Fun in Cyprus

Day 1 Finish at the Cyprus O Meet, March 2024

Sally comes 2nd in W45, a Harris Relay and Andy meets Aphrodite!

Motivated by our enjoyment of the Gran Canaria O Meet at Christmas, we decided to seek out some more sunny orienteering for the spring! A quick look at the WorldofO calendar turned up the Cyprus O Meet in March. With reasonably priced Jet2 flights out of East Midlands, and plenty of great looking accommodation available, the trip was soon booked.

We soon discovered that there was going to be quite a sizeable DVO contingent attending the event – Russ and Kim Buxton, Sally Calland and Andy Sykes were all also entered!

The event had taken over a hotel in Pissouri Bay and this is where many people stayed, with some fantastically good rates for half board stays! We weren’t quick enough with booking however, and it was full by the time we tried leaving us to stay up the road in an Airbnb villa.

We a flew out to Cyprus on Sunday morning, giving us a couple of days to explore before the event started on Wednesday. We saw a lot of old rubble in those two days – although according to my companions (Dad and Andy) this was very significant ancient rubble [Helen, was your mouth out with soap and water, this is archaeology – Ed.]! We also head up to the capital to explore some of the museums and have the excitement of crossing the ‘green line’ into Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus. The contrast was between the South and North was very noticeable –
the northern half of Nicosia was a lot more run down than the South.

Day 1 –– Pikni Forest

The orienteering kicked off on Wednesday and consisted of four middle-distance events, finished off with a long urban sprint on the Sunday. Day 1 was in Pikni Forest to the north of Paphos. The terrain was undulating, largely runnable forest and despite the warnings about dangerous caterpillars and snakes, I never saw either! Results across the DVO team were mixed, showing that there was definitely opportunity for mistakes, even though the terrain and map looked relatively straightforward.

Sally Calland and I were on the same course. I had a relatively clean run whilst Sally spent a while locating number 2, giving me an early lead! It wasn’t to last though!

Day 2 –– Lakko Frango North
Day 2 –– heading away from the start

Days 2 and 3 saw us move to an open area above Pissouri Bay – Lakko Frango. The running was much tougher than day 1 – hillier and rocky under foot. On day 2 I made a complete hash of number 1 – it looks so simple on the map with the power line to use as a handrail, but I just couldn’t find it!

Day 3 –– Lakko Frango South

Day 3 was not much better. This part of the map had more thick scrub and bushes, but they were all rather vague making navigation quite tough I found. My race unfolded on number 7, where I just couldn’t find the small crag amongst all the scrub! Sally had a blinder however and took the overall win in W45 by over 5 mins!

Day 4 was walking distance from our villa in Pissouri Bay, on an open area called Melanda. The map had a lot of rock features and also quite a bit of yesterday’s scrub bush just to make finding those rock features a bit more tricky! All in all I had a good run navigationally, but the challenge for most people was the physical nature of the area. It was the hilliest area of the 4 days, and all courses had a long uphill run in at the end, which was a real killer! Sally had another clean run and a class victory, and whilst I didn’t make any mistakes I was somewhat out of energy after the efforts of the previous 3 days!

The evening saw an extra event – a Harris Relay* on a 1:750 scale map of the hotel complex where most people were staying. It was great fun – there were people everywhere! And the large scale meant that you overran almost all of the early controls! The Harris relay format is a pairs event. You both get the same map. There are some controls that you must both visit and some that just one of you must visit. Its up to you to decide who visits which controls! Your finish time is when the second person is back. The whole thing only took about 10 mins and was a great social event with post-race analysis over a beer by the pool afterwards!

* A Harris Relay is a very simple pairs relay format: everyone starts together, both team members must dib at the ‘spine controls’, and the other controls are divided between them. All controls must be dibbed, and the winner is the pair who are first back.
DVO is holding a fun Harris Relay on Saturday July 6th 1pm in Allestree Park (free entry for club members)

I entered the ‘parent and child’ class with my dad and somehow we won a small bottle of Cypriot red wine!!

Harris Relay!*

The results from the four middle distance races were amalgamated to decide on overall placings, with the last day’s sprint race contested separately. At the end of day 4, DVO had two members on the podium. Sally had managed second in W45 whilst Russ (despite his dodgy knee) came third in the Short Open class.

Russ on the podium, despite his bad knee!
Lofou extended Sprint map

The final day was an extended sprint race in the mountain village of Lofou. It was a great setting with the start and finish on a plaza with great views back down towards the coast. The area was great for a sprint race – lots of small streets and alleyway with lots of dead-ends! It was also super hilly, which wasn’t so welcome on the last day of a 5-day event! I just made one error, thinking I could get through the open area behind number 10, only to discover you couldn’t and I had to come back and find another way! Despite this I managed to take second place, which I was pleasantly surprised about! It would have been third, as Sally had put in a great run, but sadly had made the classic error on missing out one of the many controls!

Heading up towards the finish of the Sprint in Lofou

Unfortunately, we had to make a quick dash for the airport after the event and so couldn’t stay for the prize giving. Kim and Russ had got the right idea however, and had booked a 10-day holiday and were able to claim Russ’s plate and pick up the mini bottle of wine on my behalf [what are club-mates for? – Ed.]!

All in all the Cyprus Orienteering Meet was excellent – we’ll definitely go again and would highly recommend it to others! The orienteering was excellent and the weather just perfect! It was amazing to see what two orienteers could manage to organise – they were responsible for all the map drawing, course planning and organisation, and very little went wrong (Diana Bridger)! As well as great orienteering, there was plenty of time after the events in the afternoons to go exploring Cyprus, which has plenty to offer. We saw lots of old temples and burial sites, some beautiful coastline and of course we met Aphrodite, who was born in Cyprus!

Have a look at the event website:

Andy with Aphrodite!

Future events

Saturday 8 June 2024
Darley Park

Thursday 13 June 2024

Saturday 22 June 2024
Allestree Park

Recent results

Sunday 19 May 2024
Hardwick Park

Sunday 3 March 2024
Shipley Country Park

Saturday 10 February 2024
Elvaston Castle

Routegadget (view routes)

MapRun Results

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