OCTAVIAN Droobers staged a successful Coventry Weekend of Orienteering recently, commemorating the city’s status as the European City of Sport for 2019.
The opening day at the University of Warwick’s brand new sports campus played host to almost 300 runners, who competed in two sprint races around the campus.
To signify the love for the sport that drew orienteers from across the UK and Europe to Coventry, the youngest competitor was just six years old, with the oldest orienteer taking part at the age of 86.
Consistent rainfall did little to prevent the feel-good factor felt by all involved, with the following day’s itinerary drawing in around 400 orienteers.
Sunday’s Urban City race began at Whitefriars Pockey Park in the city centre, where all competitors met before setting loose on the city.
The club were delighted to receive a grant by Coventry City Council towards the running of the race, which helped towards making an array of changes to the maps and the planning of the event by Bruce Bryant.
Following the positive response to the event, the club are hoping to host a follow-up event to coincide with Coventry’s UK City of Culture award in 2021.
Max Straube-Roth (M10) was the winner of the M12 class after competing in both of the sprint races, whilst Fin Prince came third in his maiden orienteering race.
Jacob Oxtoby came first in the M16 event, with Eoin Hankinson second, David Knott third, and Matt Bambrook fourth.
In the M18 class, Felix Lunn was first, Sam Leadley was the fastest home in the M20 category, while Duncan Birtwistle came second in the M21 event.
Alistair Powell was first in the M40 category, while Mykyta Chubynsky second, Peter Carey was the first from the M75 category to finish the Sprint Race, while David Lawson (M55), Florence Lunn (W16), Sophie Kirk (W21) and Michelle Oxtoby (W45) all finished second in their respective categories.
In the Urban City race, Carey claimed another first place in the Hypervet Mens category, with Jacob Oxtoby the fastest in the Junior Mens group and Oleg Pikhurko first in the Explorer course.
Anne Straube was second in the Veteran Women’s event, followed by Lesley Ross in fourth, while Alistair Landels was third in the men’s equivalent.
In the Junior Women group, Florence Lunn (3rd) and Tabitha Lunn (6th) impressed, as did Straube-Roth (2nd), Rupert Powell (4th) and Rhys Caie (6th) in the Young Junior Men category.
Octavian Droobers were well represented almost 2,000 miles away in Helsinki, Finland, as Will Gardner excelled at the Orienteering World Cup.
He was the fastest Brit to finish the long 13.4km course, taking 1:56:52 to do so, which ranked him 43rd out of a field of 127, finishing 14 minutes behind Gustav Bergman from Sweden (1:42:38), before coming 61st in the middle distance 5.9km course.