The Pharce

the oxford university ORIENTEERING club newsletter

Hilary 1999, Vol. 1

Welcome back!

Welcome to a very exciting term of orienteering with OUOC in 1999. I know it's been a while since you've received an issue of this ace newsletter, but things have been busy in the editor's office of late. But, there's nothing like a holiday to really get things done.

I hope you're happy with the way things went last term, and that you had a chance to get out into the woods. We enjoyed successes in many areas, but I'm especially pleased with the attendance at events and the enthusiasm many new members have shown.

If you enjoyed the outing or two you had last term, check out the enclosed term card and choose a few upcoming events that strike your fancy. Contact Ian Cumpstey to register, and then just remember to turn up on the day.

As you'll have learned by now, people orienteer for different reasons; some do it to get away; some do it for the challenge; some do it for the adventure-whatever your reason, you'll enjoy the sport more the better you get. Other club members are here to help you improve, so ask for their advice. What went wrong after I left the track at that last event? How can I interpret these brown contour lines better? Should I be reading every detail on the map? How can I use the compass more?

On Sunday of 3rd week we'll be holding a training day to work on the skills of orienteering. Plan to attend and get more out of those Sunday mornings in the woods!

See you all soon,
--Dave Donaldson, Trinity

Why 'The Pharce'?

It's obvious: you're all out there asking why we call this newsletter 'The Pharce'?! Well, club secretary, Ian Cumpstey, has developed a unique vocabulary over his four years at Oxford. His cryptic emails are known for words like 'pharcical', or 'fun seekers', or 'Skillders Limp'. Thus, many years ago this newsletter earned the name in his honour. Now you know.

Varsity Match highlights Hilary

One of the major annual goals for OUOC is to beat Cambridge in the Varsity Match. We look well-poised to claim some more victories for the record books, but we really need every member's help to make it happen. There are five different teams which will run on courses of varying length and difficulty - something for everyone: Womens' A, Mens' A, Womens' B, Mens' B, Mens' C. The two A courses are by selection only. Selection will be based on results of the 6th week event in Wales with discretion by team captains.

This year's VM will be held in South Wales on some sandy seaside areas-some of the best in Britain without a doubt. We'll drive there on Saturday morning (March 13th), spend the night, and then return to Oxford on Sunday after a fun mixed relay. Saturday night features a legendary bop and boat race-two other disciplines at which we thrash the Tabs.

So, if you're at all interested, keep March 13&14 free and get orienteering! The best way to improve at orienteering is to practice orienteering. The training day, training weekend and Wales event will all be excellent chances to improve. Good luck!

Welcome new members!

Michaelmas term brought us an enthusiastic group of new members and they've been actively attending weekend events. Well done everyone.

I know things at OUOC can seem a bit confusing at times; orienteering isn't an easy thing to explain to anyone. So, please just ask questions of everyone around you if you wonder about anything. A list of contacts is overleaf and everyone there will be happy to help you.

Club Lunch is another great way of getting into the swing of things. We meet every Wednesday at 1:00 in the Trinity JCR for a very informal smorgasbord lunch and a chance to chat about the weeks ahead. Make it a part of your weekly schedule.

New Members this year:
Toby Rogers Alex Edmans
Neil Cumpstey Lily Filip
Luis Da Silva Garca Jane Sargison
Sarah Potts Richard Stanley
Tom Norton Kadi Kerge
Tim Smith Justin Whitton
David Hamilton others I fogot?....sorry!

Who to contact....

General: Dave Donaldson, Trinity
Registration: Ian Cumpstey, St Johns
Money: Christine Ashton, Jesus
Training: Steve Fisher, Nuffield
Socials: Andy Macleod, Brasenose
Everyone: club mailing list

Christmas Lake District week

In ninth week of last term OUOC members joined the Cambridge club for some hostile inter-club training in the Lakes. Ian Cumpstey has all the legendary details.

Well all those of you who didn't go on the tabs training week missed a really good trip and one that's certainly left it's mark on me. It all began pretty late on one early Sunday morning. The tourists (as the tabs would have us known) were accompanied by none other than the St Catz boatie captain Peter Murphy, who was hoping to cadge a lift as far as cannock chase with us - which he did. on the train. Anyway we met the tabs at cannock but they too had the vm trophy in mind and having been embarrassed by the oxford boys' form on the chase, they began to execute their well thought out plan. A day later and the scene was looking bleak for oxford orienteering. No sooner had the light blue redbrickers scared off our fresh talent in the form of Richard Stanley than they brought in their own new top tab. Competing for a t shirt at another event he'd arrived late in the day to catch us unawares. The tabs had chosen their next victim and there was just one more oxford boy on tour on the floor bleeding guts - and that after only one day's training, on Tarn Hows where in the morning we'd done one of those amusing exercises that the planner needn't put out any controls for, and in the afternoon it was compass and contours. Ace. Anyway the week wore on and in the time honoured OUOC policy on these matters if you want to know what happened you should have been there.

Training this term

With the Varsity Match only eight weeks away, training in Oxford for physical fitness is important for success. Try these for fit fun:

Intervals session: Every Tuesday, starting at 6:00 at Iffley Track. Fast repeats of short distances can be suited to everyone and are the quickest way to get fit for Cambridge. Only 30 minutes of running-back in time for dinner.

Hob Nob Run: Every Wednesday, starting at 5:30 at Trinity Gates. This is our 'fun run' of the week. An easy 45 minute jog for everyone with biscuits and drinks afterwards.

Longer Run: Every Thursday, starting at 5:00 at Trinity Gates. A slow, but longer run for (60-70 mins) those who need more stamina in their life....Blokes? Need more stamina?

Highlights this term

A scary amount of top orienteering is on offer this over the next nine weeks with opportunities every weekend. Some of the highlights:

Training Day: This very informal session organised by OUOC will be comprised of two parts: Shotover in the morning and Brill in the afternoon. Both are very local areas, so the bus will return to Oxford at midday to drop off and pick up new people. The Shotover morning will allow experienced members to 'shadow' newer orienteers as they complete a course. This is the best way to improve your skills. The afternoon Brill session will be more difficult-a nice progression from Shotover. A very nice area. All training is 'do at your own pace' stuff with the emphasis on fun.

Star Posts Badge Event: A classic area and a classic annual event. The wide open forests and rolling hills will set the stage for the annual Town v. Gown event. This is our chance to show Oxford townies how to orienteer, so everyone is needed. Must register with Ian very soon; by Monday of 1st if possible.

National Event, Surrey: Quite a large event with lots of courses to choose from, people, atmosphere, and beautiful woods. Must register with Ian as soon as possible.

Training Weekend, Southampton: Very unique and beginner-friendly terrain to be found down there. A weekend of fine-tuning with the Varsity Match in mind. Friday and Saturday nights in a scouts facility. One of the most fun weekends of the year-and a chance to really see improvements in your orienteering.

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