CROESO 96A report on the Welsh Six Day Orienteering Festival by James Head
Unfortunately there were no suitable village halls in the region of Wales that was tohold this years Welsh Six Day so Peter had managed to obtain two caravans and would betowing his own up behind the minibus for Devon contingent. On arriving at the camp sitehowever we found that the bunk bed in Peters caravan had collapsed, so I spent the first nighton the floor of the minibus and the rest of the week camping. At least the bed hadn’t waiteduntil my brother was asleep on it before collapsing on myself!
DAY 1; GWANAS & TYDDYN DU
Consisting of many intricate contour and rock features this area provided a suitablechallenge for day one. There was a good half hour walk to the start which was mainly up hill,but offered some exceptional views of southern half of the competition area and the Welshhills. After starting I quickly made my way to the first control, then choose to contour aroundthe hillside to control two where I spotted my brother, Andrew, just coming over the hill onthe more direct route. Moving on to control three both Andrew and myself dropped down toolow as we inadvertently ran into control six, and Andy Reynolds. The next three controlsproved very elusive for everyone being in a particularly complicated area of the map, anddespite already running through it once, control six was also 100 metres further on then Ienvisaged. A long slog uphill to control seven enabled Andrew to gain a good lead over me,and now that he was well out of sight I began to concentrate better on my technique. I madegood use of contouring for the passage along the northern slopes though I was hampered onceI had twisted my left ankle and knocked the bone of my right ankle on the rocks. I finishedthe course taking rather longer then normal but felt that I had “woken up” for the rest of theweek. Andrew had of course finished much earlier and took much pleasure in reminding meof this for the rest of the day! During the afternoon those in the minibus went on a trip to theCentre for Alternative Technology where we were educated in the benefits of cleaner andmore environmentally friendly power sources and living methods.
DAY 2; CEFNDEUDDWR
The guide book promised completely contrasting orienteering to the previous day,being mainly within a Forest Enterprise plantation, running along a north-south ridge, with acouple of small open moorland areas visited by the longer courses. Today saw Andrewstarting six minutes before me which proved to be an advantage for myself as I did not haveto worry about him catching me up! The first two controls were straight forward enough, andfor the third, a knoll located within an area of forest walk, I decided to be clever and attack atthe direction most people would be leaving for control 4. Although I found the controlquickly I did not see any other orienteers! On the way to control four I caught sight of Andrew through the thick trees, and I could see by the way he was moving that he wascomplete oblivious to me as I overtook. There were one or two discrepancies in the mappingat this point which did create a few moments of confusion in places as I re-read the map tomake certain I was correct. Andrew managed to catch up as I spent twenty minutes lookingfor control 8, a crag which proved very elusive for the twenty or so M21/M50’s lookingaround. There was a large amount of unmapped rock in the area including two unmappedwalls. I thought at this stage that Andrew had created a large lead so was very surprised whenhe popped out of the forest behind me after control fourteen. There followed a rather boring