger from bikes. A general principle is that likely route choices cross bike paths in an upward direction, so that descending bikes are in view. By the nature of orienteering, it is obviously impossible to plan for all eventualities: competitors are encouraged to be continuously vigilant.
Forestry England has identified several ecologically sensitive areas, marked as out of bounds both on the map and, in some cases, by red and white tape and policed on the ground. You must not cross these, or risk disqualification. On a few courses these will materially affect route-choice.
Owing to out-of-bounds restrictions being imposed more extensively than expected, it has not been possible to meet fully the EWT (Estimated Winning Times) criteria of BO Area Championships Rule I, albeit courses will be physically more demanding than those with a standard Level B status.
Championship Courses (by Age Class)
Those with trophies/medals
Elite courses: M/W18E, M/W20E, M/W21E
Long courses: M/W35L - M/W70L, M75L, W75 - W90, M80 - M90
A courses: M/W10A - M/W16A
Those without trophies/medals
Long courses: M/W18L - M/W21L
Short courses: M/W18S - M/W70S, M75S
B courses: M/W10B - M/W16B
A few colour coded courses are also available (non-championship): White, Yellow, Orange and Light Green.
Further course information (including course lengths) can be found on the Racesignup page (see online entry link)
Enter online at https://racesignup.co.uk/site/event.php?eventid=4003
Early bird fees
Junior: £9 (Juniors are under 21 on 31st December 2024)
Novice senior entry fee of £9 applies to White/Yellow/Orange colour-coded courses.
From 15 January the fees increase by £2 (Senior) and £1 (Junior/Novice)
From 28 January entry will be subject to available maps and the late entry fees are £20 for Seniors and £11 for Juniors and Senior novices.
Normal SI dibber hire is £1; contactless SIAC dibber hire is £3.
Entry fee for non-BOF-affiliated Seniors attracts a £2 supplement.
Senior full-time students pay the Junior entry fee.
Registration and Start times
Start times are from 10:00 - 13:00. You can choose to start E (early), M (middle) or L (late) or the following combinations: EM (early or middle), ML (middle or late), EML (any time).
Toilets, Tom's food wagon and First Aid in the Assembly area by the car park.
Dogs allowed under control in the car park and Assembly area but not on the courses please.
Contacts / Officials
Organiser: Jeremy Wilde (email@example.com)
Planner: Tom Edelsten
Controller: Charlie Turner (SLOW)
BO registered event number 81140