Interland Report 2011
INTERLAND 2011 – MATCH REPORT
England won the Interland Cup in 2011. This six-cornered match against two Belgian teams (Flemish (VVO) and Walloons (FRSO)), the Dutch (NOLB), Nordrhein-Westfalische (NW Germany – WTB) and a French team from the Ligue Nord–Pas de Calais de course d’orientation (LNPCCO) took place on 6 March. The match was hosted by the ‘TüS Lübbecke’ orienteering club, celebrating its 45th year, on behalf of the Westfalen Turnerbund at Börninghausen near Lübbecke, NW Germany. The competition is a team effort spanning age groups from W and M14 to W and M65: 42 team members in all.
Position Team Points
1. ENG 252
2. VVO 212
3. FRSO 146
4. WTB 124
5. LNPCCO 99
6. NOLB 41
Looking up into the mainly deciduously wooded Wiehenberge hills bathed in the early morning sunshine one couldn’t help but think that this terrain would suit the ‘Brits’ more than the ‘Continentals’; and so it proved. England’s 40 point margin of victory was one of the best for years and reflected good individual performances throughout the team and across the age groups. Within the team the junior ladies contingent (D14, D17 and D20) were impressively dominant and England also put two on the podium in D40, D50, H14, H Elite, H50 and filled it in H60. Helen Ockenden (SROC), Harriet Lawson (DVO), Lucy Butt (SARUM), Judith Holt (DVO), Nathan Lawson (DVO), Keith Masson (MV) and Andy Hemsted (HOC) won their classes and Lois Jefferson (LOC), Sophie Kirk (OD), Jane Morgan (SOC), Jill Libby (CLOK), Tim Morgan (SOC), Olly Williams (DEE), Ian Nixon (AIRE) and Julian Lailey (SROC) placed second. No less than nine third places (out of 14 classes) and good packing and strength in depth from the whole team helped England win.
The team travelled by coach and ferry to Brugges on the Friday evening. Lübbecke is the furthest England have ever travelled to Interland so on Saturday morning it was a pleasure to break the journey at Arnhem, albeit briefly, parking by the ‘John Frostbrug’ bridge ‘not too far’ away, and then on to the training event at Karl Wart-Ost (just south of Lübbecke) that afternoon. The race itself was centred on Börninghausen, on the new “Nonnenstein-Ost” map. The match terrain was open with mainly good visibility and therefore fast underfoot, only tempered by courses where the height gain averaged 4% (and none of the climbing could be reasonably described as gratuitous). The forest track network was typical of a working forest but the planning minimised the tracks’ utility (the planner, Chris Prunsche won H20 in Interland 2010). Legs offering a contouring option on a steepish slope cut by re-entrants; some deep, some shallow; were a particular feature. As ever the challenge was to balance speed across the ground with accuracy near the controls, especially depressions and those dependent on local vegetation mapping.
After an England team photo and a generous prize giving, complete with the Interland Cup and many team members sporting hard won medals, the team recovered to England via the Calais-Dover ferry. One of the benefits of Interland is that each course is run by both a junior class and a senior class so on the coach on the way back there was a lively and beneficial interaction between, for example the D17s/H60s and the D50s/H14s swapping strategies and tactics. The team was ably supported by travelling junior reserves. Thanks are also due to those team members and several parents who drove to and from the coach rendezvous points, some very long distances with full cars, many early into the Monday morning.
The 2012 Interland Cup is to be hosted by FRSO in southern Belgium, not far from Luxembourg, on 22 April.
Report by Team Manager: John Rye