SOG A5Cowdray & Greentrees & CoachingSat 12 November, 2022

Near: Handcross
Level of event: Local
Type of event: Race



Planners report.

Challenging running in sunlit forests! Well, that was our aim, and going on the very positive and encouraging feedback (thank you), it seems that most of you had that experience. What a fun day - resplendent autumnal colours, superb weather and smiles all round.

Our aim on the courses was to use the best blocks of the forest, picking out solid control features, and mixing quality short and long legs. We enjoyed visiting the forest several times whilst planning the courses – with several early visits needed to identify the unpleasant areas with strong bracken growth. Generally, we focused on solid point control features in the SE and NW areas, and joined the two areas together with route choice legs. The long leg on the blue course seemed to offer a difficult route choice either going early over the ravine and onto the tracks on the North side of the ravine (and thus being sure of distance covered and an attack point) or plodding along the path by the stream (placing a premium on distance estimation, and a hefty time penalty for getting it wrong). As is often the case, the need for a safe and easier yellow course dominated the choice of the start and finish locations. The long walk to the start (for a SOG) allowed the yellow course to avoid a tricky and steep crossing of the N/S river valley.

We enjoyed working through the planning and organising. With the plentiful support of SO many helpful club members, pulling everything together was immensely rewarding. Thank you, to all the willing helpers today, and especially to those running the road crossing and parking which were challenging, and away from the lovely forest. Our special thanks go to Steve Jarvis who helped us throughout with the courses, tweaking them here and there to make them extra special, and helping us check and hang the controls. I did feel very bad when I commissioned him off on a long solitary walk to replace one far away control box which was not bleeping just before the start - thanks for taking that on willingly Steve!

Apologies, we were not sure whether the contactless punching was working initially, and we asked you to punch manually. For those organising future events, Neil advises me this is was because, having cleared all the boxes and turned them on, we should have put the test dibber through the Check box to get it working on SIAC. For most of you, having ‘checked’ at the start, the contactless probably worked fine as your dibber’s contactless was turned on.

There was a black fleece jacket left hanging over the gate at the end. Let us know if this is yours.

Total fun in the forest over, it is now time for a relaxing G & T each!

Thank you everyone

Tim, Linda and Amy

Cowdray coaching report.

Today’s coaching session was aimed at choosing and using good Attack points. Attack points are large or obvious features close to the control that you can navigate to easily and quickly. Once at your attack point you can then navigate carefully into the control for the last phase of the leg. See session map at bottom of page.

Examples of attack points. Generally but not always above ground. A large knoll or hill, a fence corner, a path junction, end of an earth wall, a stream junction, a re-entrant, a distinct tree, a thicket, a clearing, a vegetation boundary. There are many. Sometimes you have a choice of attack points, sometimes they will be very close to the control, sometimes quite a distance away, sometimes the control feature might itself be your attack point.

You should use attack points all the time so make sure it is part of your orienteering process.

The next session is Saturday 10th December at Inholmes Wood.

Any questions on today’s session then please contact me WILL@WILLHEAP.COM

Thanks to all the coaches and participants for coming along today. We look forward to seeing you again soon.


Will Heap

Junior Team Manager

Southdowns Orienteers


Is a web app for sharing and comparing orienteering routes. You can draw your own route or upload a GPS track from your watch. It also allows you to watch an animated replay with a simulated mass start.

Pre event info

This event features our monthly COACHING session. We are now offering more advanced coaching for adults and juniors, run by Will this week, in addition to younger children and beginners coaching, run by Karen.

Will's coaching will work through the various skills and techniques required for orienteering at all levels of the sport, including advanced. Each session will be at a different location so that participants experience varying terrain, maps and mapping styles.

Karen's training will be suitable for those with younger children who are just getting into yellows. As a guide, we would expect primary-aged juniors to be with Karen. Adults and secondary school-aged juniors (11+) will be with Rob.

Please register your interest by emailing Anna, or via the Spond app if you are a parent of a junior. Parents, please also ensure you have filled out a consent form for this coming Orienteering year 2022-23 and sent it to Anna. You may need to ask for a consent form if you are not on the junior app Spond.

Meet at the hub tent at 9:45, ready to start at 10am. Parents, please liaise with the coach with regard to whether we need your help. We will meet back at the hub tent by 11:15. Please pre-enter for your run as normal, starts will be held open until 11:30 and course closing time 1pm.

SOG Series Info

SOGs are friendly club events where children and newcomers are very welcome. Yellow and Orange courses are suitable for children to run on their own with a bit of practice. Adults are welcome to shadow children until they are confident to go on their own. Green and Blue courses are run or walked by any age group - you can race competitively or just enjoy the woodland.

There are two series of events - autumn and spring of approximately 8 events each. Electronic timing (SI) is used.

Help on the day always appreciated.

Volunteer here

Enquiries here

Location Info

Nearest town: Handcross

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

Directions / Parking

/// tribal.meals.boost.

Signed at the junction of Whitely Hill and B2110

Park as directed by the marshal

Course Information

Blue 5.6k

Green 4.2k

Short green 3.1k

Orange 2.3k

Yellow 1.4k

We advise adult newcomers to do an orange first, to familiarise yourself with the map, symbols and navigation. Juniors should start off with a yellow course.

Please ensure you wear full leg cover.

Look out for our monthly coaching sessions if you want to learn some good techniques!

Entry Details

Pre-entry via Newcomers are welcome and eligible for a free trial session - if you'd like to reserve a map or discuss the event please email our membership secretary.


SO/BOF Senior members £5.00 (non-members £6),

Juniors £2.50 (SO Juniors free - use discount code SOjuniors).

'Dibber' hire: Electronic punching (SI) chips are available to hire. SIAC (contactless): £2, non-SIAC (not contactless) £1. Half price for juniors.

Registration open

9:45 to 10:45

Start Times

10:00 to 11:00. Courses close at 12:30.

Map Details


Terrain Description

Mostly runnable forest with a good track and ride network. The courses use the best areas of the forest, avoiding the denser bracken. The standard green screening has been added to map where running speeds would be significantly reduced by the bracken. The technical courses cross the deep stream valley which bisects the map and have route options to use easier crossing points rather than the steep banks.

Dog restrictions

In Cowdray Forest dogs are welcome under close control. Clear up after your dog.


Please bring your own water to ensure adequate hydration

No toilets provided


The walk to the assembly/SI tent area crosses the busy B2036 London Road. Please take great care crossing the road – cars approaching from the south are only visible as they cross a blind summit c.150m away and approach at high speeds. Juniors must be accompanied by an adult over the road crossing. The 350m walk to the start passes through the finish and will be taped from the assembly/SI tent area.

Safety bearing – Head N to the main track, then E back to the car park.

It is recommended that all competitors carry a whistle.

Contacts / Officials

Planner: Tim & Linda Hulley



Photo Gallery

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