14/09/2014 Peter Palmer Junior Relay Trophy
It was a pleasure to see the kids enjoying themselves and this made all the work worthwhile. The Planner, Controller and I have had huge enjoyment from the Peter Palmer Relays over recent years either through our own kids or through participation in the case of the Planner. This relay format is truly inclusive of all club juniors and is a worthy legacy for the great man Peter Palmer.
I would like to express my thanks to HALO for allowing me to indulge myself in putting this event on. None of the HALO helpers had children at the event nor had children take part in recent years. They reflect the spirit and values we all respect (expect) within orienteering and often forget.
I would particularly like to thank Ted Finch for managing the Tracking for us. This really helped in adding to the atmosphere of the â€œBig Raceâ€ feel. The last leg was excellent with OD Juniors 3 minutes 50 second lead reduced to 2 second margin and a sprint finish; see it using the link on the HALO website.
The only disappointment was the absence of any Scottish Teams not helped by the clash of fixtures with the Junior Area event north of the border and no South West Teams due to the clash with the SW Championships. BO Fixtures committee should review this as the PPR event requires accommodation which often necessitates huge financial outlay (relative to many clubs financial strength) in advance which is difficult enough to budget without other events competing for entries.
I apologise to NORFOLK Orienteerâ€™s for putting them in the small clubs trophy. I did contact British Orienteering requesting the list of small clubs; they acknowledged my request but as yet have not provided any data.
On the competitors and managers behalf I would like to thank Dean, the whole HALO team and Ted Finch for putting on an excellent event for Peter Palmerâ€™s 2014.
Deanâ€™s vision for the Peter Palmerâ€™s was for a top level National Junior Event and he managed to produce this with his team of helpers. The live results were the best I have yet seen at any event and the inclusion of live tracking did much to enhance the atmosphere of the event.
With the very close finish I have noted and passed on that even with a small number of teams it is prudent to always have 2 boxes on the penultimate control, but all credit to Alistair and Nathan in providing an exciting finish.
This was the first time that Zac has planned an event but having competed many times in the Peter Palmerâ€™s he was well aware of the requirements for the event. Walesby is not a very technical area and use of the northern plantation was a risk at this time of year, but necessary to get in the necessary length of courses without repetition around the Walesby site. Zacâ€™s courses came up with enough challenges to punish sloppy technique and the live tracking showed that the field and path structure led to many parallel errors when the compass was not used to check direction when meeting, or crossing, paths and vegetation strips.
An extremely favourable growing season for the bracken meant that time had to be spent on Saturday morning doing a bit of gardening around some controls to remove the bingo element at night and ensure a fair run for all. From comments I heard around assembly this effort was appreciated.
A big thank you to Zac for all his work.
From my interest in junior orienteering it is also good to see new teams coming through and challenging the old favourites, perhaps it wonâ€™t be long before LEI are knocking on the door for top spot. It was also good to see second year 18s coming along to their last Peter Palmerâ€™s and giving maximum effort for their team and club. I wish them well for the future and perhaps following Zacâ€™s example we may see them taking the lead in future junior events.
Tony Carlyle (AIRE) Controller
PS Thanks to Rosie and Mary for breakfast and keeping me supplied with cups of tea.