CompassSport Cup 2020

Club members performed exceptionally well at the inter club CompassSport Cup competition at Hampstead Heath on 15th March across all ages groupings, males, females and juniors. We came 2nd of the 6 clubs competing for the Trophy. Particularly impressive results were achieved by our juniors with both Madeline Pitcher (W14-) and Maxime Pesenti (M18-) achieving the maximum 100 points and Vadim Pesenti (M14-) achieving 98 points. Thanks to Club Captain Antoine Pesenti for mustering up a strong team. 2nd is our highest place for many years. Let’s see if we can go one better next year and make it to the finals.

British Night Championships 2020

Saturday 22 February 2020 saw three club members head to the British Night Championships at Hambleden Estate, near Henley on Thames. The area comprised lovely runnable beech woodland with a wealth of features

Andrew Pitcher ran up on the M35L course (9.8km and 345m of climb) and came a creditable 9th in 105:49.

Neil Speers ran the M50S course (5.7km and 210m climb) and came 1st in 60:18.

David LeFevre ran the M60S course (4.7km and 140m climb) and came 3rd in 87:05.

Grove Park KNC Notes

If anybody managed to lose a receipt for 'The Gallery' and would like it back please contact Neil Speers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thanks to all who came to my first planned event at Grove Park.  It wasn't without its difficulties and apologies to all for the slightly late start.  This was caused by a couple of factors - there were new building works on one of the footpaths over the railway to the east of 64.  The path was open a couple of nights ago!  I spent some time investigating if the control could be re-sited, but in the end opted to remove it from the course.  This also meant that the northern route over the railway was no longer available and the only one to the west was now at Grove Park station.  After 20 minutes of investigating along that path and then returning to my car there had also been an accident on Baring Road  - shutting the road and causing a traffic jam at Grove Park which took me another 20 minutes to get through.  So, that left me with no time to get to registration before the start.  Sorry for that.

I wanted to utilise all the footpaths and woods in the area, and originally had all the controls "off road".  However, a couple of the parks are locked at night, so I had to move things around quite a bit.  We then mapped the area, and probably the street map format wasn't the best - it perhaps wasn't adequate to show woods, fields and where short cuts could and couldn't be taken.  It left too much to chance for people not knowing what a white space really was.  Perhaps a hybrid map would have been better.  I guess planning on OpenOrienteering and then transposing to a street map isn't the best.

I wanted to make the course a challenge for everyone and to make it pretty impossible for anyone to get all the controls in the hour.  I think the optimal route was about 14km, but there a quite a few contours in that, and to be fair I have looked at many different routes, and even after a few weeks I haven't worked out potentially the best route round!

I wanted a fair amount of route choice so decided early on to make the course with no obvious route round all the controls.  The southern wooded areas had more of a density of controls, and they were a bit more spaced out in the streets to the north.  Controls 60 to 61 I planned so there was a route choice - flatter to the north but hillier to the south.  Although there was the detour to 62 on the south as well...

In the end the winner got to 16 of the 19 controls, with a few minutes to spare, so I think I got the control distribution about right.

Hope you had an enjoyable run anyway,


Control 74

When collecting control 74 which was on the Blue, Short Brown and Brown courses, a detailed analysis was done of its position and it was concluded that although it was the only large depression in the area it was located approximately 50m NW of where it was shown on the map. The Organiser has evaluated the various time losses by competitors on the leg from 73 to 74 and has concluded that the race results have been significantly affected by this error. The Organiser looked at the times for the legs from 74 to 78, and from 74 to 82, and has not identified any similar trends. The Organiser has decided to void the leg from 73 to 74, but not to void the legs from 74 to 78, nor 74 to 82. The Controller agrees with the Organiser’s assessment and conclusion.  The results have been adjusted to remove the leg from 73 to 74. We apologise for the understandable frustration that this has caused some competitors.

Organiser's Comments

Thank you for coming to today’s event. The sunshine was most welcome but did mean that the general public were also out in large numbers with parking places anywhere nearby snapped up immediately and long queues at times at the cafe at Shorne.

It was a long walk to and from the competition area necessitated by the absence of sufficient parking nearby. The use of the farmyard seems to have been well received by those eligible for priority parking and I think helped to mitigate the effects for some of you. The benefits of Shorne are the hard standing parking at this time of year close to an A road and access to the Visitor Centre facilities. I hope you all feel that on balance these more than compensate for the extra walking time.

We had only 10 EODs. I would like to thank everyone who was able to enter online up until midnight on Friday. It saves us time and effort at the event, even if you entered in the last two hours (as 10 of you did!) and saves you £2 if you are fairly sure that you will come. Refunds (minus a fee for fabian4 charges) have been made to those who were not able to attend and notified me by Friday evening. It is likely that DFOK will continue with these pricing and refund arrangements for our annual Level B event, and also our early bird entry fee which some of you took advantage of.

I am sure that we are all grateful to the many DFOK members and our Controller who contributed:

Neil Speers and Andrew Pitcher (map updating/map printing coordination)
Neill Wates for a huge amount of time planning courses to seek to use the area well
Sheralee Bailey (assistant organiser)
Paul Beckett (HAVOC) for his constructive comments throughout
Allison Page, Isobel Harrington and Naomi Drewitt (enquiries and EOD)
Philip Craven, Anna Collier and Dave Collier (computers, and download and results)
Dave Cave-Ayland and Geoff Goodwin (parking at Lodge Farm)
David Dawson, Mark and Julie Collins, Richard Bostock and Ian Catchpole (start)
Rod Harrington and Dave Lobley (manned finish)
Antoine, Maxime and Vadim Pesenti (maze, although the ground was too waterlogged)
Ruby Gisby, Madeleine Pitcher, Andrew Pitcher, Julie Lobley, Keith Parkes (collection)

Thank you everyone for making things go so smoothly today.

Andrew Evans

Controller’s Comments

The remote start and finish created complications for the organisation team which were well managed by the DFOK helpers.  The fine weather made the long walk easier and the extra car park near the start for the older and younger groups was appreciated and well used.  Last minute road works and some recent storm damage were also managed efficiently.  Neill Wates’ courses made good use of the western half with some longer route choice legs on the eastern half where the brambles were fiercer.  The long path run route choice leg 86-83 on Brown and Short Brown was intended to have a direct route option until permission to cross the field was withdrawn at the last minute.  Our findings concerning the location of control site 74 on the ground and on the map are discussed elsewhere.  I hope that its incorrect map location did not spoil your enjoyment of a challenging area on a fine winter’s day.

Paul Beckett


Planner's Comments

The size of the map gave quite a lot choice for planning the courses, but also meant a lot of time walking/jogging round checking the control sites.

The map was split in to two with the more runnable partly open area with many features in the National Trust area to the west, and the more brambly dense woodland and farmland to the Ranscombe area to the east. The Ranscombe area was limited to the longer Blue and Brown courses to make up the extra distance.

The courses needed some revisions from armchair planning to the final courses. This was due to issues such as relocating the finish as close as possible to the clothing dump and identifying that the fence running around the National Trust land needed to be uncrossable.

There were a few minor discrepancies on the map such as a fence which was picked up on the morning of the event running east to west between control 1 and 2 on a number of courses which was not marked on the map. I hope this didnt throw too many people off track.

I hope the courses were enjoyed by most orienteers, and a lovely sunny day to go with it.

Neill Wates