MARCH 2008












After the box office failure of The Golden Compass, plans to film The Silver Dibber and The Bronze Control-Description Holder have been abandoned






Newstrack is the magazine of Derwent Valley Orienteers


Editor: Neil Forrest, 40 Riber View, Close, Tansley, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 5HB


Tel: (01629) 583899




Editor’s Opener


Welcome to the March issue of Newstrack. By now the ‘o’ year is well underway with a range of events to test all grades of competitor. It is worth remembering that events happen because clubs organise them, negotiating land access and preparing and updating maps. This requires a lot of volunteer time that proves the old adage that the more you put in the more you get out. DVO member Peter Bourne who died suddenly in late February was someone who epitomised this philosophy, Peter got a lot out of orienteering but he put a lot in as well.


Readers of British Orienteering’s magazine ‘Focus’ may have registered the new vision for the sport encapsulated in the slick marketing acronym MP3. This stands for more people, places and podiums (or should that be podia? – your editor’s pedantry is ever challenged by Latinate plurals). Always willing to engage in flights of fancy I envisage the club pursuing the last MP with a special purchase of lightweight, all terrain podia that individuals can buy or hire and climb onto whenever they feel good about themselves. These could be known as I Pods!


This Newstrack is a bumper edition thanks to all your articles. Keep them coming – next issue due out late June. The April arrival of this March issue is due to the excellent local printer man going on an Easter holiday.


Neil Forrest




Wednesday April 9.  Run from Belper Sports Centre 6.30 pm.

                                Meeting Queens Head, Belper  7.30 pm.


Wednesday  July  9     National Stone Centre, Porter Lane, Wirksworth.

                                Run  6.30 pm.   Meeting  7.30 pm.


Club Officials you may need to contact:


Chair :  Ranald Macdonald. Tel. 01629 734307;  e.mail


Secretary :  Helen Finlayson. Tel 01629 583899; e.mail


Fixtures Secretary : John Armstrong. Tel 01335 348238  e.mail


Coaching Co-ordinator : Val Johnson Tel. 01773 824754 e.mail


Club Captain : Graham Johnson Tel. 01773 824754

Thoughts from the Chair – March


It was with great sadness and shock that we all heard of the sudden death of Peter Bourne at the end of February. Peter had suffered from a heart condition for quite a while but it was only the week before that many us saw the happy smiling face and engaged in light-hearted banter with him at Beaudesert. He will be sorely missed by the Club as he put a lot of time into Controlling and helping and was due to Control at Crich Chase the week after he died. We have to thank Mike Godfree for standing in.  Our thoughts are with Ros, Simon, Chris and the family and they have agreed to us dedicating a Club Trophy to Peter’s memory. The Jackson family has also agreed to us dedicating a trophy to Karen, to be awarded at the Club Championships.


Missing from Crich were Liz Godfree and Paul Addison who had been selected to run for England in the Interland competition in the Netherlands. Liz won W60 and Paul was first English competitor in M50, thereby helping England to win the competition. Congratulations to both and to Pauline Ward and David Lawson for also being selected but not travelling to the event. Paul was also the Planner for Crich Chase so we are also grateful to Dave Chaffey for standing in at the last minute.


The evening before Crich Chase saw the annual Club Dinner at Wirksworth Town Hall with catering yet again by DVO Catering (Fairly) Limited – Val  Johnson, Viv and me. Over 80 people came and hopefully enjoyed themselves – the kids certainly sounded as if they did! We were also pleased to welcome Mike Hamilton, BOF Chief Executive and his wife, Jill, Pauline and David Olivant, Steve and Margaret Buckley, and Jenny and Alan Shaw. Awards were made to Paul Addison as DVO Orienteer of the Year, Harriett Lawson (Junior Oienteer of the Year) the Gordon Family (Most Enthusiastic Newcomers) and Fiona Sellar (Most Improved Orienteer). The assembled throng also awarded the Sports Personality of the Year to Graham Johnson (again), though Ben Berrisford and Zoe Gordon gave him a close run, and the Newstrack Editor, Neil Forrest, awarded Journalist of the Year to Paul Wright.


In the lead up to the JK at Easter and the British Orienteering Championships in Scotland in April there is plenty of orienteering going on, including our own local and district events. Unfortunately, we got knocked out of the CompassSport Cup but it was good to see so many of you turning out to represent the Club.


There will be an Open Meeting on Wednesday 9th April at which I will present some proposed changes to the constitution and report on issues discussed at the recent committee meeting, including a change to the Club Championship format to award trophies for the fastest er the line in each category.


