Please see below and the attachments for the WNL current standings and comments on the recent events compiled by Gavin Clegg. Note the next event is BADO at Oakley Monday 20th November 2017. See BADO website for details.
A flurry of events recently means we are a quarter of the way through the league. Christmas will soon be here! After 5 races the Open is led by relative newcomer Alan Blanchflower. It is good to see some new names in the top ten with Dane Cope in third and Tereza Rush the leading lady in 5th. In the Handicap Mike Frizzell leads but some of the likely contenders haven't been to many races yet.
WINCHESTER, Wed 8th November
Held at Sir John Moore Barracks and on the surrounding army training area, this was an event that I was keen not to miss due to the 'non-urban' element. There were 34 controls, all worth 10 points, and it was just a straight score (i.e. not 'odds and evens' or similar). Unlike the day event, we could only enter the barracks by the front entrance, meaning there were 3 distinct areas which each had just one or two access points. The tactical decision should have been to take all the controls in the barracks, as this should be comparatively easy both navigationally and underfoot, and then to see how much time you had left. However, I was enticed by the interesting looking woodland and heath land to the North so decided to run that part first. Many of the controls were on the old radio bases and fairly challenging to find in the dark, even if you were just a metre from them! This, and the heath land to the south, provided some fantastic 'night navigation experience', where at certain points I was completely alone and looking for a small rock or post in the dark. At other times, there were several of us searching brashings and trees together to locate a control that 'should be here, shouldn't it, surely?!' A very enjoyable event that was well planned and organised. Becca Ellis.
EASTNEY and MILTON, Thurs 9th November
Another new map from Robin using a double-sided A3 map on 1:4000 scale. Having looked quickly at the map I realised I couldn't get all the control points, so decided to stick to the southern side and hopefully turn over to pick a few extra up if time allowed. I liked the beach features which made for interesting orienteering but generally all went well. The only slight disappointment was one control was on a private house, so when I arrived I spent a little time looking and eventually 4/5 others were there looking around the hedges and fences, I decided to abandon as I was running out of time. In hindsight we probably shouldn't be using a private house as a control site. Having said that it was another great Wessex Night League event using EMIT touchfree.
PS. Next time I print an A3 map back to back, the reverse side will have the roads matching (i.e. turnover on the long edge). Nigel Benham
From Jon Brooke: Thursday 9th of November saw the third Night League event of the week (for some of the keener types), though personally I was only just recovered in time for this one, following the November Classic the previous weekend. Eastney and Milton on the East side of Portsmouth was the venue using a double sided A3 map at 1:4000 - with no overlap, which the planner took full advantage of in order to increase the challenge/confusion for competitors. The area is essentially a mix of older terraced and more modern housing arranged on pointlessly curved roads and cul-de-sacs in the current suburban sprawl style. But with a number of small parks, some big public buildings and quite a bit of foreshore the running was actually quite interesting as the character of the landscape was continually changing. The start/finish was at a community centre on the west side of the southern half of the map and although the controls were a bit more densely packed on this side of the map the northern part had a couple of controls in a bigger, more complex area of parkland that looked like the most fun, so I chose to run in that direction to start with on the assumption that I would have time to get back and do at least some of the southern part. The planner had made good use of some OOB areas and un-crossable fences in order to suck competitors into legs that turned out to be longer than they appeared at first glance and by the time I eventually did get back to the southern side of the map it was clear that the two most northerly (and most interesting looking) controls that I headed for at the beginning would have been the ones to drop in order to increase my score.
Special mention must go to control 157 which had me choosing to run through the only (very small) bit of light green on the map. Overall this was a really fun event which also benefitted from the use of Emit contactless dibbers loaned to SOC for the occasion.
There was a problem with control 151 which Dick Keithley explains below. Judging from the process Dick has had to go through I think we all owe him a beer for being able to reconstruct the results:
These are the re-constructed Night League results for the Avon Heath event. The Scores are, I think, OK, the splits are OK apart from the first 5 competitors where one or two of them are mixed up. I've credited all those who punched 151 with the points, and given Bonuses/Penalties for those who were early and collected all the controls, or who were late, and/or who didn't obey the Odds/Evens rules for this event. As you may have gathered, it turned out that 151 has at some point in the recent past been re-programmed as a Clear station (at the moment I have no idea who did this or why). So the splits you got on the night were all that remained on your dibber after it had been cleared by 151. Following technical advice from Martin Stone of SportidentUK, I've had to use the brand new SiTiming software, which is being introduced shortly as a successor to AutoDownload. This enabled me to re-create the event by doing a fresh setup of the event in SiTiming, importing competitor's names from the original AutoDownload event, and then reading in the contents of all the control boxes plus the Start and Finish. It's taken me all day to do this, I've had, for technical reasons, to sort out Odds/Evens scores by inspection, and I know there are some rough edges, but I'm confident that the League scores are largely correct. Dick Keighley