58th RODINGS RALLY (2014) Report
Saturday-Sunday 15/16th November
Thank you all for entering the 58th Rodings Rally and well done to everyone who took part. We thought last year’s entry was good but this year surpassed it with 102 of the 106 available entry slots filled. As mentioned in the initial reminder letters sent in August, spaces are getting tight every year, so it's a good idea to enter sooner rather than later. The Rally goes ahead, whatever the weather, so it’s not dependent on whether you enter, but your chances of winning are – have a look at the start times of the winners this year! The provisional date for the 59th Rodings Rally is 21st/22nd November 2015, so please save the date in your calendars.
Of the 63 teams entering the 10 checkpoint event, 21 teams managed to find all 10 checkpoints. The winning team, South London Orienteers, improved on their second place from last year and steamed round, very literally when they passed our checkpoint, in 3 hours and 34 minutes, only 21 minutes ahead of Suff Folk. Special mention also should go to team Bob the only under 20 team to enter the 10 checkpoint event, who managed to find 7 checkpoints in 7 hours and 48 minutes, a valiant effort for a young team.
Last year’s five checkpoint event winner, DM Go Faster, gave the 10 checkpoint event a go this year, and last year’s second place team Force 6, under a different moniker but still the same team, also rose to greater heights to come home in 2 hours and 41 minutes, which goes to show that practice makes perfect! However, they were not the only ones! With exactly the same time, the Barnet Strollers shared the winning sport.
It's the first time any of us can remember a tie in any of the events, so both teams will be sharing the trophy this year.
The Group Trophies, awarded to the Group or club with the three highest placed teams in each event, went to the Rayleigh Rockets in the 10 checkpoint event (30 checkpoints in 20 hours and 11 minutes hours). This was in spite of the fact that one of their teams, Rockets 2, missed a checkpoint and went back to cover it, adding an extra hour to their journey, rather than take the usual option, which is when asked if they would like to go back to say ‘no thank you’ or words to that effect and carry on. Our congratulations to them for their perseverance. The best five checkpoint group was the 41st Epping Forest Scouts, who managed 15 checkpoints in 12 hours and 40 minutes.
The Rockets Trophy also goes to one of the 41st Epping Forest Scouts teams, Explorers 1 as the fastest under 20 team to complete the 5 checkpoint event. Only five teams in this year’s event were under 20, four in the 5 checkpoint event and team Bob who were in the 10 checkpoint event. Well done to you all and we hope to see more teams in this category in the future.
Trophy winners will be contacted shortly to confirm delivery arrangements if not already received.
Apologies to everyone who had hoped to pick up their certificate for entering the Rally at the village hall. The certificates were there on the night, but due to a mix up they were not presented. Attached to the last page of the report here is a copy for anyone who wants to prove they took part, but if you would like your team certificate with the name on, please let me know and I will post them to you - please send me an address to do so.
As stated on our information sheet, 50p from every entry is donated to a charity nominated each year at our AGM. Those of you who entered the 2013 Rally may be interested to learn that your donations went to the Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs, who were this year trying to raise £50,000 for their 50th anniversary celebrations.
Two things to note please this year – we had quite a bit of feedback about this year’s clues, one person even going so far as to comment on the possible age of the clue setters (and being more accurate than he perhaps thought). Its always a bit of a balance trying to set the clues so that they are understandable to both the older more experienced hands and to the younger teams, several of whom said they had no trouble with them, certainly on the five mile route.
The other thing was, and this was mainly noticed by our tea-pointers, because of the different location this year, that not all of the competitors using the roads were as visible as they could be. We try our best to ensure that the roads on the route are signed to warn drivers of your presence and we also try wherever possible to prevent you having to use the roads by designing the course with a leaning towards forest rides and away from roads.
There are, however, always a few speed-demons about on those nice long forest roads who will insist on driving too fast and being a danger to themselves and others. A lot of the older hands, we know, slide around the forest like ninjas so as not to be seem by others teams and, we hope, because of this, take extra care when they cross the main roads. However, if you have to use the roadways, please use torches and hi-viz stripes – we want to see you all back next year!
Many thanks again to all of you who took part and we look forward to seeing you all next year,
Peter Gamble & Sue Carroll
on behalf of Epping Forest Outdoor Group
Every year we have some feedback from our contestants, which is always most useful. For those of you who have put up entries on the Facebook page, please be advised that Susan Carroll isn’t on Facebook, so if you would like this information to get to the EFOG, please can you email me directly.
The 7th Stoke Newington Scouts, all glowing nicely in their reflective jackets, brought along some four legged aid in the form of George the dog, who proved to be a very able ‘rover’ Scout for the teams on the night:
We really enjoyed the rally this year as always - it was such good fun. Thanks to everyone at EFOG for making it such a special event.
George is the dog. It was his second rally, having competed last year too and proved himself to be a great pace-setter. He enjoyed himself this year again and Hilary from our team 2 said he did get a little excited at finding the first tent!
The scouts were exceptionally good this year - really enthusiastic and focused. We had 7 girls and 1 boy (there will be some ribbing of the male contingent that wimped out) and the youngest was just 11.
In team 3 the scouts located the first three tents straight away, but became a little over confident on the fourth and we had to retrace our steps and try again.
Thanks again and do sign us up for next year...
All the best, Mike
Assistant Cub Scout Leader
7th Stoke Newington Scout Group
Ryan Smith of team Slack Ops wrote after this year’s Rally:
My son, James, is 14. He has always enjoyed running around in the forest, climbing trees etc, so I thought that this could be a real adventure. He is at that age when he would probably prefer to not be seen with his dad, so I thought your rally would be ideal. From when I first suggested it, he was keen that we run it all and I was happy to play along if it meant that he would enjoy it.
