Leithfield Beach OY3 2011 Planners Report

02 July 2011

Firstly special thanks to the land owners for allowing us to use this great spot. Although largely flat it does have a nice variety of terrain from open paddocks to forests of various run-ability and the forested coastal dunes. Due to the fire early in the year along Ashworths Road, I chose to focus on the northern end of the map with the event centre at the barn.I soon moved this to the end of the road after discovering that vegetation near the barn was no longer as mapped and difficulty finding a white course that wasn’t just in the open following fences. The white course was still a challenge to keep short as well as getting into the coastal forest. It was eventually shortened to 2.5km by making a taped route through the green forest. Given the white course the next challenge was the red courses. To get red runners out of sight quickly the best option to me seemed to be into the forest. This resulted in probably the hardest leg of these courses – straight into technical navigation. A bit mean but I didn’t see any alternative – I know I wouldn’t have liked them! As it turned out some runners did have difficulty, especially those that navigated off the kink in the track. We only discovered this map error when putting out the controls, along with another map error on the long red affecting control 6 which also caught out a few runners. My apologies for not advising of these, they totally slipped my mind in the rush to put out and check the last of the controls. (Most of the controls were put out on the Friday – nearly 8 hours from the time we left Kaiapoi to getting back!)

I made several trips out to field check and plan and the weather was generally very good. My main worry was for horrible weather on the day. We have had sleety southerly storms there at this time of the year before. Even though we did get some southerly squalls on the day the weather tuned out ok.

As most previous courses at Leithfield have been on the long side, I deliberately kept them a bit shorter and the winning times suggest I got this about right. Apart from the map errors causing issues for some on the long red, the feedback I received was all positive or constructive. This was my first attempt at planning an OY (and my third event overall). In total I spent 40 – 50 hours on this event. Re-learning the software was the hardest part. Many thanks for Lynley’s help in the final stages of getting the maps ready.

Thanks also to Bruce Meder (and Josie Boland) for controlling, Sue Cooke and her team of helpers for the organisation on the day, Gordon Smith & Greg Bristow on SportIdent, the control collectors and anyone else I have missed.

Martin Etherington