These are FINAL results.
Quotes overheard at the Finish:
“What a good course", "I really enjoyed that", “Hope the JK will be as good”
Such comments make all the hard work seem worthwhile. So, once again, LOK has staged a successful event and on behalf of all of the competitors, I wish to thank them for their time and efforts. It has been a pleasure to work with the club over the last months.
Holmbury is an excellent area and one of my own local favourites. I believe that Ronan and Julie Cleary made good use of the area and planned some excellent courses. They managed to take lots of courses into the very best parts and to give you the opportunity to run straight through some wonderful forest at the best time of the year. We suffered from 3 controls being moved in the minutes before the first starts, and, although, rapidly replaced, a few competitors did lose time – my apologies to them.
Neil Brooks always seemed to have everything well organised and our thanks are due to him, his team leaders and all helpers. I believe that having the start, finish and car park all relatively close together worked well. Unfortunately, linear parking on the forest road was the only option and was always going to mean longer walks for some. In particular, my thanks are due to Glen Jones and his helpers - there always seemed to be an atmosphere of calm efficiency surrounding the computers.
Congratulations to the winners and I hope that all competitors enjoyed the day.
Tim Pugh (GO)
Planning an event on the same day as the Oscars ceremony doesn’t mean that this is simply an acceptance speech with “thank you, thank you, thank you”!
With only 51 weeks elapsed since the last Holmbury Regional (originally this event was scheduled for Leith Hill but we offered that area to the South East for the JK), we felt that the courses needed to be quite different. So we decided to go down the route of middle distance planning, with lots of controls to keep you off the tracks as much as possible and to make you concentrate technically throughout your races. The overwhelming majority of comments we received were conscious of this style and complimentary, so we achieved our objective. Using the area of the hill fort (south-east) does reduce the option for longer route choice legs but at least did take some of you into a part of the wood not used for years – hopefully you felt the trade-off was worth it.
The publication of control descriptions along with the start location on the web meant that some people were able to work out the general flow of the courses (and, in some cases, actual control placings) in advance. Maybe some discussion is needed about changing the current system and in future only having these available at the start?
Certainly, the BOF recommended course ratios/distances for the older classes appear to need to be reviewed. The conditions on Sunday were ideal: fast open woods (recent frosts having brought the bracken down) and ideal weather meant that the M21L winning time – on which all else is based – was spot on but many “veterans” are whizzing around courses faster than expected.
The ideal conditions did unfortunately lead to more mountain bikers and walkers being on the area and there was some vandalism after controls were hung and checked on Sunday morning. Fortunately we noticed the moved controls on the junior courses in time but our apologies to a very small number of early starters who lost time at control 170 (including Phil Basford and Paul Wallace-Stock – to whom we are grateful for so promptly reporting the situation) before we got the unit back in place.
Many of you commented positively on the quality of the map. In 2005, the existing map was updated in corridors and control areas for the World Cup races: LOK then decided to use Stirling Surveys to fully update the map for the 2007 Regional. That map was still perfectly usable for our event and although we will need to keep an eye on the thickets and the continued forestry work the Klubb was justified in spending a substantial amount of money two years ago.
Despite our opening statement, there are a few thank-yous we need to add:
* to our Controller: it was a pleasure to work with Tim due to his thorough approach and his attention to detail, all of which was delivered with a light touch. We know he enjoyed being out on Holmbury as much as we did.
* to Frank Martindale who came over from Ireland to act as Planners’ assistant for the weekend and to Charles Spence who helped hang controls on Sunday morning – the stunning sunrise and beautiful woods made the early start bearable.
* to the group of Lokkies who helped collect controls after the event: we managed to pack the last box into the car five minutes before the rain started
* and to all of you who took time on the day and since to comment on the courses. Feedback is always worthwhile and will be remembered during our next planning project. From the comments we received we gather you very much enjoyed the event.
Ronan & Julie Cleary
With pre-entries up almost 40% on the same event last year, I can only assume everyone was hoping for a repeat of last years weather ……. sorry if you were disappointed ! The downside of such ideal weather was that it made Holmbury so much busier with mountain bikers, and probably led to the number of vandalised controls we experienced this year.
I know some of you will have been disappointed to turn-up to find that it was only the short courses that were still available - all I can say is that the flyer and web site did say that EOD was ‘subject to availability’, and the web site did give an update on a daily basis over the last few days. With so few spares we were taking email ‘bookings’ as late as 21:00 the previous evening (ignoring the text at 10:45 on the day asking about availability).
We had 300 cars through the gates (proceeds to The Holmbury Friends), and it all seemed to work out, with no reports of cars getting stuck in either the mud or between parked cars.
Yet again our friends from Peaslake School keep you all fed well, and I hope you’ll seek them out at the Leith Hill JK event.
As for lost property …. I have just a child’s (12ish) black/grey Haglof top with sky-blue RonHill top inside …. and the obligatory orange whistle!
Finally, our thanks to Mark Beaumont, ranger for Hurtwood Control, for allowing us use of such an excellent area.
If you wish to provide any feedback ……..
Neil Brooks firstname.lastname@example.org
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