at Firestone Copse.
You are standing by the map sales car. You need to decide which course you are going to do. You are going to do a short Yellow course. The courses range in physical difficulty, length and technical complexity from Yellow (easy, e.g. along almost level paths which are no problem for beginners), to Blue (hard, e.g. point features in the middle of nowhere at the top of a 100 metre hill after a 1.6km run from the last control around a marsh). If you feel you would like to know more, here is more information on colour coded and other courses.
Right, you have just paid your £2.50 (£2.00 for members) for your map, control description sheet and yellow control card. Keep them carefully. If you loose the control card you cannot get a result in the event. If you loose the description sheet you may still be able to finish, particularly if you take a tip from the experienced orienteers around you and copy the control codes into the boxes on the control card. Don't forget to write your name, club (for us locals that's WightO), class and car registration number on the card, don't forget to fill in the stub too.
Why do we want to know all that? Your name and club are so that your performance can be recorded in the results of the event and published in the next newsletter. Your class is so that you can compare your time with others. Finally, your car number is so that if you don't report back and your car is left then we will know who to look for.
I am in class M35, you can guess how old I am. Women should prefix their class by W, e.g. W21. This will tell you more about classes.
If this is your first time at an orienteering event and all this talk of control cards is too much for you then the best thing to do is to ask one of the experienced orienteers, I'm sure you'll recognise one, they're the ones who look as though they know what's going on! See? There's one! Now go on, don't be afraid, ask them about the tools of the trade. If you been orienteering before, then how about looking at WightO's very own One-page Guide to Simple Orienteering?
Ok, it's time to look at the map you have just bought. Here it is, Borthhurst Forest. Like all orienteering maps, it is very difficult to see all of it at once! I have pre-marked it in the style used at major events just to make things easier. At a local colour coded event like the WightO Web-O you would normally copy the course from a master map such as this onto your own unmarked map just after you start.
The start of the course is marked by a triangle, the controls are marked by circles and the finish is the double circle. The course is marked by lines from one control to the next. The lines are not the route you are expected to take. You can choose any route you like, it's up to you to select the route that suits you best.
Your run will be against the clock; we will time you carefully. Walk or run, jump or crawl - get round anyway you can.
You are now standing by the map sales and registration car, that's in the timber loading area near the bottom of the triangle. When you have studied the map go to the start and get under way. To get to the start, walk a little way north along the track. When you get there introduce yourself to the starter and he'll see you get away promptly. Go on, get on with it, just point your cursor on the triangle on the map and you will be at the start of the WightO Web-O. Don't forget to take your map, control card, description sheet, compass and whistle with you!
This website and all photographs and maps are © Wight Orienteers 1997