Navy Cadets navigational exercise

Today 4 members of the Vic ARDF Group ran a simple navigation training exercise for the Australian Navy Cadet unit in Hampton Park.

The cadets are based at Hampton Park Secondary college. Adam put a lot of effort into making a map suitable for detailed navigation. The idea was to hold the exercise in just part of the school grounds, so emphasis was on fine detail and navigating by features, rather than distance and compass work.

We arrived in time to efficiently put out all of the controls ahead of a 4:30pm start. First was a quick briefing on map reading and identifying some of the features on the map, then cadets were paired up, and 3 groups were sent off every 2 minutes, with a different compulsory 1st control to spread them out a bit.

Here’s today’s map, run as a simple 30 minute score event. All controls had equal score, unlike the more complicated street-O ‘row’scoring.



















As you can see from the very large scale of 1:1000, things appeared remarkably quickly, even at walking pace. The quite complex area amongst the school buildings still presented a challenge though, with some teams, including the winning team, the Giant Killers, stumbling upon some of the controls more by accident than good navigation. A line course would have made the navigation more critical, but it also would have got more crowded in such a small area.

The range of finish times showed that the event time was set about right, with the winning team blitzing it in 12 minutes and a couple of the teams not finding all of the 20 controls before the 30 minutes was up. Besides, they had to get back for some last minute marching practice for the Anzac service early tomorrow morning !

22 cadets took part in 8 teams or 2 or more. The 2 leaders, Lieutenant Silesteam and Petty Officer Hine, plus club members Dianne and Pierre, roamed the grounds making sure all was well, and just as well, because the school caretakers started to shut the gates to the Southern Oval area, which would have stranded cadets both sides of the boundary.

The rain held off for the event, despite the earlier heavy rain showers that threatened us on the way there, and most of the cadets seemed to really enjoy the exercise.

Petty Officer Hine had first contacted the club last year through this website about the possibility of some basic navigational training, followed by some Radio orienteering training, which could be useful in general for Navy cadet exercises. We therefore plan to run a RadiO event with them sometime in the near future. This will probably be a FoxOr style event, so the navigational exercise today will be a helpful skill for that.  For descriptions of the different styles of RadiO events (FoxOr, Sprint, ARDF and 5-in-5), have a poke around this website.

However, cadets who really enjoyed themselves today don’t have to wait for the cadet event next month, but can take themselves (even drag parents along too) to any of this club’s events shown on the calender of this website, throughout the year. If you contact us before the event to let us you might be coming we can make sure someone is on hand for instruction/training.

A huge thanks to club members Adam (for the great map on short notice), Pierre and Dianne for managing to get there during normal working hours to help stage the event. We’d have been hard pressed to do in in the time with fewer than the four.

Here are the results: (apologies in advance for name mis-spellings or incomplete data). Feedback welcome.

Ranking Team Name Time (minutes) Number of controls
1st Giant Killers 12 20
2nd Kara Turner 20 20
3rd Squiggles 21 20
4th Lewis / Pearman / Crouch 23 20
= 5th Bakhshayeshi / Lutz 25 20
= 5th Reece / Suttie / Englemner 25 20
6th Walter O’Reilly 28 20
7th Rice / Legris 29 16
8th Kennedy et al (with flat batteries) 30++ ? 18 ?