Congratulations to Keith and Sue on their wedding yesterday at the delightful Shottle Hall. Attending SMOCies report that it was a super day and the bride looked radiant. The promised sunshine was in short supply but it stayed dry and mild.
It is with great sadness that the club has learnt of Colin's sudden death. Colin, along with partner Rachel, was a founder member of SMOC back in 1986. He was a club stalwart until the onset of ill health in recent years, and remained the club archivist until his death. SMOC will greatly miss him. A full tribute will be included in the next edition of SMOC signals.
Colin's funeral will take place on Saturday 26th November at 11:15 at West Suffock Crematorium. Rachel has suggested that any contributions in memory of Colin should be made out to the Samaritans Bury St Edmunds branch as Colin was a Samaritan for many years.
At the British Long Distance Orienteering Championships held on the technical terrain of Brown Clee in Shropshire Helen Nisbet, the current SMOC Chair, won her class (W55s) by a comfortable margin. Other SMOC ladies also managed podium positions: Freya Askham (W40s) and Rosie Shaw (W65s) both managing third in their respective classes. Well done Rosie, Freya and especially Helen!
In the first international appearance by a SMOC member, Dorien James was selected to run for Wales in the M50 category in the VHI at Llynnoedd Teifi in Ceredigion.
Dorien says of the weekend: "I was very pleased to be selected, but slightly in awe of some of the competitors! England and Scotland usually compete for the trophy, while Wales has a private battle with Ireland for third. Llynnoedd Teifi is exactly my kind of terrain - marshy moorland with lots of contours and no trees - and I knew it having competed at Croeso in 2012.
"The first day was individual long courses. My watchword was 'don't mispunch'; you score at least 1 point if you get round at all, which is better than zero for a mispunch or DNF. After a good start, straight up 10 contours and hitting control 1 exactly, I then had a disaster at control 2 where I miscounted the marshes and lost time searching on the wrong ridge. The numbers show a 5-minute mistake, but it felt like most of the morning had gone, especially since there weren't many competitors and I didn't see another soul for 20 minutes. Not how I wanted to start my international career! However, I worked hard to focus on the next control rather than thinking about the mistake, and finally got round the 7.7km course in 76:09. To my surprise, rather than being last, I was still only 7th out of the 8 starters, and as the minutes ticked by, it became clear that I had beaten one Irishman, who was both slower and had mispunched - so that was 2 points earned for Wales.
"The second day was relays and went much better. The VHI format has four MWM teams and four WMW. After my poor run, I was the middle leg in the fourth WMW team. With three teams to count, we weren't expected to score. However, I focussed hard on staying in map contact - checking at least every 100m - and managed a clean run, with a speed of 9:04 per km putting me well into the top half of competitors. Together with very strong legs from Ann Darlington and Sophie Brown, this meant that we came 10th out of 16 teams, six more points to ensure that Wales stayed ahead of Ireland.
Next year's VHI is in Northern Ireland - training starts here to beat the Irish on their own turf."
Photo: Philip Baxter
Some sad news for those of you who remember Dick Denton - Dick passed away on October 3rd 2015. Dick was one of the early members of SMOC and I'm sure he is still remembered by most of the longer serving members of SMOC even though he stopped orienteering some time ago. Dick was quite a pillar of the club while he was with us, and brought a lot to it.
for his map of Rushmere being Highly Commended in the Chichester Trophy section of the 2014 Map Awards. As Robert says "Many thanks to my fellow mappers Steve Hardy, Ian McDonnell and Antonio Franco who played an important part in the survey and initial drawing." Well done all!