Octavian Droober orienteers travelled to the favourite annual November Classic in the New Forest organised by Southampton Orienteers on Sunday and many also competed in the Salisbury City Orienteering Urban race on the previous day. The city race, organised by Sarum Orienteering Club, saw competitors having to make difficult decisions over route choices particularly through school grounds that had routes barred by closed gates and at bridges and underpasses of roads and railways.  Many entrants were clocking up nearly twice the specified course distance to find the control points.

Top club runner was junior Alfie Bullus M16 who had a great run coming 1st on the 3km course finding 23 controls in 19.09mins. Also at the Salisbury event Mike Hampton M70 was 5th in 44.48mins and Keith Willdig M65 8th in 46.20mins on the Ultra Vet Men 4.2km course. Chris McCartney M45 was 8th in 52.09mins on the 6.4km Veteran Men course and Club Chairman Barry Elkington M60 was 10th on the Super Vet Men 5.5km course in 49.52mins.

Fortunately, the rain held off until after the 49th annual New Forest event at Fritham, but a very cold wind blew hard across the open heathland and through the deciduous trees. Competitors had to cross streams too but the free roaming herds of deer, shetland ponies, donkeys, pigs and cows all added interest for the 1000 plus entrants.

Congratulations to our two youngest competitors who both won their races: Tilly Flippance who won the W10B course in 22.42mins and Max Straube-Roth who took 26.45mins on the M10B course. Hilary Simpson was 1st on the W75 course in 57.56mins and Anne Straube was 2nd in 1.01.19mins on the W40L course. On their respective courses 3rd places were won by Bruce Bryant M55S 46.17mins, Oliver Lunn M16A 50.45mins, Lesley Ross W50L 53.38mins, Sue Hallett W70L 1.07.39mins and Ben Flippance M35S 1.21.03mins. Oliver Flippance M16A was 4th in 54.21mins, as was Trevor Simpson M75L 1.06.59mins and Sophie Kirk W21E 1.17.02mins.  Barry Elkington M60L was 5th in 53.35mins.

At the Bury Ditches event in Shropshire, Wrekin Orienteers organised the West Midlands League event and competitors could view the ancient iron age fort on the summit. Nathan Chapple M14 was top club competitor winning the Light Green 3.39km course in 56.57mins. Stan Alexander M60 was 7th in 95.45mins on the Blue 6.49km course with 280 metres of climb as was Sheila Carey W70 in 72.21mins on the Green 4.58km course with 170 metres of climb.

8th Nov 2016

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