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2008 – Controller’s Comments

Chris Lates

This year’s Saunders was a real test of your skills. It is rare for us to get two successive days of such poor visibility. It is a tribute to competitors’ navigation that most courses were won in times close to, or faster than, our estimated winning times, despite the mist. Possibly more surprising is that in only one class was the slowest time longer than our estimate. (Yes, Mark had calculated that as well!)

We did make two minor changes to courses because the forecast wind speed for the Saturday was 50 to 60mph. These did not alter course lengths, but gave the Carrock Fell class more time in the slower, southern, area.

From my point of view the event went smoothly, any minor hiccups were coped with by the very experienced team, and hopefully not noticed by the competitors.

I should like to finish by thanking:

  • Mr & Mrs Hall, Fornside, and Mr Weir, Dowthwaite Head, the farmers for whom nothing was too much trouble.
  • United Utilities, The National Trust, Dalemain Estates, The Lake District National Park Authority and Natural England for allowing us to use the land under their management.
  • St. John’s Ambulance for providing first aid cover at the overnight camp and finish.
  • The Backpackers Club for manning several checkpoints and helping us gather in controls.
  • Wilf’s Outdoor Catering for providing all of the food at the assembly area.
  • Andrew Leaney from SI for his instant access to any competitor data that we needed to know. (Can you remember back 15 years when we had Tyvek control cards to check?)
  • Chris Hall, who has planned and controlled before, and was ever present and ever helpful.
  • David Johnstone, the Organiser, and his superb band of helpers.
  • Mark Hawker, Planner and Co-ordinator. Mark did a wonderful job, presenting me with a superb set of courses which needed virtually no tweaking apart from changes due to Natural England suggestions. Mark is hoping to compete next year. He will be missed!
  • Finally, thank you, the competitors. Your cheerfulness in the lashing rain and howling wind was amazing. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Chris Lates