This was the challenge for participants of the Checkpoint chase on 22 October – the second orienteering event at the vlei to be organized by the Peninsula Orienteering Club (PENOC), supported by the Princess Vlei Forum, and with the blessing of the City Council.
In the words of PENOC organiser, Bruce Meier, “Orienteering is an exciting outdoor adventure sport. It involves walking or running while navigating around a course using a detailed map and sometimes a compass.
“The aim is to navigate in sequence between a set of control points, deciding on the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. It does not matter how young, old or fit you are, as you can run, walk or jog the course and progress at your own pace.
“Orienteering events are held anywhere from remote forest and countryside to urban parks and school playgrounds. It’s a great sport for runners, joggers and walkers who want to improve their navigation skills or for anyone who loves the outdoors.”
In preparation for the event, checkpoints around the vlei were marked out by Penoc members, and a detailed map given to the participants.
Seasoned orienteers went on the longer course and the novices, including families with young children, on the shorter course. Approximately 120 people took part, including learners from John Graham Primary School in Plumstead, and members of the First Wetton Scouts, First Naruna and Constantia Scouts, Constantiaberg Rovers and First Plumstead Scouts.
An hour after the start the participants were making for the finish and handing in their cards. Soon the winners were announced and the prizes distributed - there was great excitement as various treats were handing out in the lucky number draw.
Bridget Pitt from the Princess Vlei Forum spoke briefly, and said the Forum was engaging with the City to improve the condition of Princess Vlei and make it even more suitable for such events. The event closed with a prayer from Bishop Christopher Gregorowski.
In the words of one of the members of the winning team, Qaanit Baderoen: “It was so exciting, filled with adrenalin, sometimes suspense because you couldn’t find the codes… The surroundings are very scenic, there was a cool breeze off the vlei, and nice to walk around and see the new plants.”