It can be somewhat invidious to pick out one individual as so many of you contribute so much time and energy to keeping the Club fit and healthy. However, I particularly like to highlight some of the things Paul Wright has been doing, including getting our equipment in order – hopefully everyone has noted with admiration our new event signs and banners – making sure Club news appears in the local media, and instigating the Woodland Regeneration Project at Littlemoor Woods, ably project managed by Tony Berwick and assisted by a small, but enthusiastic, group of volunteers. This will give us access to an attractive new wood which we have already seen at a couple of events. Paul is also co-ordinating an event for the Club’s 40th anniversary in 2009 – more to follow.


Also, thanks to Ann-Marie Duckworth, Val Johnson and Steve Kimberley for re-vamping the summer evening events which, together with some more Street Os, should provide some variety over the next few months. There are many more I could thank but the message is that a Club is only as good as the people who volunteer and compete, i.e. YOU.


Hopefully in my next Thoughts I will be able to report on our successes at the major events of the year and look forward to the foreign trips that many of us are planning for the summer.


Ranald Macdonald



Peter Bourne

Where does acquaintanceship end and friendship begin?  Since we heard the sad news of Peter’s death I have been reviewing our friendship looking for the magic moment and have concluded that it was at the French 5 Days in 2003.  A casual remark about where we were staying close to the beach and Ros’s wish for a swim led to Ros and Pete coming to our apartment.  From that little beginning developed our firm friendship.  I have got to realise Pete’s deep commitment to orienteering as more than a sport but a way of life.  In all of the walks we took together the subject inevitably got round to orienteering and he demonstrated not only his interest in the immediacy of the latest course but all of the rules, guideline and ‘politics’ of British Orienteering.


He was the controller for two of the events that Jen and I planned and we found his attention to the  details of the controller’s task to be just what is required to make the event a success for all competitors.   The advice and assistance he provided to us as planners was first class and will benefit us long into the future.  I am sure Peter always had this aim of developing the sport through the people he was influencing.

Peter’s heart problems stopped him running competitively but it did not keep him out of the forest.  His home in Spain that he spent many a long hour on perfecting might have been thought of as his retreat from the UK and the sport.  Don’t believe it!  My phone would ring and it would be Pete asking me to surf the Spanish Web looking for the next event they could go to whilst in Spain.  Jen and I were privileged to spend a couple of Spanish Trips with Ros and Pete, both trips centred on significant orienteering events.  Previously I have written about the Tortoise and the Hare and that reflects the kind of care he put in to all aspects of his life, never mind just navigating a course – mind you he saw less of the countryside than I did!


We lost a good friend when Peter died and orienteering lost a major contributor.  This loss is of course insignificant compared with that felt by the family and our thoughts go out to Ros and the family.


Derek Gale


(There was a collection at the Crich event in memory of Peter which raised £80 for Buxton Mountain Rescue. Ros and the family express many thanks for this and the kind words from people on the day. Ed.)



Captain’s Slog


Only two months into the year but already, the CompassSport Cup is, for DVO anyway, history, the JK relay teams have been entered and the British Relays are an irrelevance for all but a very few.  Nothing to this Club Captain’s lark – my successor, a mere six months away, please take note.


Last year, I took DVO to task for its lacklustre CompassSport performance at Greno Woods, but this year represented a massive improvement – though we still got knocked out, we were only 180 points off the winners compared with 370 in 2007.  Special mention must be made of Ben Beresford who scored a maximum 100 points, coming first on Orange, and of John Duckworth and Michelle Mackervoy who rolled back the years to register 8th places on Brown Men and Blue Women against the likes of the mighty Johnsons, Oli and Jenny (sadly no relation).


We’ve managed 18 relay teams at the JK, which I think is a record – prove me wrong, saddoes.  The classes entered and the members included are all on the website so I’m not going to repeat them here.  No doubt, there’ll be someone I’ve forgotten or someone who selfishly gets themselves injured so I won’t be finalising the teams until about five minutes before the deadline as per usual - the downside of entering 54 members is that I have to copy out 54 BOF and E-card numbers on the team declaration forms.


Graham Johnson, Club Captain



Club Membership Explained

An orienteer associated with the club has recently queried the current status of categories of membership and asked the committee to review it. The committee did this at a recent meeting and this article attempts to explain and clarify the position.


The club’s constitution states that it is affiliated to the national body – British Orienteering.  The club has therefore adopted the membership categories currently advocated by this body.

There are three categories of membership – DVO national, DVO local and social.


DVO national. This is the full subscription giving membership to British Orienteering, the East Midlands Orienteering Association and DVO. It entitles you to any discounted rate of entry fee at events and the ability to compete in the British Championships.  You can take part in open meetings of each body, stand for office and become an event official. You will receive communication material from each of the bodies plus other benefits detailed on the relevant websites.

