Strong performances despite the weather

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Strong performances despite the weather

Abbots’ Way Walk 2017

Although Sunday 1 October delivered less adverse weather than had been forecast, the 83 pupils and 24 training team staff and volunteers endured an uncharacteristically unpleasant day on the moor for the Abbots’ Way Walk.

Perhaps the moderate conditions at Buckfast Abbey carpark lulled us into a false sense of security. The yomp up the lanes to Cross Furzes was warm and dry, but the prospect thereafter was uncertain. It turned out to be increasingly worse than indicated maturing from bearable mizzle, through threatening drizzle to annoying rain.

By the time we were at Huntingdon Cross it was hoods up and heads down. Extremely poor visibility and strengthening wind forced lapses of navigational concentration to be paid for with close compass work.

It has been a while since Ten Tors Manager Bill Sharpe pushed out two sequential 1500m straight line legs marching on a compass bearing but our failure to find Broad Rock in the murk required this silver bullet to get on track and to catch up some time.

“By the time we hit Princetown to consume quantities of cake, crisps, shortbread and bananas I don’t think anyone was dry,” he said.

“Even brand new, and shortly to be returned to the shop, waterproof jackets weren’t up to the task but the injection of calories spurred on the pace and North Hessary Tor was soon passed to commence the long gradual decent towards Tavistock.

“But the weather didn’t give up as we pushed on into the wind and rain passing increasing damp-looking check point staff at Merrivale and Moortown from where the trailing teams were shuttled forward to the finish. Some made it before the offer of a lift arrived; others simply declined wanting to do it themselves.

“Despite the conditions, morale remained good and there were strong performances from all pupil walkers giving very positive indications of good things to come when Ten Tors training starts in the New Year.”

Congratulations to all pupils who took part and many thanks to the training team staff and volunteers without whose support the walk would not have been possible: Mr and Mrs Broughton, Revd Carson, Lt Col and Mrs Clark, Mrs Hilton-Lang, Mr Hughes, Mr Jackson, Mrs Jokonya, Mr Latimer, Mr and Mrs Lines, Mr Marshall, Mr Porter, Lt Col Purser, Dr Rowland, Mrs Sail, Mr Seaton-Burn, Mr Shorthouse, Mr Tear, Maj Gen Thomas and Mr Vercoe.