8/06/2011 2011 Lincolnshire Poacher 9
It seems incredible that we have now finished week 9 of the 2011 Poacher season. I can now drive home after everything has been packed away, after all the controls have been collected and after a meal and some liquid refreshments and it is still daylight. It doesnâ€™t seem two minutes since we needed head torches to collect the controls in the dark.
Pete Kullich, the Poacher mastermind, had planned some good and challenging courses which optimised the quality of the Yarborough woodlands â€“ we are very lucky to be able to run in such high quality woodlands at this time of year. Apart from a couple of controls, Pete also succeeded in avoiding the dreaded nettles, I reckon I could have managed in only one pair of trousers instead of the multiple layers I did have on.
The yellow course was won convincingly by Dom Simmonds over three minutes ahead of Charlotte Williamson, who was a huge 11 seconds ahead of brother Henry.
Itâ€™s great to see so many family battles - was everyone inspired by last weekâ€™s balloons?
Itâ€™s a Jolly sight now at the top of the Yellow leader board with Marsaili ahead of her younger sisters although if Dom can maintain his unbeaten run in the final two weeks, he will finish top of this leader board.
The battle between Sam and Dave (the elder amongst us will remember them for different reasons) was won for the first time this year by pop Dave â€“ oh Sam will you ever be allowed to forget this night!!
Liam Harrington has secured the big prize for the second year running with another win on the Long course. He cannot now be beaten, unless a Stewardâ€™s Enquiry is upheld. Apparently it appears that father Sean has been going out in front of Liam, finding most of the controls, and then going back to the start and leading Liam into the controls. I find this a little far fetched but canâ€™t dispute that it does explain why Liam always starts late and why Sean is always out for a long time.
Assuming that it is not upheld, â€œWell done Liamâ€, otherwise, â€œCheat!â€
It was exciting to have video producer Mark Slater with us this evening, once the final product has been uploaded, Iâ€™m sure a link will be available via the HALO web-site. Were you filmed?
It was good to see Michael Robinson back after suffering a dislocated shoulder. Despite his enforced layoff Michael posted a quick time, sadly he ran too quick to be able to check control numbers and consequently punched not one but two incorrect controls â€“ a lesson for all you youngsters out there (and a few others) - always check the control numbers.
There was some discussion about the placing of the two controls, one on the Long and one on the Short which were pretty close together. Some thought they were too close but it beats me how they could have muddled them up. One was on the edge of a thicket and the other was on a knoll near to a different edge of the thicket. Simples!
David Jolly took the honours on the short course, 5 minutes clear of Jake Field, although Jake has secured the Short Course Trophy, also for the second year in a row. There were good runs from newcomer Oscar Thacker in 4th, who looks like one to watch in the future and Chris Simmonds equalled his best run of the year so far in 3rd place.
Rosie Field looks strong favourite to become the Lady Champion despite a strong challenge from Heather Tuck
Joe Field is in pole position for the Junior Trophy, although it is mathematically possible for sister Yasmin to pip him at the post, not bad considering she walked the first few weeks whilst recuperating from an appendectomy.
There are still trophies up for grabs on the Long Course, Dean Field is currently ahead in the Master category, but thereâ€™s an old guy just behind him who hasnâ€™t given up yet (perhaps he should).
Rod Williams is top of the Super Veterans table but 2008 winner Mike Smith is not far behind and has only had seven runs so far. Paddy Neligan could also challenge here if he can put two good runs together in the last two weeks. Despite her worst run of the season, Helena Crutchley has an unassailable lead in her quest to be the Womens Champion again, from nearest rival Harriet Gillman.
For anyone who is confused right now, the Womens Champion is the leading female on the Long Course and The Ladies Champion is the leading female on the Short Course. Simples! Infer into that what you wish.
Vernon Davis looks certain to take the Ultra Veterans award, his only challenger now is 2008 and 2009 Champion Pat Oâ€™Grady who would have to do something spectacular in the final weeks to overhaul Vernon. It could have been a different story if Pete Kullich had been able to get more runs in, but as I said, that would have been a different story.
See you next week at Otby, be prepared for the hills â€“ proper ones!