The 15/16 university year might be over, but that doesn't mean that UBOCers have been taking it easy this summer!
UBOC kicked off the holidays with the Harvester night relay in June – nothing like total darkness to spice the navigation up a bit…Team ‘UBOC ridge of death’ had a great time spending the weekend in the Cotswolds and absolutely smashed it on the B course, coming in 1st! Tom was also there representing DrongO - running the other course, so we’ll forgive him for his conflicted loyalties :’)
Huge congratulations to our Captain, Megan, who’s made a fantastic comeback from her injury earlier in the year. At the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Switzerland she came 4th in the middle distance final, 7th in the individual sprint and 5th in the team sprint relay with the other GB girls (a new GBR best). Not only that, but she then went on to compete at the World University Orienteering Championships in Hungary, coming 8th in the individual sprints and winning gold for Britain as a team in the sprint relay! Well done, Megan – we’re incredibly proud of you!
Meanwhile Tom has also been busy globetrotting in the name of TrailO, heading to Sweden to compete in the World Trail Orienteering Championships, qualifying for the final in the individual competition to come 34th and coming in 8th in the open relay as part of team GB. For those of you who haven’t heard of TrailO, it involves studying an orienteering area from various checkpoints along a track, and rapidly identifying whether any of the markers on the ground match the given map locations. Because it all takes place along one track it makes orienteering accessible to a much wider range of people, and it’s a really challenging alternative to ‘standard’ orienteering (FootO) – don’t think that staying in one place at each checkpoint makes it easy, because you have to be incredibly quick and accurate with your map interpretation! Tom has also taken part in a dizzying array of UK comps this summer and is currently leading the South of England Urban Orienteering League. He’s heading off to Norway this weekend for more TrailO! If you're struggling to imagine what a TrailO course might be like, here's an example of one of the checkpoints in Sweden.
And finally, back in July Ben and Lawrence headed to South Wales to take part in Croeso 2016 and race on some very different terrain from UBOC’s usual haunts – three of the courses were on sand dunes! Ben set some especially impressive times, finishing in the top 3 on all five days. Croeso is a great competition featuring some really scenic courses, but sadly it’s only held once every four years - I wonder who’ll be heading there from UBOC in 2020?
And now Freshers Week is almost upon us - here's to another great year of orienteering! If you'd like to get involved with the club, come along to our Give it a Go session at Stoke Bishop on the 25th September, or just turn up at training and say hello!