Tom, Michael, Ben and Meg after the British Night Champs
British Night Orienteering Championships race report - by Michael Lai
Around 250 hardy orienteers turned up at the Merthyr Mawr Warren as the day waned for the long-awaited British Night Orienteering Championships (including two M80 competitors!). This area was made up of a large swathe of intricate sand dunes with large clumps of impassable vegetation and a small area of tricky woodlands. The sky was clear and the moon was out, it was cold but there was no fog, in other words, it was perfect conditions for night orienteering.
The course was well planned, long legs with lots of route choices requiring a mix of very accurate bearings and fine navigation. My only complain is the amount of vegetation out there. It was sometimes difficult to work out the difference between unmarked bushes or impenetrable brambles.
Five UBOCers competed, Megan won the W21 by a large margin, Ben came second in the M21, Adam Potter came 11th and Tom Dobra came 18th but I did not manage to finish. A lack of careful planning and the difficulty of relocating in sand dunes meant I lost a lot of time at the start, it was already course closure time when I just started getting used to the map and area. It turned out to be a very good learning experience. Plus the well-deserved veggie chilli at the end was delicious.
Pembrey race report - by Lawrence Jones
Sunday saw several UBOCers heading out to Pembrey Forest for another day of fantastic Orienteering. Conditions were good: not a cloud in the sky (we checked ... repeatedly), an incredible of variety of terrain available, and courses that performed gymnastics to steer through open, technical terrain while mostly avoiding the areas of the map more reminiscent of the Forest of Dean. Overall a good set of results, Ben Mitchell and Megan Carter-Davies taking out first on the black and short brown courses respectively, Adam Potter coming in third on the black, Tom Dobra coming in 15th (showing the effects of a round trip to Bristol between his weekend's two races) and Lawrence Jones coming in at 18th, both also on the black.