Photos of the Sprint Relays by Wendy Carlyle and Brian Ward.  Thanks to both

British Orienteering Mixed Sprint Relays, June 2022 | Flickr


Photos of the qualifying heats from Wendy  British Orienteering Individual Sprint Champs Qualifiers | Flickr

Photos of the finals heats from Wendy  British Orienteering Individual Sprint Champs, Finals | Flickr


Photos from Scott Bailey


Organiser’s Report – British Sprint Relay Championships 2022

Leeds Beckett University for the Sprint Relays had never been used before for a big event. It was a superb venue with the facilities of the new Carnegie School of Sport building and then the centre of an athletics track giving lots of space for the start, finish and handover with a great view for all watching and waiting for their turn. 150 teams, a record for this relatively new event, turned up and were impressed with what the venue could offer.

In many ways such superb facilities made event organisation easy. However, never having hosted an orienteering event before meant that there was a lot of explaining to be done. After the event, our hosts were very pleased with what they saw. Of course we are not able to use the area next year, but I thought it was a credit to all who participated and helped we were asked if we would go back next year.

The weather was kind with plenty of sunshine. It was rather windy. Map collection bags had to be retrieved a few times, and early on there was some concern about the marquee, tents and tapes staying in place.

Excellent helper teams made the day run so smoothly. I certainly did a lot of work beforehand, and in the morning with a small team before you all arrived. During the event, I could have just left my helpers to get on with it. I am so grateful to them all.

Ruth planned some excellent courses – more courses than she needed to, but it was a good decision not to combine so many classes on courses to give all an experience appropriate to needs and age.

I was so pleased at the way in which we all worked together. For a long time just the small team with me as organiser, my assistant Mike Pedley, planner Ruth Ker, assistant planner and mapper Quentin Harding, and controller Paul Taylor. Then the cooperation continued as the helper team expanded. My thanks to all, and to all of you who turned up and made so many complimentary comments about the event.

Mike Cope


Planner’s Report - British Sprint Relay Championships 2022

Various ingredients led to me agreeing to plan this, my first major event. I was flattered to be asked on the back of some previous urban planning. The area was easily reached by train and bicycle. I had confidence in my colleagues Paul, Quentin and Mike. And I love the format of the Mixed Sprint Relays.

I knew the area a little from before and it is very compact. I had options to use extensions into the parkland and local neighbourhoods. However keeping it within the campus led to an exciting, intense race of a sort we rarely experience in orienteering (and simplified permissions).

PurplePen relay planning devices are clever and very addictive. It is possible to re-plan endlessly and sending my courses to Paul for his helpful controlling was vital to the process of me curbing this. 93 gaffles seems like a huge number yet is apparently quite average. Each one has to be checked for circle and line cutting and placement of control numbers. My thanks to Jack at BML for his attention to detail while printing. I really hope you found your map legible.

It was nerve-wracking attending meetings at Becketts to be told ‘yes there probably will be a large construction site going up…’. We came very close to a major problem and, with several extra trips to site, had just time to add it to the map, remove the controls within it and re-plan all the courses.

You may have noticed that I bent the rules. I would be pleased to see these considered as changes to the rules going forwards.

  • I planned a separate race for each class as I do not believe the pairings lead to the best outcome for each group with their distinct needs. Planning extra courses, within the framework of the control sites identified and basic course shapes, is creative fun and no problem.
  • I would have liked to plan all legs of the 3 person relays to be the same length; planning a shorter leg in the middle adds to planning complexities and means almost all teams put their woman in the middle. It’s a sprint - all the courses are short - so why not have them all the same length? I was told I had to do this so made the middle leg only marginally shorter. I hope you middle leg runners appreciated getting a proper course too.
  • I did not stick to the ratios given for course lengths of the different classes in relation to the elite classes but applied a more intuitive feel. Your winning times bear me out with only Vets being fractionally over 15 minutes.
  • I wanted each class to have their own mass start and Mike found a way to accommodate this for which I am grateful.
  • I would have liked to give all competitors a 1:3000 map. I was told the elite must have 1:4000 as that is what they will be given in international competition. Planning on two scales adds unnecessary challenges and I hope this will change. I believe the 1:3000 map worked best and am sorry I could not provide this to the elite competitors too despite their superb young eyes.

I gave the Women’s Elite a route choice out of the start and would have put my money on a 50:50 split. How wrong was I?  I believe you all went the wrong way and the other gate would have been fractionally faster and decidedly easier. Even when the Young Junior mass start modelled the presence of another gate, it didn’t seem to occur to many of you yet to start that you might use it to advantage. I planned the UltraVets courses to all have hazard-free controls within a minute or so of the start; out of the main gate so as to avoid the steep bank. Yet the vast majority of you turned your first control into an epic voyage. Congratulations to the small number who managed not to act like sheep. Your fast split to number one is your reward (plus a little smugness).

My personal thanks to Quentin; for making space for me at his computer while I gave myself PurplePen ache, for putting up with me when I was upset, for tirelessly updating and beautifying the map and for putting out controls with me to a standard of perfection I hope you appreciated.

It was amazing watching you all out there and I enjoyed you hugely. Next year we’ll be competing. Thank you in advance to those of you who put it on for us.

Ruth Ker


Controller’s Report - British Sprint Relay Championships 2022

The Team was aiming for perfection. In all cases we were within a whisker of achieving that. My job was made so much more pleasant, working with such competent people at a friendly venue.

The Planner (Ruth Ker) worked extremely hard and created challenging courses that were fun and interesting, using the best parts of the map to full advantage. All this whilst trying to work within the guidelines for the event ……. and the surprise activities of fence builders!

The Mapper (Quentin Harding) did a great job updating Chris Burden’s fine original map.

The Organisers (Mike and Mike + team) put it all together and presented it perfectly within a superb Arena.

There were a few points I would like to highlight:

The overprint. Our preference was to use the option of printing the control code alongside the sequence number. The advantage for the competitor is that it saves unfolding the map to check the code. The problem is that at normal scale the overprint becomes so large that it obscures more of the map than we would like. The compromise was the slight reduction of number height and setting a white frame of 0.06mm.

The run out. I was slightly disappointed that the mass start competitors on the Elite Relay all used the north eastern exit from the arena, whilst the south western exit was quite viable. This seems to have influenced competitors on some other courses, much to their own disadvantage. There’s a moral here!

Thank you all. It was a super event.

Paul Taylor