Current subscription rates are:  senior - £20.50;  junior  - £4.85;  family -  £28.00.


DVO local. This rate of subscription gives all the same benefits as above except that your event entry discount will only apply in the East Midlands and you will not be able to compete in the national championships. This category is an entry level to the sport that might be attractive to beginners and more casual orienteers. Because of this there is a promotional membership fee deferral  scheme for new joiners.

Current rates are :  senior - £10.60;  junior - £1.00;  family - £17.00.


Social  This category caters for those who wish to identify with the club but who may be members of other clubs or are not currently fully active in orienteering. You will be able to enter events that have an open entry up to Regional level together with the DVO closed club championships but you will not be eligible for entry fee discounts. You can attend DVO open meetings but not vote; assist with the organisation of events; attend club training and social activities and receive a copy of Newstrack.      Current rate :  £5.00.


Applications for membership can be made directly through British Orienteering or through the club secretary.

N.B. to claim your event entry discount you must show your current membership card when entering at an event, so carry it around with your essential equipment and be polite to officials asking to see it. On – line entries require you to quote your membership number for a discount. It also helps entry processing if you write your membership number on the entry form given out at entry on the day events.

Any queries regarding this article should be directed to the club chairman.




DVO Diary Dates

For full details see

Events and venues can change at short notice.  Please confirm before you set off.


Wed 2 Apr

Belper (Johnson's)

Club Training Night

Fri 4 Apr

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Wed 9 Apr

Belper (Sports Centre/

Queen's Head)

Training Run & Open Meeting

Fri 11 Apr

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Wed 16 Apr

Belper (Johnson's)

Club Training Night

Fri 18 Apr

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Sat 19 Apr

Shipley Park

Local Event

Wed 23 Apr

Allestree (Mackervoy's)

Club Training Night

Fri 25 Apr

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Wed 30 Apr

Belper (Station Car Park at back of Somerfield)

Night Street-O

Fri 2 May

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Wed 7 May

Belper (Johnson's)

Club Training Night

Thu 8 May

Belper (Johnson's)

Development Committee Meeting

Fri 9 May

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Wed 14 May

Allestree (Mackervoy's)

Club Training Night

Fri 16 May

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Sun 18 May

Hardwick Hall

District Event

Wed 21 May

Belper (Johnson's)

Club Training Night

Fri 23 May

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Tue 27 May

Belper (Johnson's)

Fixtures Sub-Committee Meeting

Wed 28 May

Allestree (Mackervoy's)

Club Training Night

Fri 30 May

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Wed 4 Jun

Belper (Johnson's)

Club Training Night

Fri 6 Jun

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Sat 07 Jun

Ilam Hall

Summer Series Local Event

Wed 11 Jun

Allestree (Mackervoy's)

Club Training Night

Thu 12 Jun

Belper (Johnson's)

Committee Meeting

Fri 13 Jun

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Sat 14 Jun

Ashbourne ?

Footpath Relay (to be confirmed)

Sun 15 Jun

Ashbourne (Town Car Park / Godfree's)

Summer Series Street-O & Barbecue

Wed 18 Jun

Belper (Johnson's)

Club Training Night

Fri 20 Jun

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Sat 21 Jun


Summer Series Local Event incorporating Schools Champs

Sun 22 Jun


District Event

Wed 25 Jun

Allestree (Mackervoy's)

Club Training Night

Fri 27 Jun

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Sun 29 Jun


Summer Series Street-O




Event Officials Needed

DVO has a full calendar of events scheduled for the next year.  Many thanks to those members who have been an official for past events and to those who have volunteered for the coming year. There are however a number of coming events that still offer opportunities to assist.

The table below shows the officials who have been appointed for the next year and, more importantly, the vacancies which we still need to fill.  Please consider volunteering to fill a vacancy by contacting our fixtures secretary John Armstrong:-

 Email:   Phone:  01335-348238

Please give it a try even if you have no previous experience.  The C5 events are suitable for first timers as they are small scale.  We have experienced club members who will be willing to help you.



Shipley Park


O/P-Val Johnson.


Belper Street-O


O/P-Val Johnson.





O-Dave Vincent, P-Liz Godfree, C-Ranald Macdonald.


Ilam Hall


O/P-Mark Spendlove



Ashbourne Street-O







O-Ann-Marie Duckworth, P-Paul Armstrong.




O-Derek Bishton, P-James Allen, C-Paul Wright.



Allestree Street-O





Darley Parks


O/P-Val Johnson.


Matlock Street-O


O/P-Helen Finlayson, Neil Forrest


Bakewell Street-O






Note new date


O-Brian Denness, P-Derek & Jen Gale. CONTROLLER NEEDED.


Black Rock


O-Val Johnson, P-Tony Berwick.


