50th November Classic Organiser’s Comments
For the second time in 2 years SOC put on the Southern Championships. This is no mean feat in itself , as it calls on a lot more bells and whistles as befitting a Level A event. We were indebted to extra helpers from former Club members plus HH who had connections to SOC via University students.
We hoped to offer a village type event, with a central marquee, results and traders all in a compact area, close to the Finish. The weather decreed otherwise! The final lay out of the area bore little resemblance to the plan as shown on the map. The toilets were where we had managed to tow them before getting bogged down. Together with the farmer we realised that the traders were never going to make it into the field as their vehicles and trailers were too heavy. He offered us the small area by his yard, so by placing the food traders, together with our large results board, on the grassy open area we managed to squeeze them in.
When we viewed the Assembly field, some 2 years before the event, the farmer said it drained quite well, so we were hopeful that it would stand up to British Autumn weather. In actual fact the rain meant otherwise. The field did drain, slightly, but down the slope towards the one and only gate. Unfortunately the tracking the club already had was not up to the job. 3 inches of rain, on Friday night, had done their worst and it was only because of the sterling work of Tim Angel, Richard Jeans and Julian Hartwell that vehicles made it in successfully. I cannot praise the car parking officials enough. All of my spare helpers became involved in car park duties.
The New Forest at this time of year is stunning, but can be unforgiving to those losing touch with the map. Some found their course very challenging, but they need to be at a Level A event.
The revised map, produced by Simon Bevan, planner of the short courses, was well received. Nick Bosbury, who planned all the courses from the main start, made good use of his prior knowledge of the area. All their courses were well received.
We were delighted that Mike Johnson, who organised the original event in 1968 was able to come and present the trophies and medals to winners of the Southern Championships. Although no longer active he supports the club activities and encourages the membership.
I would like to thank all members of SOC who supported me in presenting this event. It is only with such support that large events like these happen. With two events on over the weekend it was some ask, but the competitors seemed to go away having enjoyed their trip to our glorious area.
Mary Nixon, Organiser