I must be a jinx for HAVOC because the last time I controlled a HAVOC event there was a blizzard on the day and we spent a lot of time trying to spot white tape against the snow whilst laying the controls - this time you experienced the poor weather for yourselves. The White and Yellow courses had to be replanned shortly before the event after we found 2 feet of water at a track/path junction not too far from the finish.
HAVOC is a small club and the dedicated band of determined helpers that make things happen is even smaller than most other clubs; that said ,what HAVOC lack in quantity they make up for in quantity and in spades. The weather didn't do us any favours but the huge majority of you still finished with smiles on your faces and justifiable praise for the quality of Brian's courses on an area, which like many in the SE, significantly limits planning flexibility. A couple of you remarked about the dead running between controls 12 and 14 on the Blue course - this was, in my view, an acceptable compromise to get you up to the best bits of the area.
Brian, did a great job in giving you route choices that encouraged you to run
straight and he spent many hours remapping the area to ensure you were able to
make informed route choices.
Thanks to HAVOC for a really well planned and organised event.
If you have any comments on the event or the courses or the events please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Firstly, thank you to everyone for turning out in such poor weather conditions and for making the months of preparation worthwhile. It was a pity that you didnít get to enjoy Saturdayís weather instead. Secondly, I appreciated the comments that I received personally about the courses, especially regarding the Short Green course.
Unfortunately the underfoot conditions were not good after a very wet winter and last minute changes were made to the White and Yellow courses to avoid the SE corner of Chingford Plain that kept flooding. On the Short Green course advice was given to competitors to avoid a potentially tricky stream crossing.
My aim was to take courses through the nicer, more runnable parts of Epping SW and keep you off the main rides as much as possible. This also minimised the possibility of conflicts with horses and their riders, who are generally constrained to keep to the main rides at present. As you will appreciate, the Epping Forest conservators have embarked on an extensive holly thinning and pollarding activity which is progressively opening up more of this part of the forest, which will be good for orienteering (if a little nerve wracking in the run up to the event). We were fortunate that none of the control sites were put out of use as a result of their ongoing activities, although one knoll had been clipped by a forestry vehicle.
Congratulations to the course winners who made light of the conditions. I hope you all enjoyed the challenge and managed to dry off and warm up quickly afterwards.
Finally, my special thanks go to Mike Edwards (Controller) for all his support; Janet Biggs for preparing the junior course map packs for the event; Tony Biggs for SI equipment collection, pre-event preparation and results system management; Graham Batty for helping put out SI boxes on the day and with other HAVOC stalwarts collecting in all the controls at the end; Paul Beckett for marshalling the HAVOC team to keep the event rolling on the day; and my family for keeping me going.