Club Champs

Note new date


O/P-Ranald Macdonald.





O-Val Johnson, P-Michelle Mackervoy.


Shining Cliff


O-Sal Chaffey, P-John Armstrong, C-Mick Lucking (NOC).




O-Paul Beresford, P-Steve Kimberley, C-Brian Ward.


Melbourne Street-O


O/P-Doug Dickinson.












Stanton Moor







Events this year take place on a Saturday or Sunday with a mixture of Street Score and Local Events all at bargain prices. All events will feature pre-marked maps and where possible use Electronic Punching (SI). Summer Series events are open to all and offer a good opportunity to practice techniques.  




Event / Courses



How Much?


Ilam Hall and Country Park

10.30 – 11.30



Score (45 mins)

NT –


Mark Spendlove

£1.50 – Seniors

    50p - Juniors



Mass Start 10.30

Street Score

(1 Hour)

Shawcroft Car Park



£1.50 – Seniors

    50p - Juniors




Start times =

10.30 –12.00

Derbyshire Junior Champs

White  to

Light Green



O – Ann-Marie

       Duckworth /

       Rachel Davis

P -  Paul Armstrong



£3.00 – Seniors

£1.00 -  Juniors




Mass Start


Street Score

(1 Hour)

Park Farm Shopping Centre


£1.50 – Seniors

    50p - Juniors


Darley Park

Start times

10.30 – 11.30



Score (45 mins)


Val Johnson

£1.50 – Seniors

    50p - Juniors



Mass Start


Street Score

(1 Hour)

County Hall car park, Bank Rd.

Helen Finlayson

Neil Forrest

£1.50 – Seniors

    50p - Juniors


Volunteers are still needed as planners and organisers for these events – support can be arranged if needed, if you are considering having a go at planning then this is a great way to start.

Contact Val Johnson 01773 824754  or



Coaching Corner – Going Live 


Coaching Corner will be at all DVO events from now on offering members the opportunity of discussing courses both before and after a run.

Why not come along and have a drink and biscuit. Bring your map, splits and discuss route choices and techniques with club coaches and others who have run your course.

Look out for the tent at registration / assembly.










Goes Outdoors






Starting Friday 4th April    7.00 – 8.00pm        

                    Allestree Park. Derby.

Free Parking at the top car park off Woodlands Rd

Terrain Running, Hill Reps, Trains, just to name a few of the ‘exercises’.  

Everyone welcome regardless of ability or fitness.Why not come along and try it out. There’s no pressure. Go at your own pace.



Interland 2008

The Interland match is an annual competition in which England competes against teams from Holland, Nordrhein/Westfalen (NW Germany), Wallonia (French speaking Belgium) and Flanders (Flemish speaking Belgium).  These are selected for each class M/W14, 16, 18/20, 21, 40, 50, 60 with the understanding that in each of the senior classes there will be one older team member i.e. M/W 35, 45, 55, 65.  This year’s event was held in S.E. Holland on 1st/2nd March i.e. the club dinner/Crich weekend.

Pauline Ward, Paul Addison and I were selected to run for England.  Pauline, recently returned from competing ‘down under’ was flying home from a week’s ski-ing with family based in the Pyrenees so was unable to compete.  Paul was persuaded by Jess and Luke that he couldn’t turn down the opportunity to run for his country so delegated the hanging of controls (and on-the-day ‘flak’!) to Dave Chaffey. Thanks Dave. 

Paul agreed to drive down to the bus pick up point ferrying 3 NOC juniors.  It’s a long story but we set off from Sandiacre with only 1 junior, had a 45 minute wait at junction 16 while the 2nd one caught up – the 3rd one was injured so didn’t come.

A speedy trip down the M1 and round the M25 to Woking and we were soon drinking mugs of tea chez Gristwood before boarding the coach which would speed us on our way to Dover and the P&O ferry to Calais – the long line of lorries delayed by the Sea France strike was truly amazing.  We were soon en route to Bruges and our overnight Youth Hostel.  We drove in past the Campanile Hotel, venue for DVO’s first ever trip abroad so many years ago.

We were on the road again by 9 a.m. on Saturday, with a welcome leg stretch and a blustery 1½  hour break in Antwerp.  I don’t know about the juniors but all the seniors found suitable places for hot drinks and toilets – wonderful hot chocolate but €0.30 to “spend a penny”.

By early afternoon we had arrived at the Event Centre for the middle distance race which we were using for training.  Indoor toilet facilities were limited but there was a large hall in which to change and the bar was patronized – no Wilf’s!

