Chalkney WoodsSun 7 Nov

ESSOL

Regional level event

Explanation of Event levels

Local events are usually low key and in the 'localised' area, ideal for newcomers to try the sport and Training events are non competitive and used for training and coaching, aimed at members of the club, but they can attract people from neighbouring clubs, and are often ideal for newcomers to try the sport. Regional events attract participants from around the local Region, National events are high quality competitions that will attract people from far away, Major events are Major Events such as a British Championships.

Terrain type: Woodland

Results

Report

Officials' Comments

Organiser: Jeff Patteson, Jeffrey.patteson@sky.com

I must firstly thank all of the club members who volunteered on Sunday to fill all of the roles and performed them wonderfully. I cannot overstate as an organiser how much of a relief it is to see the offers of assistance come in and all of the core roles be filled. Thank you all!

I must admit that organising this event has, as is so often the case, come with a few challenges along the way. The most inconvenient being my own illness, which meant that I was unable to be physically present on Sunday. I would like to thank Jane, Amelie and Julie for taking over the on-site co-ordination in my absence.

Having the use of Lamberts Farm is a massive advantage, affording us a dry room, electricity, water, toilets and ample parking. Our thanks go to Sally Lambert for allowing us to use her farm and for continuing to support our events in Chalkney Woods.

This was JP’s first time as planner for a full regional event. I know from my conversations with JP that he put a huge amount of effort in to developing the courses. This effort has resulted in courses that were interesting and presented some challenge. Despite not being there I have still been fortunate enough to have several competitors feedback to me how much they enjoyed the event.

This event saw the welcome return of the SOS Juniors Cake Stall. I know that this has been missed by many as there is often nothing better than a hot drink and slice of cake to reward a good run or boost the sprits after a not so hot one. Luckily a couple of slices made their way home….. they certainly made me feel better.

Planner: JP Carraud (SOS)

This was my first venture into the world of planning an Orienteering event on behalf of Essex Stragglers Orienteering Society (SOS), it came with some trepidation and nervousness having volunteered to take it on. My main concern was doing the event justice and ensure the courses met competitors’ expectations, particularly as this was a regional and that Chalkney was one of the smaller areas in SOS’s portfolio.

Map

The map for Chalkney Woods, like most others, had not been updated for some time and therefore both Kevin and Eddie visited and inspected the area for obvious changes and also incorporated any observations also made by the Controller (John) and the Planner (myself/JP). Main Changes made to the map reflected the concentration of growth and intensity and runnability of the woods. This is after all a working wood worked by both the Forestry Commission and Essex Council.

Planning

Thoughts turned to the time of year, possible weather conditions, vegetation and shortness of daylight hours with which to work. Vegetation growth was still high in October and leaves had yet to fall when planning and inspection started. Judgment had to be made on what would be visible and runnable; and what was to be reflected in the map.

Course planning started with reading up on BOF’s guidance on course lengths, maximum distances between control points, etc. I started with looking at the Start and Finish to fit in with Junior White and Yellow courses and the built up from those. I made an early decision to place the Finish at the entrance and exit nearest the Farm where the event centre was located along with carparking.

The Junior courses were quickly established but the more experienced longer courses took 3 – 4 reiterations to try and provide diversity and challenge. The final course layouts came about with the need to reduce the amount of control boxes in use to take account of the number of boxes with little battery life left and to ease the workload on setting out. This does not seem to have affected the diversity and challenge whilst still allowing for reasonable course distances.

Course Equipment

Several Control Boxes are showing low battery life and were excluded from use.

Setting Up

Some controls were found to have been tampered with having set them out the day before the event. One was smashed and another had had it’s top pulled off. Many of the Controls along obvious paths had been grippled which prove to have been needed with clear evidence of having been pulled from their seated locations. The day it self however no actual Control boxes were lost and all kit collected in.

Event Day

Having also helped with setting up the Start and Finish waited at the Finish to meet the first round of competitors to check that all control boxes were in place and active.

Conclusion

It was joyful relieve as competitors started to come back from their courses in and around the times speculated for the distances and with no reports of missing, damaged and/or in active control boxes.

I did receive some nice comments regarding the diversity of control points and that the courses did not dog leg and/or go back on themselves; and that the larger courses offered wide route choices and bearings through runnable terrain.

