15/06/2011 2011 Lincolnshire Poacher 10
Otby/Normanby Le Wold has always been on the Poacher Calendar partly due to the different terrain, partly due to the different physical challenge and partly due to the stunning views that can be gained from the various vantage points (a good excuse to catch your breath after one of the climbs) â€“ this year was no exception.
Planning courses in this area is not straight forward â€“ particularly the yellow course because of the shortage of paths and suitable line features â€“ similarly the longer courses have to be planned with the crossing points as the key, ensuring competitors do not get an unfair advantage if they are tempted to cross fences that are marked on the map as uncrossable (as they have in the past). Johnâ€™s courses succeeded and he also avoided to use two of the â€˜controversialâ€™ control sites the infamous boulder and the notorious pit (Poacher stalwarts will know these intimately) but he might have discovered a new one!!
With Liam continuing his string of runaway successes the fight for second place remains competitive with both Zac and Paul remaining neck and neck as is the battle for Master between Neil and Dean. Pete K can still overhaul ever present Vernon as Ultra Vet Champion despite not competing in all events due to his planning commitments. Note: next year planners will not be penalised as they will be able to play a joker whereby they nominate another event (before they compete) where the points they score at that event will be also transferred to the event they are planning. Trust this is clear and there will be a queue for people volunteering to plan next year. Other solid performances on the long course came from the ever improving Dave Offler (again) and the North Bank contingent (still reeling from the news of the hike in toll fees) of Ladies (or is it Womenâ€™s) Champion Helena, Paddy and Mary (who nearly beat the hour mark!!). Thereâ€™s always next week Mary! Another â€˜Yorkieâ€™ resident who didnâ€™t fare as well after being crowned as Short Champion , Jake, who found it a different ball game when joining the big boys (sports journalism at itâ€™s best).
In the other direction Jay competed on the Short rather than the Long and won convincingly (was this due to exam revision limitations?). Another undecided mid division battle on the Short course is between the Grimsby mÃ©nage a trois of Geoff, Tracey and Fran with Geoff currently on top! (should this be censored)? The runners up spot on the Short is still wide open with a handful of competitors still in the running but the hot money is on Dave Jolly â€“ clear round permitting, to edge it at the last event.
Similarly on the Yellow it looks like Dom â€“ clear round permitting â€“ could edge past the unfortunate Marsaili at the final hurdle.
So on to next week â€“ billed on Sky as the Final Showdown at Swallow â€“ is it really pay per view only? There is still plenty to play for so my courses for next week have been modified to take out the novelty element (i.e. delete the paths from the map for the long course). But they are still challenging as all control sites on all courses are rootstocks and there is also plenty of climb! No kite collectors have been nominated as such but being the last event as much help as possible will be required in order that the Annual Prizegiving Ceremony at the New Inn, Great Limber can commence at a reasonable hour.
Note : thanks to all who have forwarded their completed questionnaires â€“ still time to do so via e mail or printed copy. Your views are important â€“ in order that the Poacher Series continues to provide what you want and that you continue to enjoy the sport and the competition.