The area, adjacent to that we’d be running on the following day, was mixed open and runable wooded areas (bramble-free!). cut through with open sandy tank tracks reminiscent of Ash Ranges.  Many of us made errors and spent time trying to work out the difference between what the mapper showed as a track and a narrow line of sand.  Whether we’d worked this out or not was academic because Sunday’s map was drawn to IOF specification and, therefore, was different.  Quite a few of us came away from the event demoralised after our poor runs.

A good carbo-loaded evening meal set us up for the following day.

I always like it when the start is within a comfortable walking distance of the car, or in this instance our overnight accommodation.  An English clothing transfer from start to finish ensured I could stay warm till the last minute.  I had chosen to wear a Lifa under my smart new Craft top but found it more useful for wiping away sweat than keeping me warm.

Course combinations were such that D60 ran the same course as D14.  This was planned to light green standard, perfectly correct for D14s but I found it somewhat disappointing.  The girls set off at 2 minute intervals from 9:30.  I was the first “ancient lady” at 10:00 and as such did overtake some juniors.  Perhaps I should always run early for I found I had fewer distractions, concentrated on what I was doing and so made none of the “headless chicken” acts which are such regular occurrences for me.

This was a more runable forest with confusing open sandy areas.  A 2m. contour interval plus form lines between meant that depressions and knolls were somewhat insignificant, but after all this is Holland.  My one pit, however, was so deep that you had to run over it to see the control at the bottom.

I raced round the 4km. course in 28 minutes, 3 minutes down on the 1st W14, Lucy Butt of SARUM, and 6 minutes ahead of 2nd placed Sheila Carey of OD.

Longer courses were obviously more challenging than mine for some of the seniors had disappointing runs.  Paul Addison, however, on his first cap for England took 3rd place ahead of his team-mates Jonathon Lagoe and Axel Blomquist.  He must have put Crich out of his mind for those 51 minutes. 

As usual England won the match ahead of the two Belgium teams.

Thanks go to John Rye, England Team Manager, for co-ordinating the weekend with military precision, to Philip (and Helen) Gristwood, Chair of E.O.C. for supporting this match, providing car parking (and iron rations for the return coach journey) and to DVO for supporting me financially now that I am “unwaged”.

Finally I should like to add how impressed I was by the confidence of the W14s, none of whom I had ever met before, who chatted happily to me about our common course, comparing splits and explaining route choices.  Regional junior squads are doing a grand job – these girls were aiming for championship at next weekend’s National, the Lagganlia tour in the summer and the Start programme in another year.  They are very positive about their orienteering and just as importantly are enjoying mixing with other juniors. I know how important this social life was for both David and Chris.  So long as we support and nurture these young people orienteering in England has a very rosy future.

Liz Godfree


Venice Street Event 2007

Having been to the street orienteering event in Venice two years ago, a number of us were keen to go again and 16 of us went over in November.

On Sunday 3,000 orienteers converged on the sports centre in the Arsenale - about 60 from GB.  The start and finish were on the Grand Canal. The start was a bit chaotic as the queues weren't very orderly and my Italian doesn't stretch to reading out my dibber number! I still felt abit frail but when you pick up your map and set off down the beautiful streets of Venice, you somehow forget that. 

The map is excellent - showing the difference between covered and non covered alleyways, the stone fountains in the middle of the squares, individual lamp posts and, of course, the bridges.  On my 3.7 km course I went over 23 bridges. Only one panicky moment at control 3 when the red circle covered up the street and I wasn't totally sure if it was a dead-end. There are a lot of dead-ends and some very narrow lanes, where you have to turn sideways to pass someone else.

I managed to keep in touch the whole way round and from the last control to the Finish it was an exhilarating run along the Grand Canal. I spent longer in the download queue as something had gone awry but it wasn't too much of a problem standing there looking back at the Cannelletto backdrop of Venice. DVO turned in some good performance - Jen Gale 4th on W60; Mike Godfree 8th on M55; Liz Godfree and I 8th and 6threspectively on W55. It was great the Beresfords came with us - their first event abroad and, I suspect, not their last. If you get the chance to do this event - go - it is unique.

Viv Macdonald

(Congratulations on some good performances. Ed.)



Biting Off More Than I Can Chew

You know you’re having a bad day when:

- you arrive at the New Chew event and find that the full bottle of water you started out with is no longer full but its contents have been absorbed by the spare set of clothing you’ve set aside in the bottom of your bag;

- the woman behind you in the queue for the start kindly offers to hook up the back of your rucksack and, in doing so, inadvertently puts tension on the zip on the top so it gradually unzips as you’re running so that, when you finally do stop for a much-needed drink from your (re-filled) water bottle, not only has it fallen out, but you’ve also lost your beloved Northampton Town hat that you’ve had through thin and thin for the best part of twenty years (so if anyone finds a Northampton hat on Saddleworth Moor, you know whose it is);

- having scored 120 points in the first hour, you fail to score a single further point in the remaining 2 hours of your allotted time;

- having congratulated yourself for having nabbed one of only three 50 point controls and having set out for another, you realise that, not only are you not going to claim that second 50 pointer but you are also now hours away from home with only 1 left;

- having spent half an hour, making no headway across featureless, physically draining moorland, the prospect of an hour spent battling a bitter, head-on gale on the A635 suddenly becomes an alluring proposition;

- by the time you get back, your measly 120 points have been eroded to a paltry 69 by penalties

(Footnote: the last time I did the New Chew, I retired, so the above performance does actually represent an improvement; I am actually getting better with age.)

