Thursday, May 22, 2014
There were some exceptional performances from local competitors in a major orienteering event held over the Easter weekend in the Brecon Beacons, writes Tess Stone.
The two day individual races were on Merthyr Common north east of Merthyr Tydfil, which provided good technical orienteering. It consists of open limestone uplands lying between 420m and 620m above sea level. There are numerous pits, depressions and sink holes as well as limestone pavements and other rock features. So runners needed to be accurate with their navigation, especially on the Sunday when heavy mist and rain reduced visibility and so technical accuracy was even more important.
Eleven-year-old Flurry Greirson from Ottery St Mary and a year seven student at The Kings School, was runner-up in his age category M12A to a young lad from Finland.
Another Ottery St Mary competitor, Ben Chesters, was runner-up in the M35Long category.
Others also taking part from this area included Will Stokes (15) from Ottery St Mary, John and Ruth Chesters from Ottery St Mary, Flurry Greirson’s brother, sister and father, Grey, Dulcie and Peter Greirson and the Keenan family from Sidmouth, Harriet (aged six), doing the white courses, Emily (aged 15), on the W16A and Mum and Dad Barbara and Geoff on their age group long courses.
Apart from the mist and rain challenging everyone further on the Sunday, the conditions were great and made for a good spectator event on the Monday with the relays.
Devon had a number of teams entered in different categories. There are to a team in this event, some just with juniors and others with a mix so getting the right combination is half the challenge. Grey Greirson was part of the team placed fifth in the men’s short event whilst Flurry Greirson was in a team with two Torquay Grammar School boys and they were fourth in their category M/W40, which means their three age categories have to add up 40 or less!
The other two junior teams from the area miss punched which means you do not get placed (they were not the only ones! The relays are fast and the courses are gaffled (yes it is a word) which means the courses had slightly different controls so you can not follow!
If you would like to try orienteering you can come to coaching sessions held each Friday evening, this week back at Mutter’s Moor at 4.30pm or contact Tess Stone on 01927 553421 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or look on the Devon Orienteering website www.devonorienteering.co.uk
There’s a series of events this weekend organised by Devon and Cornwall Orienteering Clubs.
Its all called the Tamar Triple, taking place at Fernworthy, near Chagford on Saturday afternoon (2pm), at Inny Foot on Sunday morning, an Urban race in Tavistock in the evening and a classic race at Cookworthy Forest north of Okehampton on Bank Holiday Monday.