Kenilworth Common NIght Event

Yesterday I went to the Octavian Droobers C5 night event at Kenilworth Common. The format was a 60 min score with 13 controls, followed by a return back to the start to pick up a map for the next 13 controls - you didn’t need to do all of the first set to move onto the second map. None of the controls had the conventional banner (just a stake, square white board and the EMIT punch), but they were surprisingly easy to find.
The first blunder I made was that I didn’t realise the map was 1:5000 so overshot the first (no 2) control. Throughout the run it seemed like one of those areas which at day is as straight forward as they come, but at night the myriad of paths were not always very distinct and the changes in vegetation and contours made things fairly confusing at times. It was definitely an area where solid navigation is required.
After No 2 I went to 1, 5, 8, 6, 9,10 and at this point I realised that I couldn’t remember which controls I had been to. It was only then I unfolded the map and realised there were two controls in the far SE and another in the streets in the N end. I then headed to no 11 (didn’t find the control very easily as I was on the wrong end of the fence!). I then circled back to do 7, 4, 3 before heading into the SW section. At this stage I didn’t know whether it was going to be a wise move to bag these two controls as I knew I would have well under 30 mins for the second set of 13 controls. I decided to do them anyway before returning back to the start for the next set of controls. I got to the map exchange at 34 mins.
I thought my route choice for the first set of controls was as bad as it gets and should have gone 2, 1, 5, 8, 6, 11, 9, 7, 10, 3, 4, 12, 13. Had I actually spent the time at the start to look at all of the controls on the map my route would have probably been quite different.
The route choice for the second set of controls was a lot better and did 1, 3, 4 and 7 in quick succession, followed by 13, 12, 11, 6 , 8, 5, 2 before heading into the SW section. I set myself a return time of 55 mins in the southern section which I knew would be enough time for me to finish in time. I made a slight mistake and took the wrong path not far before 10 which cost me 15 secs, before heading to 9. I probably made my biggest error of the evening and lost over a minute in the vicinity of 9 and almost had to give up on the control, but eventually found it before finishing in a time of 57.49.
At download it appears that I was the first to return with the full 26 controls, but there were still a few people out on the course so am not sure how I have done (will update as soon as I find out). Either way I enjoyed the mid-week exercise and felt I had a pretty good run - ok there were lots of small errors and my navigation was very conservative but I feel that’s just the nature of night orienteering.
EDIT: Came 1st out of 17. I was the only one who managed to bag all 26 controls in the time allowed!


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