Graham Johnson


Excuse for Not Helping at the DVO National Event

As some of you are aware I competed in the UK Microsoft challenge during June of last year as part of the “Intelligent sport” world series, a sport that combines physical, strategy and intelligence (not sure where I fit in then!!!). Most of the challenges involve orienteering on varying scales of maps.

The week was a phenomenal one where we were hoping to finish in the top half of the table, the whole concept of the competition was new to us so it was a big learning curve, we finished the event 4th out of 125 and secured a place at the world team challenge, located in Nice - Cote d'Azur between 6th – 9th December; where the top performing teams from around the world would compete for world team supremacy.

The team that comprised of 5 members from VT Group plc all arrived in Nice leaving the gloomy clouds of the UK for the warm climate of the south of France. After booking into a fairly plush hotel and having a relaxed lunch by the sea front we started preparing for the coming event,

37 teams from around the world had gathered together after qualifying from their national events. There were about 12 UK teams, 10 American, 4 Asian, 11 European (Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and others). As well as having strong competition between companies there was also the 'Santa Maria Cup'. An ongoing competition between the American and European teams.

The first event took us up into the mountains surrounding Nice. We had five hours of gruelling exercise to complete. The theme for the event was BMW cars. The task was to split into two pairs and collect as many BMW's as possible. Not so simple though. First we had to find tax, then insurance, (just to point out for those thinking I drove everywhere, cars, tax and insurance were just codes and were replaced by an SI box),prior to picking up the car and getting it back to the start before the fuel ran out. We had to get to each point in a set sequence which is tricky if you are splitting up and going off to different points miles apart. Also one pair were running, the other were cycling. Multiple mountains were climbed, and we had to keep our concentration focussed the whole time, both to navigate to the correct point, and to avoid stumbling over the treacherous rocky paths we were attempting to run on. Our strategic thinking and close nit team paid off. After travelling huge distances we always met up within minutes of each other and racked up huge bonuses. We finished 4th in this event.


The next event was in the Nice observatory grounds overlooking the city. It was a two hour night event. The theme was star constellations, and involved running to star information points and plotting the position of stars on a map of the observatory grounds. Each constellation had to be gathered in one at a time by running around the grounds. It was very difficult as each 'control' was not labelled, the event was dependent on the accuracy of the plotting. Our Navigation was excellent, not once losing ourselves in the twisting dark pathways of the observatory woods. However, two small plotting mistakes cost us dearly and we picked up some large penalties by collecting the wrong controls. Stage result was twenty fifth place which dragged our fantastic start to an overall position of ninth.

Not letting the night event get us down we awoke the next morning bursting with energy and ready to take anything thrown our way. The next event took us back into the mountains up an alpine river. The team split into pairs again and started from opposite ends of the course. One pair had to run for an hour through four different sections, up and down the pathways on the side of the gorge. At the same time the other pair were paddling down the fast flowing mountain river, negotiating rapids, and shallows, at some points dragging the canoe over rocks. Both pairs met in the middle and swapped over. To score big bonuses and not pick up penalties each pair then had to beat the time set by their team mates in the first half. It was highly strategic, the first half could have been taken slowly to be cautious but the slower you went the larger your overall time would be. VT made a very solid performance and each time was only minutes apart. Stage result was 20th but overall position remained in ninth place.

The last event took us down to the beach in the expensive Villefranche-sur-mer bay. Here was the final stage of the event, with all still to compete for. As we were surrounded by the mansions of the rich and famous the theme was buying property.( SI Boxes) Again highly strategic and requiring much co-ordination. The two and a half hour race was started with one person from each team making a mad dash down to the sea and swimming out to a buoy before receiving the course maps and info. We then had to run, swim, and kayak to various points around the surrounding area. Starting off with an imaginary budget we visited a land agent, architect and builder in this order picking the points wisely as each had a different assigned value. The team was again split into pairs and sent off to different locations co-ordinating our timing effectively. Team VT excelled at this type of strategising that has come about from a whole year of training getting the team in tune with each others abilities. The completed houses had to be sold at specific time in the stage to get the most profit from market fluctuations. Another complexity to an already tricky event. To gain even more points one of the VT pairs swam out across the bay, and then went kayaking out into the sea to pick up swimming pools and tennis courts to increase the value of our properties. If at any point we spent more money than we had the team would be declared bust and be automatically ranked 40th for the event. In the middle of a long run swim or paddle we were having to work out budgets and strategise the best return on investment! A slightly surreal experience you can imagine! The setting was beautiful and the event went amazingly well for us. Stage position for VT was fifth making our overall final position for the world championships sixth place. Something we are immensely proud of. Later on at the award ceremony the CEO of the world challenger company told us that "for VT to both qualify for the worlds and achieve 6th place in the first year of the competition was a phenomenal achievement"

