Planner's Comments Days 4 & 5.
I think it was one of the early instigators of Croeso, the legendary Hag Harris, who first made me aware of Teifi Pools and its potential as an orienteering area some 25 years ago. Alice and I have occasionally cycled over there since and have always thought it looked great. At some point WOA commissioned a PG Plot and it was proposed for the 2007 British Championships. I was a bit surprised and disappointed when the Grade 1 controller who reviewed the area thought it not technical enough - the lakes making it too easy to relocate.
With Croeso being held in the Aberystwyth area this year, there was at last the opportunity to have it mapped, and I made sure I baggsied the opportunity to be first to plan there. With a single assembly for two days it made sense for me to plan both of them - much easier for me to make the inevitable compromises across some 40 courses with myself than with somebody else. And with such a beautiful area, and amazing bird life it was never a chore to spend time up there - especially once I had invested in some waterproof socks!
As an open area said Grade 1 controller was of course quite right, it isn't hugely difficult. There is also the potential for control kites to act a beacons. However it is undoubtedly a fun place to run and offers plenty of opportunity for interesting route choice and longer legs. So I tried to maximise that at the same time as providing variety and choosing sites where the features naturally mask the flags from the direction of approach without unduly/unfairly hiding them. I also tried to get the older competitors in the most technical and runnable parts and to give youngsters a taste of the wild hillside, at the same time as trying to ensure they got back safely. From the many appreciative comments I received after the races from a wide range of competitors, I think I mainly succeeded in those aims.
I was particularly gratified by two comments I heard. One from an M18 who had really enjoyed his course because he had never experienced long route choice legs like that before. And one from the controller mentioned above, who went out his way to tell me that he now thought he had got it wrong regarding the area's orienteering potential.
Many apologies to anybody on course 12 on Day 4 who thinks their run was spoiled because the number 11 was placed over a fence. I should have spotted this in the proofs before approving them for printing.
A special thanks to my controller Charles Daniel, and the two organisers - Dave Urch and Sarah Rees. Whilst I had all the fun playing with the courses and spending time on the area they had all the worry of getting you there and parking you. I am just glad the weather played its part.
Mark Saunders (BOK)