Interland Report 2010


England won the Interland Cup in 2010. 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 7 March.  The match was hosted by the august orienteering club KOL on behalf of the Vlaams Verbond voor Orinteringssporten (VVO) at Hechtel near Leopoldsburg in NE Belgium.  The competition is truly a team effort spanning age groups from W and M14 to W and M65: 42 team members in all.

1st ENG 245 points

2nd VVO 238 points

3rd FRSO 167 points

4th LNPCCO 112 ponts

5TH NOLB 102 points

6TH WTB 94 points

England’s 7 point margin of victory was the closest ever with the Belgians taking full advantage of their familiarity with this type of terrain and mapping.  Within the team the junior ladies contingent (D14, D17 and D20) were impressively dominant and their contribution swung the match our way.  England also put two on the podium in D40, D50 and H14, and filled it in the H Elite.  Katherine Hall (SYO), Zoe Harding (SROC), Sophie Kirk (OD), Jane Morgan (SOC), Dane Blomquist (BAOC), Matt Crane (BOK) and Andy Hemsted (HOC) won their classes and Sarah Jones (BARRO), Florence Haines (AIRE), Charlotte Watson (WCOC), Vicky Thornton (MDOC), Alistair Thornton (MDOC), Nick Barrable (SYO), Quentin Harding (SROC) and Tim Tett (SYO) placed second.  Five third places 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; to Brussels for a dose of culture (and chocolate) on Saturday morning and on to the training event at Houthalen-Kelchterhoef that afternoon.  All the teams were accommodated in the Youth Hostel De Roerdomp Bokrijk, outside Genk and shared a meal there.  The race itself was centred on Don Bosco College, Hechtel-Eksel on the Hechtelse Duinen map.  The match terrain was a patchwork of forest-covered dunes and open sandy areas with intricate relief, occasionally used for Belgian Army training.  The map scale was either 1:10,000 or 1:7,500 depending on length of course, with 2m contours.  Conditions were sharp but the early morning sunshine made it seem warmer out of the shade.  As ever the challenge was to balance speed across the ground with accuracy near the controls

After a generous prizegiving and an England team photo, 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 a junior class and a senior class so on the team 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 and Assistant Team Manager Helen Gristwood.  Thanks are also due to those team members and several parents who drove to and from the rendezvous points, some very long distances with very full cars, many early into the Monday morning.

The 2011 Interland Cup is to be hosted by WTB in NW Germany, most probably in March.

Report by Team Manager: John Rye