Sunny Sussex Weekend Event 1Abbots Wood - SE Middle Distance ChampsSat 21 May, 2022

Near: Polegate
Level of event: Regional
Type of event: Race



Planners Report: Thank you all for coming to the first of the Sunny Sussex Weekend races and what great weather we had!

Having the stadium for parking meant that we could utilise a different section of the forest so I tried to make courses that used the more runnable/accessible areas. It was difficult to estimate the required course lengths so I based them on a previous event where one of our top juniors did a 5.5km course in 33 mins. I felt that ought to be the length of the Black course, with all the rest scaled accordingly. In the end, the winning times were longer than I had hoped for so perhaps they should have been a little shorter! Still, everyone I saw seemed to be tired but happy; the weather definitely helped there.

A huge thank you must go out to everyone who helped including the controller, Doug Deeks who was very thorough with his checks and very helpful, the various organisers, Anna, Tim B, Tim H and Jane who put in a lot of effort both before and on the day, the SI team of Joe and Penny, Einar and his team of helpers at the start and the team of control collectors who got everything back from the woods in about 30 minutes! And to everyone else who helped in on one way or another and are too numerous to mention.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Chris Hooker

Organisers Report: Abbots Wood was a great start to our weekend of Orienteering. With the sun shining, Tom and Julie's Catering and Compass Point shop - our assembly area within the clearing made for the perfect social occasion. People had time to chat and enjoy the day. Ben and Emma had set up a super string course next to the start and Emily and Jane helped to run it. In addition to the helpers mentioned above, thanks must also go to all those parking officials who managed to squeeze the cars into the clearing, those on enquires and newcomer help and also Penny and Joe who ran the SI results. Talking of results we ended the event with the prizegiving for the South East Middle Distance Champs. Most people were presented with their medals which was great, but there are some who still need to collect theirs. The list is here. See below for photos from the day - thanks to Bea Waters for photos of the prizegiving. Thanks also to Jennie for helping out with lots of things and stuffing her car with kit when mine got full!

Please come back to Sunny Sussex in May 2024 when we are likely to be around the historic town of Arundel.

Anna Chapman


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Pre event info

Entries now closed

A weekend of orienteering in the South Downs National Park, centred around the vibrant seaside town of Eastbourne.


This event incorporates the South East Middle Distance Championships. Medals will be presented to the first three SEOA members in each of the following age groups:

M/W 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20-40, 45-50, 55-60, 65-75, 80+

Weekend prizes will be awarded for the first three combined results of the daytime events in each of the following age groups: M/W10B, M/W 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20-40, 45-50, 55-60, 65-75, 80+

Sunny Sussex Weekend 2022 Series Info

A weekend of orienteering in the South Downs National Park, centred around the vibrant seaside town of Eastbourne. Take part in a high energy middle distance race at Abbots Wood. Head down to Sovereign Harbour for an exciting evening urban race and finish the weekend off with a long distance national event at Friston Forest. Pre-enter all three events and receive a £3 discount per adult. Convenient campsite at Bramley Park Camping. The weekend coordinator is Anna Chapman.

Location Info

Nearest town: Polegate

* Postcodes are not very precise in some areas, so don't rely on them for an exact location.

Directions / Parking

The parking area is at the southern end of the large car park at Arlington Stadium which is approximately 1km West of Hailsham. This will be signposted from the entrance to the car park at What3Words headless.baker.change, post code BN273RE.

Course Information

You may enter any course you want to - the age groups relate to standard classes and provide eligibility for the competitions associated with the event. Newcomers welcome.

Black 5.6km 70m climb 23 controls (M18, M20-40)

Brown 4.9km 70m climb 22 controls (M16, M45-50, W18, W20-40)

Blue 4.2km 50m climb 21 controls (M55-60, W45-50)

Green 3.5km 40m climb 16 controls (M65-75, W16, W55-60)

Short Green 2.8km 30m climb 13 controls (M80+, W65-75, W80+)

Light Green 2.5km 30m climb 11 controls (M14, W14)

Orange 1.8km 20m climb 12 controls (M12,W12)

Yellow 1.7km 20m climb 9 controls (M10,W10)

White 1.3km 15m climb 8 controls

Subject to final controlling.

Children’s String Course

Competitors will be eligible for Sunny Sussex prizes if they run their recommended age class or run "up" i.e. a longer course. Each competitor will be awarded points using a statistical calculation based on their finishing time within a sample that is made up of all the finishers on the same course at the same event. The overall score is the sum from both events. The calculation is:

Runner score = 1000 + (200 * (average_time - runner time)) / standard deviation time

Entry Details

Entry only via, there will be no entry on the day.

Entries close at 8pm on 20th May, but maps numbers will be set from 15th May. Enter whilst maps available.

Seniors light green to black (British Orienteering Member) £11.00
Seniors light green to black (Non-member) £13.00
Seniors white, yellow, orange (British Orienteering Member) £5.00
Seniors white, yellow, orange (Non-member) £7:00
SO Juniors Free
Other juniors £3.00

Discount codes

Family rates for non-SO members capped at the rate of 2 adults plus 1 child. Enter the first three competitors as normal, then second, third child etc. using discount code 'Family'.

SO juniors use discount code 'SOjuniors'.

Adults entering all three events use discount code 'All3' for each event to receive £3 discount.

Start Times

From 12:00 to 13:30 Courses close 15:00

Map Details

Mapped in 2020 using lidar base 1:10,000 - recently updated for the event.

Terrain Description

Abbots Wood is ancient woodland. Most courses visit some parts of the forest that have not been used in a very long time.

Away from the start and finish, many courses have surprisingly little undergrowth at the time of writing. Courses planned to avoid the worst of the undergrowth and if thicker patches are encountered, they can be bypassed with a small detour, unless you are a long way off line!

Full leg covering is compulsory and gaiters recommended.

Dog restrictions

Dogs are permitted in the car park on a lead at the event, but no dogs on the course please.


Food will be provided by British and Continental Catering.
Orienteering merchandise by Compass Point.


Based around the vibrant seaside town of Eastbourne and on the doorstep of the South Downs National Park. The weekend will offer a whole host of attractions to keep you entertained all weekend.

Beachy Head, Birling Gap, Seven Sisters, Redoubt Fortress, Sovereign Harbour Marina, miniature steam railway. Waterfront restaurants at Sovereign Harbour are a must for eating with discounts offered for event participants. Also nearby are Knockhatch Adventure Park and Drusillas Zoo Park.

Convenient campsite at Bramley Park Camping.

Contacts / Officials

Planner: Chris Hooker

Organiser: Tim Hulley & Tim Bartlett

Controller: Doug Deeks

Photo Gallery

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