Two members took the win in the first race of the season earlier today in Ashton Court. Fresher Tim Owen completed the yellow course ahead of everybody else in his very first orienteering competition. Meanwhile on the tougher Score course old-hand Duncan Birtwistle was the only one to reach all the checkpoints within the time limit.
We met at the Suspension Bridge and jogged there together, picking-up Daniel Ramos on the way past Hillside Woodside, and dropping down through the dear park to the Mansion House. In total nine of us made the trip across, with the more experienced members tackling the Score course and the newer guys cruising round the Yellow.
After taking a lengthy orienteering sabbatical Adam Bushnell lead the Score course competitors off, pioneering an uphill route out of the start which the rest of us seemed to agree was the best plan! The early controls in the woods troubled a few but nothing too major went awry.
The planning encouraged a roughly anti-clockwise route with a decision needing to be made whether to push on to the further away controls towards the north-west. A couple got caught out by this and returned late (over the 45 minute time limit) receiving costly penalties. I was pushing hard for most of the way but was setting myself up for a slightly longer route than necessary until a mid-course change of strategy to shave off a little distance.
On the Yellow, Daniel Sanchez-Barrilero went out first, setting a good pace but slipping out of a solid third place on the penultimate control with a little detour into the woods! Rachel Perry and Tim Owens followed. Rachel was doing well but came unstuck toward the end, getting her control codes in a twist.
Tim charged out of the start and continued round the rest of the course in the same fashion, taking seven fastest splits and finishing almost two minutes ahead of second place - a great way to start your orienteering career! Captain Abi Kerr acted as sweeper but was disappointed to be beaten by Joe Hudd, over ten years her junior.
Full results are here.