The planner’s thoughts on the subject may be read here. Edit: can’t get the link to work, have cut/pasted the planner’s comments below.
Mole Valley regret the fear, discomfort, and danger to which some competitors were subjected, and accept that some aspects of the organisation could have been better. The out-of-bounds overprint should have had a bigger break each side of the road, the final details should have been explicit about the dangers of deep water, and the car parking team should have kept better control of where drivers were going.
Nevertheless, the primary blame for out-of-control boys playing at being soldiers, and taking pleasure in intimidating civilians into deep water, surely lies with army?
Voiding a leg is not a satisfactory solution, but I would suggest that it is the best solution available. Voiding complete courses would make every competitor’s efforts a complete waste.
Edit: paste from the MV web site:
A note from the Planner
Two “problems” arose on the day, one of which was totally unexpected whilst the second had, I thought, been sorted out well beforehand.
The second of these “problems” requires, for all those competitors involved, a full explanation, so here goes:
In December the Training area authority told me to avoid the area in the vicinity of one of the troop shelters (F). This was easy, but knowing there were another units on area I contacted the Authority but hit the Christmas break. On their return in January I was informed that the unit was Tonbridge School Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and to ensure that there would be no conflict of use contacted the Officer Commanding the unit after their Christmas break (January 7).
I found out where they would be, on the Middle Bridge, and explained where we would be. He had no problems with orienteers crossing the bridge that all the courses in that area had been planned to cross. (The stream/river in that area, as many now know, is fast and deep even without the previous night’s rain swelling it by 2 or 3 feet.) In order to ensure de-confliction with the CCF unit an out-of-bounds screen was added to the course overprint, and in the cool light of day on the computer screen and on the ink-jet proofs it appears obvious to me that the road is useable. With hindsight I should have put an edge next to the road or a crossing point to make it more obvious.
On the Sunday morning, after all the controls were out and checked, I went to the area the CCF unit were training in and had a conversation with the Officer Commanding them, explaining where the competitors would be coming from and he again said there would be no problems with orienteers crossing the bridge (I even gave him timings of between 10:30 and 1:30 so that he knew it would be an extended period). I do not now why the CCF Cadets were stopping runners from using the bridge, as at no time was it suggested that this would happen.
As a result of the problems encountered by some, the leg from control 218 has been removed from the final results. The ranking data will be submitted using the final results and the allocation of the badge time has also been done on the final results.
Now the for the strange but true problem concerning control 217:
10 months ago an unknown control collector for the JK dropped control 213 in the woods about 100 metres from where it had been collected. On Sunday Charlie Turner (SLOW) found it about 25 metres from control 217. Neither the planner nor the controller had seen it in a total of 5 visits, probably because we were never looking for a control. After Charlie had found it a large number of other competitors also found it, some saw it was the wrong code and continued on to the correct one, some saw it was the wrong code and thought it to be a planner’s error (after all why should there be 2 controls on the same feature) and punched it and some just punched it because the code was 21?. (Some never saw it at all). As all competitors visiting 217/213 punched at at least one of the controls no one has been disqualified for not punching 217. The split times for 217 have been adjusted as the rogue controls timer was about 2 minutes different from the real control’s timer.
(It should be noted that the battery on SportIdent BSF8 units will last at least 10 months in the forest and survive at least 6 consecutive days below freezing, but by then the kite will be covered in moss and lichen).