Ten Tors 2022
Six brave souls from Sexey’s year 10, were awakened at 5am on Saturday to the sound of Chariots of Fire albeit a little quieter than previous years, the time had finally arrived to take on the Ten Tors Challenge. The team had trained hard over the proceeding months and now their aspiration was a reality, some were quiet, nervous maybe? With breakfast done and a quick photo it was off to the start, we left the main camp at 6am and joined the procession of participants, staff and supporters snaking its way through Okehampton camp, passing the Ten Tors Cross and out on to the moor at Anthony’s Stile.
This year marked the 60th anniversary of the event and instead of lining up in route alphabetical order we formed a giant 60 on the hillside.
With fog rolling in and out unfortunately, the parachutists were unable to jump, and the helicopters stayed on the ground. Participants checked and double checked their start directions and eagerly anticipated the guest address and firing of the 105 Light Guns situated across the valley.
At 7am the guns fired, and we waved goodbye, Ten Tors is about being self-sufficient, looking after yourselves/each other, navigating, cooking and camping without adult intervention, the only people they would see from now until their return would be other teams and members of the Armed Forces on the checkpoints. What lay before them was 35+ miles of open moorland and 16 checkpoints. Fortunately, the weather was being kind and by 10am the sun was out and the temperature had picked up.
The team on route PQ made steady progress on Saturday managing to navigate the whole western flank of the moor and get over halfway round before dusk, they checked in to Postbridge at 8.15pm and made camp for the night, unbeknown to us they had even managed to get on the local news!
Another 5am start greeted them on Sunday morning and the team administered themselves before setting out at 6am. Back in Okehampton staff contemplated the difficulties that could face the teams on day 2, a thick fog obscured the moor and the buildings at the top of the camp slipped in and out of view. Could they navigate in zero visibility, it was discussed during training and practiced at dusk on our final training weekend but this was somewhat more severe. It was a relief as the sun burnt off the fog to release a beautiful day and a splendid, sunny finish.
Crowds started to gather, had Mr Sainsbury’s predictions been correct, would they make it? Would they be in between 1pm and 3pm. We waited, parents arrived, would Mrs Cullen make it after church service and before the team got to the line?
Again, on day 2 the team made steady progress despite the more challenging navigation legs and the weather early on. They took the eastern side of the moor and an east-west traverse in their stride avoiding bogs(mostly), rare bird nesting areas and steep hills where they could. We picked them up on the eastern slopes of Yes Tor just after 2pm and tracked them to the finish. Mrs Cullen had made it with half an hour to spare and the team were all smiles as the crossed the line at 2.40pm.
A great effort and a great achievement, Sexey’s have not taken part in Ten Tors for many years – If anyone knows the last time the school took part, please do let us know.
Bella B-O, Matilda C, Thor M, Tom O, Josh P and Fletcher W, a special mention also to Flo C, Samuel J and Bea M who trained with the team this year. Mr Sainsbury would also like to thank Mrs Rogerson and Mr Rogerson for their support to training and the event, and Beechen Cliff school for their hospitality and hosting at Okehampton.