SLOW - SE Score Championships - 13 Feb 05

Event Summary

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Southdowns Orienteers are 2005 SE Score Champions!!!

Team Summary

  Rank    Score     Name
   1       5920     SO
   2       5830     SLOW
   3       4685     MV
   4       4320     SN
   5       4220     CHIG
   6       2765     TVOC
   7       2690     GO
   8       2490     CROC
   9       2100     HH
  10       1340     HAVOC
  11       1295     DFOK
  12       1280     LOK
  13       1095     IND
  14       1000     OUOC
  15        990     SAX
  16        900     BAOC
  17        830     ULOC
  18        820     BKO
  19        640     MDDXO
  20        510     SYO
  21        440     WAOC
  22        390     RAFO
  23        180     WCH
  24        170     PSE

Planner's Comments:

All the comments I had after the event were positive and I thank you all for those. A number of people had trouble with 38 but seemed to put it down to lack of concentration on their part. A number of people also had trouble fitting 22 into their optimum route. Both of these, I hope were signs of a course which, although hardly technical, did keep you thinking.

Most people set off 10, 11, 14 and went on anti-clockwise. My own view is that an essentially clockwise route would have been best for the competitor who expected to collect many but not all of the controls. This would enable the lucrative North West area to be reached early, and decisions made later about which controls to miss in the more sparse North East corner. My preferred start would have been 12, 20, 13, 16 but no-one did this although quite a few started 12, 20, 16 or 13, 16 both of which set them off on a clockwise route.

The South end of the area lent itself to a yellow course which I think was enjoyed by those who did it. This meant the score start and finish were right at the end of the area and provided quite a challenge in getting back on time; this seems to have resulted in many early finishes.

Don McKerrow

Edward Catmur, the fastest (53:07) runner to collect all controls within 60 Minutes, route was :

  1(110)  2(111)  3(114)  4(115)  5(122)  6(121)  7(125)  8(132)  9(119) 10(126) 11(123) 12(131) 13(118) 14(134)
 15(128) 16(133) 17(136) 18(137) 19(139) 20(138) 21(129) 22(135) 23(127) 24(124) 25(130) 26(117) 27(116) 28(120)
 29(113) 30(112)       F                                                                                        

Controller's Comments:

Holmwood Common didn't present much scope for very technical orienteering, but proved to be very suitable for the frantic activity of a score event. Don's liberal sprinkling of controls throughout the area meant that an optimum route wasn't obvious. There was always a control or two that didn't quite fit smoothly into the sequence - ideal planning for a championship score event! I felt that Don's control numbering scheme and the way that the number automatically showed the score value of the particular control worked very well and gave the competitor all the information on the map needed to plan a route to maximise their score.

I was expecting a small number of participants to collect all the controls in the time limit. In the event 7 runners on the 60 minute score visited all the sites - a few more than I would've preferred, but 97% of the score entry didn't quite manage it, so not very far off the mark. My rough estimation was that a route round all of the controls would've been 8.5-9km (direct line measurement) giving an all controls running speed of around 6 min/km. The relative green-ness of the forest blocks and muddy conditions of many of the paths didn't slow participants down as much as we thought - well done to you all for being quicker than we expected! Don's well designed Yellow course also presented an appropriate challenge to those who have not advanced onto score events yet. The weather was decidedly un-promising on the morning of the event. I had to take shelter during a heavy hail storm during my early control checking and there were reports of snow, rain and hail in other parts of the region. Whilst possibly expecting a few more people with more pleasant conditions, it didn't deter the dedicated orienteers from attending and running to gain points for their club. Five clubs fielded full teams (to represent 12 different classes) and competition was strong. In the end, Southdowns Orienteers realised the highest aggregate score (to retain the winners trophy), with the host club, SLOW, in a close second place. I know that many of the SLOW runners performed duties on the day prior to their runs. I hope that this work did not detract from their performances.

It was good to see overall results appearing at intervals throughout the event and posted up at the excellent event centre that SLOW had borrowed from the local Scout group - this added greatly to the event.

The two points of discussion raised on the day within the organising team: a failed control unit; and an area of clarification for the scoring system (see the results team comments) will have been un-noticed by almost all of the participants. Don replaced the control box before any of the competitors needed to use it (and the computer team accommodated the change smoothly).

There was much discussion prior to the event about the rules of the SE Score championships and the scoring system. It became apparent that there is currently not a consistent set of rules and the respective clubs staging the event each year had put their own interpretation and preferences into the rules used for the particular event. My responsibility as controller was that the competition had to be fair. To be completely fair, the scoring system had to be available to all competitors before they started their run, as variations could effect their approach to route choice and speed. The final scoring system agreed by the organising team prior to the event included a reward element for competitors managing to visit all the controls within the time, with more points for each minute within the 60 minute deadline. In the event, this reward element wasn't publicised outside the organising group, although the computer team (in the best of faith) had incorporated it into their scoring algorithm. An analysis of the on-the-day results by one of the club captains drew attention to the discrepancy and, after consultation with the organiser, the reward element was removed. So, apologies to those few competitors who saw more points on their download printouts than they now see in the published results (and practically speaking, more points than they should've expected given the published scoring system). In the interest of overall fairness, we had to remove the "All within time" premium. The computer system scoring algorithm was revised on the day extremely quickly (well done to Gavin, and apologies to him for the extra work) and confirmation was received that this minor aspect of the scoring system affected very few people, and the overall team positional results were unaffected.

When I took the controller's job on, I was told that I would be working with a novice planner and a novice organiser. Whilst Don and Sarah received support from the vastly experienced members of SLOW, I have to pay tribute to both of them for their very thorough and well thought out work, making this event one of the easiest controlling tasks that I've undertaken. Novices no more, they have shown themselves to be valuable assets to SLOW's already highly capable band of event planners and organisers - well done to both of them and their supporting cast of helpers from SLOW for presenting us all with a very slick and well run event.

Peter Chapman (SO)

Organiser's Comments:

There were no major problems from my perspective, thanks to all SLOW (and one HH) helpers who all did excellent jobs and made my role very easy. I also received a lot of support and advice prior to the event which was helpful. I hope all the competitors had an enjoyable run and those of you with young families managed ok with the distance between car parking and the event centre. Well done to the winners Southdowns Orienteers.

Items of lost property which I am currently aware of are a blue glove, a blue quilted top and a mobile phone (handed in at a road crossing) please email me on or phone on 07881 587019 if you own any of these.

Sarah Covey-Crump

Philip Gristwood would like to thank the lady who spent several minutes helping search for his specs, and finding them, between controls 19 and 34.

Results Team Comments:

Everything seemed to go according to plan and there were never any major delays at either registration/upload or download.

We did, however, have three small glitches:

The computer tries to work out the optimum selection for the team result. I hope it got it right! I have tweaked the calculation to include faster runners on tied scores. Ed is back in the team list!

By the way the results for the last time SLOW ran this event, back in 2002, are here.

Gavin Andrews, SLOW