With that in mind, if you remember anyone in shorts and trainers on the night - that was me. We started at 22:40 and it was very chaotic. Head torches that fell off; a hand torch that was dropped (my error) and was never the same again; and an inability to find anything in any pocket. None of this was helped by the fact that we had been in a restaurant celebrating my father-in-laws 80th birthday up until 22:00.
We solved the clues quite quickly in the car, but I would be so better organized next year. A board and some pins would be a good start. By the time we had finished, my boy was like a greyhound ready to go and we ran in the direction of the first tent.
In terms of orienteering, we are both complete novices, but I do a lot of mountain biking, so I had hoped my local knowledge of the forest would give us an advantage. This is still debatable. We found the first tent relatively quickly and jogged on to the bogs in high spirits.
As a parent, it is lovely to get a chance to be with your child and talk about life and this is especially true when they get to their teenage years. Personally, I was having a lovely time, if a little out of breath. We arrived at the Lodge Road as per the plan and vaguely paced down the road to the bog. After all, it looked big on the map. Nothing! There seemed to be a lot of other teams in the vicinity that suggested we were not the only ones who were confused. In the middle of the night a lot of dips in the ground suggested the potential for a lake/bog but our descent into each one resulted in firm(ish) ground rather than a splash.
We headed back to the road to re-access the situation. We chose to go further down the road, but unfortunately I headed in the wrong direction. Apparently, my son pointed this out to me, but I wasn't listening. We re-paced the road on three further occasions and on each venture my son's patience grew shorter. One particularly bad piece of map reading led to me resorting to using my recently purchased compass (bought the Friday before) and this time we ended up at completely the wrong end of the road. I dread to think how far we walked around that area, but we were there for over an hour.
Plan 5b sent us back to the beginning and we ignored the bog completely. We took our time to pace the road and then pace our way into the forest. We still didn't find the bog, but I am pleased to say that we found the tent. I asked James if he wanted to run to the next one, but he said that he would rather walk. Children are normally keen to join in, but like things to happen quickly. I knew that I had lost him a little.
I pondered a shortcut to the next clue, but knew that I couldn't make a mistake this time. Instead, we took the fire-road that initially headed in the wrong direction but had a far better probability of restoring my boy's faith in his father's sense of direction. We found the tent, mainly due to my new best friend (the compass) and a smart piece of awareness on my son's behalf. I think he felt that he needed to get more involved if we were to ever get around the whole course and I can't blame him.
Confidence slightly raised, we headed to the last tent unaware of the treat to follow. In this part of the forest we were completely alone and we stumbled upon the odd deer and some spooky eyes that watched us on our way. It was all very Lord of the Rings.
I knew that there was a drinks tent in the forest, but did not know that it would be on our route. The good folk that gave us a cup of tea and a hot chocolate were like an oasis in a desert. A nice touch and much appreciated.
If we had managed to find the last tent quickly all may have been saved, but, alas, it was not to be. We tried to find a trail that would lead us straight to it, but only found ourselves back on the road. The second trail led us back to the start. All very frustrating. With compass in hand, I attempted to walk 200m in a straight line directly north of the road, but straight lines and thick undergrowth don't go hand-in-hand. I would guess that we were in this part of the forest for a further hour.
My son never gave up and never suggested we should, but was fantasizing (out loud) about the moment when he would crawl into his bed. With this in mind I was desperate to find the last tent, but having walked around in circles for so long that I no longer knew where we were, I resigned myself to heading back to the road and starting again. As we set off back we passed through a large group of people and I said (almost prayer-like) to James that it would be so nice if we just happened to stumble upon the tent. Ten seconds later (prayers answered) we did. I regret that I didn't let him find it, but I was so happy that I couldn't contain myself. We actually hugged each other and had a high five.
I then came out with my best move of the evening. Instead of heading back to the road, in the wrong direction, I trusted to the compass that felt like it was taking us in the wrong direction and came out exactly at the Robin Hood roundabout. It may have only saved us about a quarter of a mile, but every little counts when you are trying to restore your child's faith in you. Once again, completely alone in the forest, we crossed directly across the roundabout and on to the village hall.
We finished at about 4:00 and sadly had to turn down the kind invitation of a hot drink. The thought of having to take off our shoes was just too much and my son's getting into bed fantasy had grown to enormous proportions. Ten minutes later we were back at the car and shortly after the fantasy was fulfilled. I didn't dare suggest that he do anything more than remove his shoes (the socks came off in the process!) before he crashed. He awoke at 13:00 the next day, but probably could have slept all day. His bedding was thoroughly washed before he got to see it again.
In terms of creating memories the rally certainly succeeded, but if I had to bet, I would guess that I will need a new partner for next year. They say that time heals and I hope it does. Big time thanks to everyone involved and I look forward to seeing you all again next year.
Jayne from the Warwick Wanderers, who really did come all the way from Coventry for the event, wrote:
Layered in 4 pairs of trousers, 5 jumpers, head torches, some curly wurly's and wellies we were ready to tackle the forest. We were excited about the prospect of finding our first tent!! Solving the clues & coordinates was our first challenge. We exceeded our expectations and managed to find all 5 tents! What we didn't realise however, was how many layers we were subsequently going to have to remove during the walk.
We arrived back exhausted, muddy and wet but most importantly, we did it!!! Over a delicious hot breakfast we decided that next year we were going to run the rally and win!! Thank you so much to everyone that organised such a great event!
Any property unclaimed after 3 months will be donated to a local charity shop.
1. Black tube style neck scarf
2. Pair, clear plastic eye protector glasses
For those of you who get a bit confused by all these numbers, the results are listed by the Group name and team number, not the team name (unless your team isn’t in a group to start with!) So, if there is any confusion, look down the left hand column for your team number, then claim bragging rights over your group mates ! To see the results, click here