Summer Series 3 Brockhill Country Park

Orienteering Academy and Score Race

Sat 31 Aug 2019

Orienteering Academy for novice orienteers and newcomers, followed by Score Race for All

Type of event: Local, Coaching, Score
Type of terrain: Heathland, Parkland

Info updated: Sun 1 Sep

Results

Event Report

It was great to see so many novice orienteers attend, as well as experienced orienteers from far and wide. Those competing in the 60 min score got to stretch their legs in the warm August sunshine, with three loops around the Country Park for the most energetic.

Those taking part in the 45 min score had to contend with middle distance length legs in a score format, making route choice critical. 

The high number of controls (30) on a relatively small map foxed a few people, with some running right past without visiting, or visiting twice!

Pre Event Info

Attendees at the Saxons Orienteering Academy will learn the basic skills needed to orienteer by visiting a number of manned Skills Stations.

They will learn: 

  • How to set a map the right way
  • How to keep track of progress by 'thumbing the map'
  • What the symbols on the map mean
  • How to estimate distance
  • Basic compass skills
  • Route choice between check points

With these newfound skills, participants will take part in a 45min Score Race around the grounds of Brockhill Country Park. 

Experienced Orienteers have also been well catered for with a 60 min Score Race with some additional 'rule shenanigans' to keep them on their toes! This is the first event here for over a decade; a new map has been created, so come and check it out. 

Helpers are also required to help man the Skills Stations, so if you're available please contact the organiser. 

Location

Nearest town: Ashford/Folkestone

Directions / Parking

Brockhill Country Park is just on the edge of Saltwood, close to J11 of the M20.

Take J11 M20 and follow signs for Hythe A20. Before the first roundabout, turn left on A20 signed Lyminge. Take the first right signed Saltwood (Sandling Road). There are official Brown Park signs from this junction all the way to Brockhill. 

The entrance to Brockhill Country Park is shared with Brockhill School and is on the RHS after about a mile. (Look out for Orienteering sign) Take the right fork into the Park. 

Parking Update - Parking might be tight on the day, particularly if the weather is good. There is an additional parking area beyond the tarmac bays located between the Cafe and 'Badger's Den' building. I have arranged with the Park Ranger that we might utilise this area in an attempt to free up parking for other park users. Please try and park closely, double parking where appropriate. Although this is an additional parking area, you will still need to purchase a parking ticket (£2.50 for the day). 

Registration & Start Times

Orienteering Academy Session - 10:00 to 11:30

Race Registration - 11:30 to 12:00

Race - Mass Start - 12:00

Course Closes/Prize Giving - 13:10

Course Information

Saxons Summer Series Orienteering Academy is the perfect opportinity for newcomers to the sport to learn the basic skills needed to orienteer and then to put those newfound skills into practice in a score race in the grounds of the Country Park.

The Score Race will be a 45 minute time format with competitors just visiting as many controls as possible in the time. For experienced orienteers, or those wanting a greater running challenge, there will be a 60 minute score race with controls taken in three groups, 30s, 40s and 50s (any order, no changeover control). 

There will be no penalties for late return for novices. Experienced orienteers will suffer the usual one point per minute or part of a minute penalty for finishing over the cut off. 

Explanation of Score courses

You don't have to visit all the controls! There is usually a time limit, instead of a set course. Points are scored for visiting controls, and deducted for finishing over the time limit. You decide which controls to visit, and in which sequence. Sometimes controls have different points values. You will need to carry a watch or phone, so you know how long you have been out.

Entry Details

Numbers are limited for the Orienteering Academy, so please email the organiser if you'd like to attend. The Orienteering Academy is a free of charge activity for both members and non members. 

Score Race - Entry on the day only.
Adults: £5 (members of an orienteering club); £7 (non members)
Juniors: £3 (members of an orienteering club); £5 (non members)
Groups: £10 (club members and non members)
This price includes loan of electronic timing equipment (aka dibber) if required, and a waterproof map per competitor (yours to keep after the event).

If possible, orienteers attending the Score Race should email the organiser to help ensure the correct number of maps are printed. 

Clothing - Please wear full leg cover and footwear that you don't mind getting muddy. There are a few areas of thistles and nettles at Brockhill. The courses are designed to avoid these, but the odd nettle may still be present. 

Weather Precautions - Please check the weather forecast and bring the appropriate accessories, particularly if you are attending the Academy. If hot, consider sun cream, a sun hat and some water/snack; if wet, a waterproof coat and some water/snacks :-)

Terrain Description

Brockhill Country Park covers 54 acres and is dominated by a large grassy valley, bisected by the Brockhill Stream, as it makes its way down to the Royal Military Canal in Hythe and has excellent views (from the park) to the English Channel. There are large ponds, a play area as well as a Deer Paddock which is a meadow enclosed with trees, including walnut and variegated sycamore. The rabbit-grazed turf is ideal for low-growing herbs and the rich mosaic of plants, providing shelter for many beautiful meadow butterflies.

Facilities

Toilets and lovely cafe adjacent to the car park. 

Dogs allowed?

Dogs on a lead during the race. Probably not ideal during the coaching phase of the morning though. 

Contacts / Officials

Organiser: Brendon Howe

Important Information

Safety and Risk: A comprehensive risk assessment will have been carried out by the organiser, but participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety during the event.

Insurance: If you have joined an orienteering club, or are competing in one of your first 3 events, then you are covered by our public liability insurance.

Training and help is available from qualified coaches. Please contact the organiser.

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Data Protection: Your personal information provided for this event or obtained from registration databases will be used to process your entry, publish results, check for missing runners and trace missing SI cards.