Very much relieved that the event seemed to go well and that the competitors enjoyed the challenges.

Thanks

The SOS team once again pulled together to ensure that this event came together. Jeff did such a thorough job with his organising, that despite not being able to make it on the day. Others were able to pick up what was needed to be done and get on with it.

I must thank John Collyer (Controller) in particular for his patience and advice. John has extensive knowledge of planning and controlling events and took his time to work with me to ensure that the courses met with the standards required to host a regional competition. Much appreciated John.

Controller – John Collyer (SOS)

Chalkney is a delightful "bijou" Wood, with the Forestry Commission area to the east developing into mostly very runnable terrain. The NE part of which was partly clear felled several years ago, matures well and should soon have features more mappable than the semi-open block at present. The Essex Council area remains an ever changing area of coppicing.

With Jeffrey suffering seasonal impediments, Jane stepped in with quiet efficiency, helped by the regular SOS gang of helpers. From my point of view, everything worked smoothly.

JP rose to the challenge of planning his first event with his usual thoroughness and willingness to adapt to the occasion.

Last updated: Thu 09 December, 2021

Location Info

Near: Colchester
Lat,Lng: 51.91116,0.72836
OS Grid Ref: TL877271
Postcode: CO6 1AP
What3Words: ///pounds.presented.trout

Open an interactive map in:
GoogleMap - OpenStreetMap - BingMap (OS 50k)

Directions / Parking

Chalkney Woods, Lamberts Farm, Lamberts Lane, Great Tey, CO6 1AP

O signposted from B1024 (A120 to Earls Colne), A1124 (Halstead to Colchester) & Chappel Road, Great Tey

Car parking is limited – please car share if possible. Car park charge £1 (please have change ready)

Please contact the organiser if you are bringing a coach or other large vehicle.

Map / Terrain

Mature mixed woodland.
1:7,500, 5m contours, printed on waterproof paper.
The various Out of Bounds areas MUST be respected to ensure continued use of the woods.

Course Information

Colour Coded White to Blue. SPORTident electronic punching will be used – SIAC NOT enabled.

Entry Details

Start between 10.30 to 12.30. Start times will be allocated in blocks.

Please arrive at the event centre at least 30 minutes before your start time, as there is a 1km ~15 minute taped walk along a very quiet country lane to the Start. Please follow marshalls’ instructions at the Start. Juniors should be accompanied from the event centre to the start.

Courses close at 14:30 - you must report to the download point by 14:45. You must report to download even if you retire to ensure all participants are accounted for. Download is located at the event centre.

Registration and Start times

In order to reduce transmission of Covid-19 and to protect our volunteers, we strongly request that you pre-enter using Fabian-4

Entry on day only available by contacting Organiser via email before 7 a.m. on day of event to state your intention of entering on the day.

Start between 10.30 to 12.30. Start times will be allocated in blocks.

Please arrive at the event centre at least 30 minutes before your start time, as there is a 1km ~15 minute taped walk along a very quiet country lane to the Start. Please follow marshalls’ instructions at the Start. Juniors should be accompanied from the event centre to the start.

Courses close at 14:30 - you must report to the download point by 14:45. You must report to download even if you retire to ensure all participants are accounted for. Download is located at the event centre.

Facilities

Guidance for beginners available from the Enquiries point.
Refreshments available from onsite cake stall. Funds raised are used to support the activities of the SOS Juniors. If possible please bring your own cup as we have limited numbers and need to limit the opportunity for potential COVID transmission.
Toilets are located near car park – you are requested to wear a mask using these facilities.

Contacts / Officials

Organiser – Jeff Patteson Jeffrey.patteson@sky.com M:07805076011
Planner – JP Carraud (SOS)
Controller – John Collyer (SOS)

Nearest A&E Hospital

NHS Urgent care search

Safety Notes

First Aid will be available at the Enquiries Point

If you have a medical condition that we need to know about please download, print, and complete a medical form. Place it in a sealed envelope with your name clearly on the outside. Hand this to the Enquiries point in the assembly area where the First Aiders will keep it in confidence for the duration of the event; to be collected unopened at the end of the event. Download the Form here.