It has been two years in the planning and Octavian Droobers Orienteering Club are delighted to have received 1300 pre-entries to the Warwickshire Orienteering Weekend (WOW). The weekend of urban and cross country adventure racing comprises the Rugby Town event on Saturday afternoon 25 March and Bentley Wood, Atherstone, on Sunday morning 26 March. To daye there have been over 14,000 hits on the WOW webpage.

Both events have been awarded national status with Rugby declared a UK Orienteering League and UK Urban League event and Bentley Wood, also a UK Orienteering League, junior selection race and Midland Championships. 

The club will be welcoming orienteers from 75 clubs from right across the UK, including Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and overseas from Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic and China. Entrants, male and female from 8 to 85 years will be competing on a wide range of age related distance and newcomer courses.

Rugby Urban Event

With approximately 500 entrants it is believed that this will be the largest urban event ever staged outside of London. Rugby town was selected as the ideal location for this weekend of orienteering due to its great accessibility and sporting history. Phil Kirk, organiser, says that the event could not have been held without the great support received from Rugby Borough Council, Leisure Centre, Rugby Athletics Club, Lawrence Sherriff School, local businesses and especially St Cross Hospital.  The hospital has allowed full access to their site and grounds, which it is believed is a first for orienteering.

The arena is at Rugby Athletics Track and opens at 12.30pm. Visitors are encouraged to come along to watch and find out about the sport. There will be limited entry on the day, subject to map and start time availability.

Around the town numbered control points will be placed at 70 varied locations, including significant features such as statues, trees, fences, benches etc. A specially drawn, very detailed, large scale map, showing all streets and buildings, covering 2.5 of central Rugby, with Lawrence Sherriff School in the middle, has been produced. These will be issued to each competitor, along with electronic timers at pre-allocated start times, from 12.30pm until 3pm. Seven age class courses, for experienced orienteers, newcomers and juniors, have been planned and the longest course is 7.2km (Mens Open), with an expected run distance of 10km to visit 31 of the controls in numerical order.

Among the many visitors, we are pleased to announce that the Mayor of Rugby, Councillor Sally Bragg, will be attending the event and Rugby’s Member of Parliament, Mark Pawsey, is also planning to join us to experience orienteering. Several British Champions and orienteers who have competed for GB, England and Scotland will be running.   

An event of this scale could not happen without the help from 50 club members who have been organising, mapping, and planning courses. The club looks forward to a great day of orienteering in Rugby on Saturday.                         

Bentley Wood, Atherstone, Event

Over 800 competitors have already pre-registered to orienteer around the parkland and beautiful woods at Merevale Hall, a private estate. Organiser, Bob Brandon, is delighted with the local support from Atherstone Town Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council and the many businesses in the town who have offered additional parking.  Merevale Hall Estate owners have been very accommodating giving the club a superb location for the Arena and to allow full use of the woods to provide some great cross country courses.

There are 18 different distance courses to suit all ages and abilities, including newcomers and very young children. Start times are from 10.30am until 1pm and entry on the day is available subject to map and start time availability. The longest course, suitable for experienced orienteers, is 11.5km with 360 metres of climb and the shortest course is 1.6km, ideal for young juniors 10 years and under. A large-scale map and electronic timer will be issued to each entrant at the pre-allocated start times. Help on how to orienteer, read the map, use a compass and the timer will be given to all newcomers.

Competing will be many orienteers who are British Champions, and those who represent GB, England and Scotland around Europe and the World. There will be a prizegiving ceremony to present the new 2017 Midland Champions with their trophies at 2.30pm.

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