The 52nd November Classic
Sunday 3rd November
Photos - from Steve Rush (BOK)
Headcam of the Blue - Jon Steed
Thank you for attending this years November Classic. After weeks of heavy rain we were fortunate to have such good weather on the day.
This years Classic was particularly challenging as issues with parking and land permission left the event in the balance until just four weeks before the day. Without the tireless efforts of Colin Hicks (SOC's New Forest Permissions officer) who lead the negotiation with Forestry England the event would probably have been cancelled.
SOC would like to thank, the Forestry England team lead by Richard Burke for arranging the permission and Natural England for their quick response regarding their consent. A special thank you to Totton Running Club for allowing us to share the venue, Kev Gardener their Race Director for his assistance and their parking team, aided by SOC members, who just about managed in difficult circumstances.
Although initial planning was started some months ago and without a confirmed coach drop off point Kevin Bracher (planner) had effectively four weeks to plan the event. Thanks to him and controller Steve McKinley (SN) who had to oversee everything in such a short time scale.
I would like to acknowledge the mapping team of Simon Bevan, Colin Hicks and Nick Nourse for producing an excellent map
Last but not least the team Leaders Di and Terry Smith(start), Bill Davidson (Bussing), Pete Davis (Download), Julia Loring (Enquiries) Kevin Bracher (Planner) who organised the 50+ SOC members who helped to make the event happen on the day.
Sandwich Box (Matthew Pembery) )
White Drinks Bottle ) Contact Organiser
Green Drinks Bottle. )
Thumb Compass. )
Bramshaw Wood is a great area for orienteering with large areas of natural old woodland. In some areas there are very few paths and tracks while other areas are awash with so many tracks they pose their own challenge for competitors.
Not only a challenging area but also not used in nearly 30 years. When we first re-visited the wood we were very enthusiastic about using the area for a November Classic. The wood has some typically vague New Forest areas where loss of concentration results in difficulties in re-location. Then there are the little intricate areas where concentration is tested in a different way.
We were keen to try and introduce as many courses as possible to the open runnable woodland north and east of the central ridge. Because the location of the start and finish was dictated by our bussing options I still managed to run as many courses as possible over the ridge to the north and east into the old forest as I wanted to get as many competitors as possible into some tricky technical areas.
There were a couple of issues raised after the competition. During the competition some controls were knocked over into the mud and 214 (depression) got slowly squashed deeper and deeper into the soft peaty ground despite being visible above the lip of the depression when placed.
The final control on the Blue and Green courses caused difficulty for some competitors. There is nothing that is “actually wrong” within the letter of the rules, and it met the advice given with ISOM2017 on map/course drawing. However in hindsight the controller and I would have looked to improve the legibility of the map here by moving the finish control circles back a few tens of metres, but with the time pressure for this event meant we had less than three weeks to check every control, finish the map and organise the map printing and unfortunately this issue was missed.