Yvette Baker Trophy, Gravetye Manor

The YBT Team
The YBT Team
Last updated: Thu 4 Apr 2024

Wow, what an achievement! Our DFOK junior team all performed superbly to ensure Team DFOK qualified for the National Final of UK Orienteering's most prestigious junior competition - The Yvette Baker Trophy to be held 7 July at Northaw Woods near Potters Bar.

After failing to take part last year we were determined to get a team together this year especially as it was Maddy Pitcher’s last year as a junior! Maddy was therefore first name down on the team sheet on Lt Green along with Luke to run Green. We had a bit of a setback when we found Jake was unable to compete because of rehearsing Billy Elliot on the day! Isla and Menna were quickly added to the team, competing together as a pair on Yellow and venturing into the forest for the first time without parents, followed by Joseph on Yellow, also venturing out for the first time on his own.

That gave us four, but then Adam, Vadim and Tomaz signed up for the Light Green to make us up to seven and we were all set for the big day until, (big moment), Andy Pitcher spotted it perhaps wasn’t the greatest idea to have 3 of our boys running together on Light Green against one of the MV stars! Adam was quickly swapped onto Orange, he would be up against two MV M18’s but we knew he was the boy for the job!

The day of the event was wet and very very muddy! The older juniors were taking everything in their stride but there were some very nervous faces amongst the younger ones!

First runner back, greeted and cheered in by an enthusiastic crowd of DFOK supporters was Adam finishing the Orange course in a time of 29’28 and most importantly beating both the MV M18’s to bring us home our first 100 points! Great stuff Adam!

Close behind, our trump card Luke stormed into the finish to post a time of 32’10, first place out of everyone on Green (not just the Yvette Baker competitors) to bank us another 100 points. Just two minutes later, Maddy finished with a time of 39’38 to take 100 points on Light Green! Things were looking good.

Joseph was next finisher on the Yellow course arriving with just one shoe on having lost one in the mud! His time of 57’57 was good enough for third place on the Yellow course and 98 points. At the time we didn’t think we would need those points but later developments meant that they would prove crucial. Isla and Menna finished happily together having had great fun finding all the controls as well as the deepest and muddiest puddles!

Final finishers were Vadim and Tomas on the Light Green course. Tomas arrived first having overtaken Tomas in the forest with a storming time of 48’51 but unfortunately he mispunched #15. Vadim followed in to take second place and another 99 points.

That clinched it for us and we were on our way to the national final, but the following day we heard MV had launched a complaint that Maddy was ineligible to run Lt Green as she had finished within 125% of the winner at a previous YBT final! Fortunately, this meant Joseph’s points counted for us and we finished level with MV, with both teams going forwards to the final on 7 July at Northaw Prov. We really need to field as strong a team as possible so hopefully all our juniors will be there.