All in all with the UK event and Nice 2007 was not a bad year at work.

Training is now underway for the 2008 Microsoft UK Challenge to be held in Stirling 11th – 15th June.

Paul Beresford

Infamy, Infamy, They’ve All Got It Infamy

For any self-respecting DVO member, the start of a new year is synonymous with a street event in a picturesque Derbyshire village, or failing that, Belper.  My 2008 got off to a less than spectacular start when, having psyched myself up for a dash round Bakewell, I was thwarted by an unfortunate absence of trainers – that’s the problem with running, too much specialised equipment to remember.

When you commit a small faux pas, you would ideally like, if it be noticed at all, for it to fade quickly into the collective sub-conscious.  I therefore adopted a low-key policy, gallantly accompanying Kay and Doug on a pedestrian sortie into the Bakewell precincts, collecting a disconsolate control here and there.

Settling for an anonymous position in the nether regions of the results, I congratulated myself on successfully consigning this unfortunate episode to the annals.  I was only slightly irked when Doug emailed a photo of me and Kay standing on a bridge, each studying a map and giving every indication of not having a clue where we were.  I was grateful at least that this joke at my expense would go no further than a private email.

The first clue that my damage limitation strategy had gone awry came when barely acquainted people I would normally hurry past on the street started coming up to me, shaking my hand and telling me their life stories solely on the pretext of having seen me featured in the local paper.  Wondering whether my thinly-disguised genius and little-appreciated talents had at last received the recognition they deserved, I almost shelled out hard-earned cash for the local rag, but, at the last moment, was saved by spotting an edition in a pub.  There, in the ironically titled Sports Section, was the very same photograph, illustrating a report on the Bakewell street event by reticent scribe, Paul Wright.  As if it were not enough that my prowess as a walker was now a byword on the streets of Belper, the wretched piece and snap were duplicated in the Matlock Mercury and Derbyshire Times.

For a few short weeks, I lived the life of Pete Doherty – without the fun, drugs or Kate Moss obviously – as I emerged from the house only rarely for fear of being stalked by some Heat reporter or snapped by a paparazzo from the Ilkeston Advertiser.  Eventually I managed to shrug off the shame and stigma foisted upon me as I slowly reverted to what passes amongst other people for a normal life.

Then, on my doormat fell the latest edition of ‘Orienteering Focus’, British Orienteering’s national magazine.  My heart sank as I read on the front cover that this featured an item on ‘Street Orienteering in Derbyshire’.  Suspecting the worse, that in the small hours of the morning, a private member’s bill had sneaked itself past Her Maj, requiring every report on a Derbyshire street event to be accompanied by a reproduction of that wretched photograph, I turned with dread to page 14 when, yes, there the thing was, like an embarrassing tattoo, emblazoned at the top of the page.  If there was any hope that I might remain anonymous, a tribute to the Unknown Orienteer, the accompanying account by serial hack, Paul Wright, not only identified me to the blissful ignorant but also explained the reason for my unaccustomed, statuesque appearance.  Most people, when they find themselves unwittingly illustrated in an orienteering magazine, are at least making an attempt at action.  My image will now forever be associated with the sort of movement which inspired Rodin.

So, thanks, Paul.  I have cancelled all event entries and any competitive orienteering plans for the year lest, like the Elephant Man, I shall be subjected to the cruel taunts and vile humiliations of those that I used to regard as my peers, the little self-respect to which I once clung lying shattered in a thousand pieces.  I have become the Heather Mills of orienteering.

Graham Johnson


On retirement.

This is not another smug piece about the delights of earned idleness but a reflection on the phenomenon known to many of us of not completing an event we started. It was stimulated by a Nopesports blogger’s comment following the club’s Longshaw event on Ros Bourne sacrificing her run to see to the safety of a boy stuck in a bog. Our blogger expressed the view that the results should identify Ros’s selfless behaviour rather than her appearing as just another ‘retirement’. An alarming thought struck me that there must be sad people out there who not only base their self esteem on who they have beaten but who trawl the retirals lists to gloat on abject failure.


