Event: Westerham Chart, Sussex

Westerham Chart Regional Event (DFOK) on Sunday 7th December 2003
121203_1619detail.jpgLast weekend I was at a district event near Westerham – a very attractive village in the
North Downs just south of London. Just south of Westerham is Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s country estate. A prominent statue of the leader lies on Westerham village green.

The orienteering itself ranged from the mediocre to the superb. I had a pretty slow race, this was because several times during the race I stopped to let people that were following me around, get ahead. There’s few things worse in an orienteering event than people following in your footsteps, while you do the thinking. Orienteering is, by design, a rather unsociable sport, and the best performances can happen when there’s no one else out on the course. Any
advantage gained by spotting competitors around control points is normally more than compensated by minutes wasted being distracted by people on other courses, running in all directions.

The map was in several sections, interrupted by various country lanes. The start and finish area was in a superbly technical section, with a melee of paths and vegetation changes guaranteed. It was a shame this area wasn’t used more for the longer courses. The middle section was running around (not through!) a hugely intimidating area of inpenetrable forest, or “dark green” in orienteering lingo. The extract below shows one such bit of green horror. This was followed by a fast but unmemorable section along flat, easy paths and clear forests, returning through an interesting, very physical section, sadly also underused, to the intricate section for the end.

131203_1618green.jpgIn all, it was a slow performance by myself, mainly because I was trying to improve my technical skill (tough to do with others following) but also because of a nasty chest cold I’ve been suffering from a lot recently (no, parents, I’m not dying, just very unfit.) The weather was great for orienteering – very cold and frosty, but sunny.

My result: Brown, 7.7km – 75.02 (9.7 mins/km). The results page is here.

This weekend I’m taking a rest from orienteering, but I’m hoping to compete in a final event next Sunday in Southern England, before heading back up to Scotland for a Christmas break.

London Prints

4 Comments

  1. 1 August 2004
    Reply

    Ahh, Chartwell. I spent countless days of my childhood wandering that house and garden. It also did the best ice-cream in the world. And Westerham is a beautiful village. It’s got a fantastic old book store you can just get lost in for hours, even though it’s tiny. And, of course, it was the home village of General Woolf. How can you mention Westerham and not mention that greatest of soldiers?

  2. Carlos Fernandez Lence
    13 September 2004
    Reply

    (What’s URI?)

    Hi I would like to taste orienteering. Never done it.
    I’m in good fit and I think I know how to read a map so I would like to try. I live in Horsham west sussex. What should I do to do orienteering

    Thank you
    Carlos

  3. 14 September 2004
    Reply

    Hi Carlos,

    A URI is a link to a website, if you have one.
    As for starting orienteering, the best way to start is to contact your local club. I think the local one for west sussex will be Southdowns Orienteers, try going to http://homepage.ntlworld.com/robinsmith/ or contacting one of the people at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/robinsmith/officials.htm

    For orienteering itself, you need a pair of study running shoes (spikes are best), light clothes with full leg cover, and a compass. Maps are provided at the event and you can hire an electronic “dibber” to record your split times. Good luck!

  4. Perry
    25 May 2005
    Reply

    estoy siguiendo tus pasos en las carreras de orientacion por internet en la pagina que publica el club en el que corres. el otru dia tuve en porcia, estaba muy guapo. un saludo del perry.

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