Thursday, 22 October 2015

SROCkite.gif (2521 bytes) 2015 CompassSport Cup and Trophy Finals, Helsington Barrows, Kendal 18 October 2018 Organiser’s report

SROC has organised the CompassSport Cup Final once before, at Witherslack in November in 1987. I was the planner. There were 4 clubs in the final. DVO scored 139, SYO 130, HH 105 and ESOC 94. It was held at an ordinary colour coded event or what would possibly be Level C now and it was open to all with White, Yellow, Orange, Green, Red, Blue and, Brown (M19/35) and Brown (M21) courses. 483 took part and that included competitors who were not in the Cup Final. 61 were on the M19/35 Brown and 82 on the M21. I recall that I insisted that the maps should be overprinted, an unheard of thing at a colour coded event. Such extravagance was restricted to Badge Events in those days. I persuaded the club committee to buy the club’s first Start and Finish banners. There was grumbling from some competitors not in the Cup competition that the entry fees were higher than normally expected for a colour coded event. I am sure that there was a trophy as a prize but little else, but I recall Arthur Boyt of Happy Herts coming up to me at the event and giving me some jars of his home produced honey to give as prizes.

Fast forward 27 years………and SROC is hosting the final again. I am now the organiser and things have changed somewhat. It is now treated as a Level A event. e.g. like the JK or British Champs. There are two parallel competitions, one for 11 smaller clubs and one for 11 bigger clubs. Competition is closed to members of the 22 competing clubs.

There is a special BOF style set of Rules, which for the final lays out requirements for allocating start times, publicity on websites, timed starts, spectator control, radio controls, public address and commentary and “a dignified and prestigious ceremony to present the prizes”…….

Just a few changes then?……. Help!!!

Actually, it was not too difficult to organise because –

· The Competition Rules are very clear.

· There are people who look after the competition like Peter Guillaume, the Coordinator, and Nick Barrable of CompassSport, the sponsor. They and Sarah Francis, last year’s organiser from Southern Navigators, gave invaluable advice. I stole Sarah’s best ideas and I hope that I stole some of her enthusiasm too.

· We had an excellent area. Technically challenging, in a beautiful part of the world, with an enormous field on limestone right next door to it with a very helpful farmer, Brian Bowness, who has hosted some big orienteering events several times before.

· We had Gavin Smith as planner. He had successfully planned on Helsington before, and together with Andy Yeates, an experienced Grade A controller. Both were determined that we should have a top quality event in line with the CompassSport Cup and Trophy Rules.

· The club has expertise and manpower to put on the event, even though we are supposed to be a “small club”, hence our competing for the Trophy in the Final. On the day we always had enough able and enthusiastic helpers led by excellent team leaders.

· In the weeks up to the event I had the help of three club members who put a lot of time into the preparations. Chris Roberts was not only responsible for the download side of IT on the day but did the taxing and tricky job of entries secretary setting up the software to handle the entries via club captains and then the diplomat’s job of handling all the entries and amendments to entries up to the Start List being finalised. I also had Martyn Roome who recruited and co-ordinating the helpers, and Ray Pickett the club equipment officer who sorted out and supplied the kit in a very organised way.

· We had the usual professional input such as Martin Bagness’s updated map, but also professional assistance in the commentary and IT support. The maintenance of a high level of informed excitement throughout the competition could only be achieved by having accurate up to the second information relayed to experienced commentators who know the orienteering scene and who are provided with the right environment to work in. So, many thanks to commentators Chris Poole and Andy Monro (straight from further honing their skills at the World Champs and the Scottish 6Days) commentating continuously from before 10am to 3pm, Barrie Smith of Amplified Sound, and Martin Stone of SportIdent UK who pulled together the IT side so that we had updates from out on the course, constantly updated electronic leader boards for both competitions, Wi-Fi results and the latest state of play in the run-in competitions.

· The graphic design skills of Paul and Judy Johnson of Borderliners who designed the towel memento and the business skills of Rick Houghton of CompassPoint who organised the contract for their acquisition and printing of the towels.

· Lots of enthusiastic competitors - far more than I thought would enter. Nearly 250 more entered than last year’s final, hence the underestimate of the number of mementos. My apologies.


So, many thanks to all of the above including the 22 club captains and anyone else who had a hand in the event.

Congratulations to -

Forth Valley Orienteers - winners of the CompassSport Cup (despite being a small club), and,

South Ribble Orienteering Club – winners of the CompassSport Trophy (and showing that a small club can not only organise the final but win at the same time).

Women’s Run-in Winner - Lucy Adams (SYO)

Men’s Run-in Winner - Stewert Allison (LOC) - and after a very close run-off

My best memory? - The FVO victory rush to the table at the prizegiving. I spotted one of the young members of the team taking a very fast and direct line towards the large tin of sweets. He achieved his goal, grabbed the tin with both hands, and turned round triumphantly with the rest of his team to take the photo call whilst holding the precious tin for all to see.

Many many thanks yet again to everyone who took part, came to spectate and/or helped to make the day so successful.

Brian Jackson

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