I controlled the Welsh Middle Distance Champs at the Hafod a few years ago and felt that to do so again at Croeso 2012 might mean a possibly less demanding role, however, last minute problems meant that difficulties were equal to other areas. Peter's initial planning sought to get more variety from the area than the previous event but it was difficult trying to balance the various requirements of all the courses with the limitations of the area - it has a few nice technical parts but these are often separated by steep, rough slopes and less technical sections.
In the end we settled for something broadly similar to the previous event with a new set of controls and more variety of legs. In the main people seemed to have enjoyed the challenge of the area and Peter's courses which typically contained a high density of controls with short legs and quick changes of direction.
The uncertainty surrounding the parking meant the final map update was left until very late. Additionally, a swathe of windblown trees appeared sometime in May and affected many courses, but was only noticed later. This required a visit by Peter and myself in June at which we identified and agreed new control sites and checked that new legs could get through the windblown. In the end I don't think the competitors noticed too much but overall the area was not quite as pleasant as it had been planned on originally.
Peter's comments have covered the problems that some had with a couple of controls. At one stage I felt that maybe the map should have been printed at 1:7500. However the update to the map seemed more readable. During the day whilst checking some of the route choices being taken I was surprised by some of the direct lines rather than the path choices I envisaged. I suspect this may have been down to the legibility of the map and being able to discern the paths amonst the steep slopes and rock features, and perhaps 1:7500 may have been preferable after all for some courses.
I was a bit disappointed to find that several competitors from the Blue Start completely ignored the Out of Bounds area clearly marked on their maps for the walled garden which was being reconstructed. The land owners had asked that this be out of bounds to competitors but it was not possible to secure the gates as access was to be allowed for the general public. Little damage seems to have been done but it did mean that some competitors gained a small advantage by breaking the rules.
It was pleasure to work with Peter as planner and I commend his ability to get stuck into a job and complete it. This was apparent right up to event when the day before he had to put out all the controls himself as his helper unfortunately was not available. Equally Jill and the rest of the organising team need to be commended on accomplishing the difficult and stressful task of getting all the arrangements in place when the parking field became unavailable at the last minute.
Overall the presence of the sunshine and happy competitors seemed to make the week a very enjoyable one.
Roger Stein (SBOC)