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Manchester and District Orienteering Club

British Night Championships at Watergrove
Saturday February 19th 2005

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Last updated: February 24th, 2005


Splits by course

Course 1M21L 
Course 2M20L M35L M40L 
Course 3M18L M45L 
Course 4M50L M21SW21L
Course 5M16A M55L M35SW20L W35L
Course 6M60L M40SW40L
Course 7M65L M45SW18L W45L
Course 8M70L M50S M55SW16A W21S W35S W50L W55L
Course 9 W60L W65L W70L W40S W45S W50S W55S

Badge Times

Note: badge times have not yet been published because of uncertainty over their status. If you are interested, please check back here in a couple of weeks when we hope to be able to provide them.

Planner's Comments

I trust that all of you who remember the 2000 Harvester at Watergrove had a much more pleasant experience this time. Standing on the hill and watching the steady progress of lights around the bowl made all the effort worthwhile. It hadn't seemed quite so good 30 minutes before the first start when we discovered 10 of the control boxes had failed. The beauty of working with the MDOC team though was demonstrated by the rapidity with which boxes were reprogrammed. It was still the planner though who had to get them out there. No-ones run seems to have been affected by this, fortunately.

We were very lucky with the weather and although some of the winning times were a few minutes under ideal, this would have been different without moonlight or with mist and rain. A lot of people made very positive comments on the courses which were much appreciated. The area is quite easy in daylight but more of a challenge at night with direct routes often the best option.

Thanks to Jonathan for his input to the courses and map initially and to Dan and Karen for taking over (seamlessly) at a late stage. I felt well supported. Thanks to all the MDOC technical support and to all who braved the night again to help collect controls.

I look forward to being a competitor again next year.

Tim Martland

Controller's Comments

In October, an opportunity arose for another trip back to see family in Todmorden. I was fortunate enough to secure further mapping work with GMOA during this period, and this in turn lead to a request from MDOC to update sections of Watergrove for the Night Championships. The excellent map produced by John Armstrong for the 2000 Harvester needed a couple of days work to reflect recent changes. I made use of the original photo plot & used it to pull out some features not previously mapped quite in the same way. Often this meant exaggerating some features & occasionally smoothing out others, particularly where they would appear less significant at night. There were also, of course, new paths & changes in vegetation to update.

Around this time, a few frantic messages were being put around on the email for a Night Champs Controller. It seemed obvious that with my experience of controlling the 2000 Harvester at Watergrove, close proximity to the competition area for the months of November & December, & a lack of other options for the club that I should volunteer for the task of checking courses, particularly as I was doing a survey of the area. And so it was decided that I would control the pre-competition day stuff if MDOC sought someone to do the control site checking at the event - enter Dan & Karen Parker. Not an ideal scenario for anyone but one which hopefully did the trick in the end.

I was pleased to learn that Tim Martland had been appointed planner. He has considerable experience & he had already set about planning work without knowing whether a controller may come in late & want to change things. At the Harvester event, the 'bowl' of Watergrove was to have been used to provide a spectator element - with virtually all areas being visible from Assembly - had it not been for poor weather & visibility. This approach also had the benefit of giving more efficient Search & Rescue, if called upon. Tim was thinking on similar lines. He used the Harvester night courses to work out course lengths with appropriate estimated winning times. His courses made good use of the terrain, linking detailed areas by interesting cross-over loops and including some longer route choice legs. There were also legs which were fast & relatively straight forward mixed with tricky legs to test the competitor to the full.

So all in all, with Tim and Sue Birkinshaw, who is probably the most experienced & proficient major event organiser in the country, I trust all went well. Back in Brisbane, as I was up at 4am to support my partner, Thor, in her first Bribie Island Triathlon, I did wonder how it all was going.

Jonathan Sutcliffe, PFO

We were only controllers for the event once the original controller went to Australia (as arranged, not as a result of working with MDOC), so can claim no involvement at all in Tim's excellent courses. These seem to have been appreciated by everyone we spoke to.

Thanks also to Sue - although in terms of numbers a night event is small, the darkness makes everything much harder to get right.

As I (Karen) stood at the finish watching the lights spread out all over the hillside and hearing the obvious enjoyment of competitors, I almost reconsidered my decision of 12 years ago never to do another night event.

Karen and Dan Parker

Organiser's comments

At last - a clear night at Watergrove with an amazing pattern of lights moving round the hillside. It was almost a pleasure to work rather than run, but I think I would have enjoyed the experience of night-O in the moonlight, with frost underfoot. I hope YOU did.

A brief explanation is required of the group watching TV in the corner of the clubhouse. I had arranged, many months ago, to use the clubhouse, so you can imagine my surprise when I arrived in the afternoon and found this group of sailboarders who were having a training weekend. Neither they nor we had any idea that the others were coming. So we just got on with it. It seemed to work out all right, except that it was a bit more crowded than I would have liked.

Non-runners' maps

If anyone who didn't run would like their map, please phone me (0161 980 5068) or e-mail

Short Course winners

I have Outdoor Show complimentary tickets for Short Course winners, not all of whom stayed for the prizegiving. Please contact me if you would like one.

Lost property

We found a light grey Nike hat.


Our thanks to United Utilities for allowing us to orienteer at Watergrove, and for the help they gave us with the event, and to the West Pennine Sailboard Club for letting us use all the facilities of their clubhouse.

Thanks also to the small group of MDOC members who either got extremely cold and then tried to run, or who just came along to work. And especial thanks to Tim for months of planning, and to Karen and Dan who offered to help on the day when nobody, not even BOF Officers, could find us a controller. It would have been sad to have had to cancel the event for lack of a controller.

Sue Birkinshaw