Archive of News and Information stored under the News category.

SO has three South East Night Champions


Congratulations to Anna Chapman (W45-50), Peter Chapman (M55-60) and Roger Maher (M80) who all became South East Night Champions at Wimbledon Common on Nov 19th, 2022.

Others also gained podium positions with Rob Lines (M55-60) getting a silver and Liam Marsh (M20-M40) getting a bronze.

Sat 26 NovRead more…

Got the Orienteering bug?Try these other events over the next month

19 Wlf

If you are a member of Southdowns Orienteers then you are also eligible to attend any other Orienteering events that are on.

During November many SO members will be running at the events which are run by other clubs in the South East and we would love to see you there.

We also run our Tuesday evening Club Night Activities which is another opportunity to get out to run and navigate in a fun atmosphere.

Read on for more info ...

Sat 12 NovRead more…

Night orienteering November

So Christmas Night O 2021 6

It’s a month packed with night orienteering. On Saturday we have a training event at Chailey Common. The SE Night Champs takes place on Wimbledon Common on 19 Nov 2022. Southdowns Orienteers then hosts the Southern Night Champs a week later at Broadstone Warren, Ashdown Forest. Alongside the major events there is also Club Night on a Tuesday evening and the Kent Night Cup on Thursdays. Finally, into December it’s our biggest annual event, The Brighton City Race. It’s always a festive occasion and one not to be missed. A guide to buying a head torch is here.

Thu 3 NovRead more…

Orienteering thumb compassesA buyer’s guide

Str8 Compass Kompakt 900X 800X800

A thumb compass is the standard navigation tool for orienteering. It’s elegantly simple, and less is more. It’s worth searching out those that have avoided clutter such as a rotating bezel or coloured markings, numbers or degrees. These extra features will obscure the map and prove distracting in race conditions. Your compass should have just two things: a wide needle to point north, and a direction pointer marked in centimetres. Most importantly, right-handed people wear a thumb compass on their left hand. Therefore, most people are likely to want a left-hand thumb compass.

Here are my top four recommendations:

Mon 17 OctRead more…

Orienteering head torchesA buyer's guide

Head Torch

It’s the start of the night orienteering season, which makes it the best time of year for a proper adventure in the forest.

When it comes to head torches, it’s definitely not the case that you always get a brighter torch by spending more money. Over the last 10 years I have generally spent about £15 on a head torch set, though prices have increased recently and you may need to budget more like £20-£30. If you want to get something super posh, you could try Silva or Bright Bike Lights. My recommendation is to search ‘CREE bike light’ on Ebay and you will probably end up with a brighter unit. Here are some examples:

Sun 16 OctRead more…

SO juniors compete at Junior Inter-Regional Champs in N Ireland

Sejs Team

Over the weekend of 24th and 25th Sept, four of our SO junior squad travelled to Northern Ireland with the South East Junior Squad (SEJS) to take part in the Junior Inter-Regional Champs. Emils Ummers, Tommy Heap, Heather High and Ben Chapman all had the privilege of representing the South East at this great team event.

Mon 10 OctRead more…

Coaching Report - Rewell

Club Conference 2022 Img 1267

Today’s coaching session looked at Map Contact using Collecting and Catching Features. There was also a Control Pick exercise, though this was somewhat thwarted by impenetrable undergrowth in parts. We will find better terrain for future sessions! :). The younger group embarked on a Map Walk in the quarry and looked at how features on the ground are represented on the map. The coaching notes are here, and the maps are here: Collecting Features, Catching Features, and Control Pick. The Control Description symbols are here.

Sat 8 OctRead more…

Junior Camp Weekend a Success!

12 Sausages

Wow what a packed weekend! After the SOG at Knowlands on 1st October 2022, sixteen of us set out back into the woods with kit in wheelbarrows to set up camp in a clearing in the middle of the woods. What an amazing setting - we had a fire pit, composting toilets, running water and were right in the middle of the woods which was ideal for all our activities!

Thu 6 OctRead more…

Club Conference 2022Advanced Skills and Safety

The final sessions were presented by Vince Joyce and Karen Ashworth. Vince discussed the tactic of doing the simple things really well in order to achieve success at the highest levels in orienteering. He talked through his approach at the British Nights in 1999 part1 and part2, and later his World Masters medal run in Canada 2005. The session plan for the activity is here, along with the slides which looked at the techniques of Route Choice, Traffic Lights, and Visualisation.

Ahead of the orienteering competition, Karen run a fun session to look at risks that can appear on the day of an event, and the opportunity (in the most part) to mitigate the potential hazard. Karen’s slides are here. The group formed teams and voted for each issue on the possibilities for appropriate mitigation.

Sun 25 SepRead more…

Summer Trail Runs 2022

Highdown Hill 5 March 2022 (6)

Thursday evening trail runs are taking place again. These are social training events where you can run on your own or as a group. We meet at 6:30pm each week although you can run at any other time. A Doodle poll has been set up to allow you to sign up - particularly if you can't print your own map. It is intended that all runs will also be MapRun enabled. Runs will be added a few days before the Thursday each week - see below for list.

Sun 25 SepRead more…

Club Conference 2022Planning and Sleep

Club Conference 2022 Img 1277

The afternoon sessions kicked off with interesting talks on the philosophy of planning and the importance of sleep. Neil Crickmore talked about the correct approach of planning ‘legs’ rather than identifying interesting control sites. Neil’s slides. The group considered a map of Woolbeeding Common and looked for legs that would provide route choice. Darren Warner-Swann then talked about the brain and the part that sleep plays in keeping it healthy. Darren pondered the question, ‘can sleep make you a champion?’ and concluded that adequate sleep will indeed play a major role in success. Darren’s slides are here.

Sat 24 SepRead more…

Club Conference 2022Skills for novice orienteers

Club Conference 2022 Skills For Novices

The session looked at 3 skills we might coach recent starters on a Saturday morning: Judging Distance, Using the Compass, and Identifying an Attack Point. The slides are here. The session plan is here as a PDF and here as an MS Word document. The club will promote the use of thumb compasses given their widespread use by elite athletes. There were 3 exercises. Firstly, the athletes walked and jogged 40 double paces to see how close that got them to 100m in each case.

Fri 23 SepRead more…

Horsham Park O - change to event start timeFirst starts at 10:30

The start time for the event has been delayed by 30 minutes to allow the parkrun event to finish and clear away.

If this change in time means that you are no longer able to compete, you can withdraw your entry on and receive a full refund as a credit against a future entry.

Thu 22 SepRead more…

Club Conference 2022Get ready for orienteering

Club Conference 2022 Warm Up

For the first practical session of the day, Will Heap took the group onto the playing fields to look at warm-up, and strength & conditioning. These are really important activities to minimise the risk of injury. Will’s notes are here. The warm-up covered both the physical and mental aspect of pre-exercise preparation, with the athletes map reading whilst jogging. Will then took the group through strength & conditioning exercises which should be repeated 2 or 3 times a week.

Wed 21 SepRead more…

Night season gets underway this weekendTraining at Chailey Common, South

So Christmas Night O 2021 6

The night orienteering season gets underway this Saturday evening with a training session on Chailey Common South. The common is one of SO’s most popular areas with a mix of terrain and contour detail. There are courses of 4.5km and 2.5km in length, and it’s a chance to check out your night-o kit. The session offers the chance to borrow all the kit you need: thumb compass, headtorch, SI card etc. Please let Robert Lines know if you will attend and whether you want to borrow anything. Coaching will of course be available for anyone looking for tips and advice. Training session fee £1 on the night.

Wed 21 SepRead more…