Stone set for orienteering stardom
08:08 26 May 2014
The Woodroffe School student, Ellie Stone has been selected for the British Orienteering Talent Development Summer Camp, which is being held in Sedbergh, in the Lake District from Thursday July 31 to Monday, August 4, writes Stephen Birley.
The youngster had to achieve a certain standard in a number of competitions including the Jan Kjellström Festival, which is named after the person who brought orienteering to Britain in the 1970’s. The JK, as it is known, is Britain’s premier annual multi-day competition and regularly attracts three thousand competitors and many of these from around the world. It is held over the Easter weekend and this year was in the Brecon Beacons. The competition comprises a sprint race on Good Friday, a two-day individual competition on Easter Saturday/Sunday and a three-person relay on Easter Monday.
The two day individual races were on Merthyr Common north east of Merthyr Tydfil, which provided good technical orienteering. It consists of open limestone uplands lying between 420m and 620m above sea-level. There are numerous pits, depressions and sink holes as well as limestone pavements and other rock features. So runners needed to be accurate with their navigation, especially on the Sunday when heavy mist and rain reduced visibility and so technical accuracy was even more important.
The times from the two individual days gets added together to get an overall time. Ellie was runner up in her class W18 Ellite to Megan Cater-Davies from Mid Wales, who narrowly beat her in the Welsh Championships in February. Natalie Beadle from the Lake District was third and fellow South West Junior Cecelie Anderson from Bristol was fourth.
Also performing well from East Devon was 11-year-old Flurry Greirson from Ottery St Mary and in Y7 at The Kings School. He was also runner up in his age category M12A. A boy from Finland was the winner in this age category and close rival, Joseph Hudd from Bristol Orienteering Club was third.
Ben Chesters also from Ottery St Mary was runner up in the M35Long category, and Ellie’s mother Tess was ninth in the W45Long category.
Others also taking part from this area included Dominic Walker (14) from Talaton, Joss Knight (19) and his Dad Alan also from Talaton, Harry McMurtrie(14) and his Dad, Tom, from Payhembury, Jonty Eaton-Hart (15) and his Dad, Andrew from Luton Green, Will Stokes (15) from Ottery St Mary, John and Ruth Chesters from Ottery St Mary, Flurry’s brother, Sister and Dad, Grey Dulcie and Peter Greirson also from Ottery St. Mary, Duncan Taylor(20) and Tim Gent from Exmouth and the Keenan family from Sidmouth, Harriet 6yrs doing the white courses, Emily(15) on the W16A and Mum & Dad Barbara and Geoff on their age group Long courses.
Apart from the mist and rain challenging everyone further on the Sunday, the conditions were great and made for a good spectator event on the Monday with the relays. Devon had a number of teams entered in different categories. There are three to a team, some just with juniors other have a mix so getting the right mix is half the challenge.
Meanwhile the Devon County junior team, who were runners-up at the National Club Junior Competition last year are hoping to go one better this year.
Octavian Droobers from Warwickshire have won it many times in the last seven years and will be a big threat as will (BOK) are also very close rivals.
Devon qualified again for the finals in an event on Mutters Moor. The junior Finals are called The Yvette Baker Trophy, after Britiain’s first international winner Yvette Baker at the World Championships near Inverness in 1999.
If you would like to try orienteering you attend the coaching sessions held each Friday evening, this week back at Mutter’s Moor at 4.30pm or contact Tess Stone on 01927 553421 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or look on the Devon Orienteering website at www.devonorienteering.co.uk
Ellie Stone has also been selected for a tour in August to Gothenburg. It is for the top year 18s and bottom year 20s. The Gothenburg training camp, this year, is based at the club hut of Savadalens AIK (SAIK) one of the orienteering clubs based around Gothenburg. Athletes attending will be expected to plan their own training, planning, control hanging, collecting controls, etc. They will also be expected to be generally well organised, capable of preparing their own meals and self sufficient whilst being supervised by experienced coaches Mark Saunders and Alice Bedwell from the Bristol Orienteering Club.