So why do competitors retire? Well the most common reason must be the simple failure to find one or more controls and to give up searching. This never happens to some people but some of us try to use it as a learning experience and come back next time to try harder. Then it, is rumoured, there are sensitive competitive types who when they realise they are having a bad run would rather appear in an enigmatic list of retirees than be lower down the finish list than is expected of them. Another category is the drop-outs from being utterly knackered. Now this can conceal a multitude of causes from going down with a nasty attack of something and never should have started to the dire effects of clubbing into the early hours. Most usually though it comes from just being not fit enough to cope with the physicality of the course which is perhaps cause for a little bit of regret that you entered the brown rather than the orange.


We come now to a range of circumstances, some more extenuating than others, that have a certain plausibility. Lost map is a good one, as is lost dibber – a certain carelessness there though. Then there is equipment failure such as disintegrated shoe or trouser elastic expiry. By far the most acceptable reason in this category is injury through going at it with gusto, which can result in key body parts being broken or sprained, flesh torn, eyes pierced etc. To cap it all we must recognise that getting stuck in a bog whether or not someone comes to your aid is a very good reason. No doubt readers will be familiar with many other reasons to retire not here mentioned. Suffice it to conclude that giving explanatory reasons for retirements in results would be quite onerous.


Neil Forrest


Thanks for asking …

On Feb 25th last year I ran in a National Orienteering event on the South Downs. It was a terrific day and I won my class by a long way. I was quite pleased with my run. I drove home, showered and sat down to eat an evening meal with Kay…. She says I had the fork going towards my mouth when I fell asleep.


She put me to bed. It took me two weeks to be able to move. And it has taken eleven months to be back where I am …. Post Viral Chronic Fatigue … I am told I have. Some days are great … others not so.  My sports psychologist says it is difficult to treat in athletes as they just don’t understand about pacing! I have had every test you can imagine and some more. It is not good and I was not prepared for it and I still am not. It was especially awful for Kay who has had to put up with me and pacify my frustrations.


On my good days now I can walk and jog and perform because the adrenaline does the work and the serotonin tries to get through… but afterwards the way down is often slippery and long. It is all a matter of training and pacing (something as an athlete I am hopeless at … my body knows how to over-ride all pain and fatigue). Today I walked./stumbled/jogged around Calke Park …it was wonderful to be out with a map again.


Many people have asked after me and wondered and to them – thank you for your concern, and kind words, they will and do help a great deal – I am on the way back but recognise that the route may not be the easiest. I know from experience over the last few months that I will probably have to pay a price for today’s enjoyment (always was it the case) but the tiredness will be balanced against the excitement and enjoyment of being out orienteering again with friends.

So ………. thanks for asking


Doug Dickinson




JK Results

DVO had some good results in the JK combined days 2&3 with class wins for Jessica Beresford (W12B), Anne Marie Duckworth (W40S) and Liz Godfree (W60L).

Others who finished in the top ten of their class were: Erin Malley 4th (W20L), Kath Whitehead 9th (W50S), Pauline Ward 4th (W60L), Simon Wright 2nd (M16B), Paul Beresford 7th (M35S), Dave Skidmore 7th (M60S).


Congratulations to all of you and all other club finishers who braved the atrocious weather over the weekend.





CONGRATULATIONS to BILL WOODWARD who was 80 on 23rd January, and is thus DVO’s first M80.  Bill, together with Winifred, joined DVO in the 1970s and planned and organized his first event at Cromford Moor in February 1976. Bill hopes to run his first DVO event as an M80 – perhaps Bottom Moor (once known as Matlock East) in May, or even Cromford Moor in September.



DVO SHOP – for all your Club kit



We are looking for someone to take over this retailing enterprise as we have been doing it for a few years now. This could be a sales outlet at events as before or an opportunity for an enterprising geek to develop an on-line facility for viewing and ordering stuff. Please discuss if you are tempted. (01629 734307)


In the meantime we have……..

Trimtex O tops                                                            £28

 ‘O’  Tops – non mesh – sizes 2,3,4,6,7             £15

        - full mesh – sizes 3,4,5,6,7              £19

Polo shirts – adults – S,M,L,XL                 £10.50

    - children’s – ages 3/4;5/6;7/8;9/11        £7.50

Trousers – sizes 1-7                        £11.50

Sweatshirts – adults S,M,L,xl               £12

    - children’s – ages 5/6;7/8;9/11            £8


Sale goods – jackets; old O tops; short and long sleeved T shirts


DVO car stickers                         50p

Permanent Course Map Packs                  75p


We try to get to most events but please feel free to ring or email your order to Viv Macdonald (01629 734307 or